Originally Posted by Ryan
In your opinion, what are some of the best non-noir mysteries?
Disclaimer: These are all from the 1930s and 1940s. These are my favorites, which may not be the same thing as "the best."
For series, EVERYONE love the Thin Man series, and I like them, too. I also enjoy Columbia's Boston Blackie series, but like the Chan series, I have trouble remembering which title goes with which plot! But I always enjoy Chester Morris, especially when George E. Stone plays The Runt. As for Charlie Chan, I prefer the early ones with Warner Oland and Keye Luke, while Mr. prefers the later ones with Sidney Toler and Mantan Moreland. I've also seen a couple of Mr. Moto films that I enjoyed. And I can always recommend Lloyd Nolan as Michael Shayne.
I also enjoy "Eyes in the Night," which stars Edward Arnold as a blind detective who solves mysteries with the aid of his assistant and a seeing-eye dog. It's a neat twist to see how a blind detective "sees" more than those around him, and he's not as helpless in a tight spot as you'd imagine. There was a sequel with the same detective, "The Hidden Eye." They're available on DVD.
Occasionally TCM shows "The Housekeeper's Daughter," starring Joan Bennett---but it's George E. Stone who steals the show as Benny. It's a fun mix of comedy, gangsters, and mystery.
One that isn't available on DVD or TCM---"Nine Girls," which involves the murder of a b*tchy sorority girl and eight likely suspects ... her sorority sisters! The murderer is revealed before the end, leading to a suspenseful denouement. There are only three men in the cast---"victory casting" due to the number of actors who were overseas fighting in WWII. TCM has listed it on its schedule at least twice, but substituted something else both times. I suspect there is no broadcast master for it, but it's somehow on TCM's "master list."
If I think of more, I'll post again, but that's probably more than you bargained for!