George Zucco in Midnight Manhunt (1945)

Midnight Manhunt (1945) is set in a wax museum, where a thief has died after being shot in his apartment.  Making his way to the wax museum, the man was the subject of a police manhunt for stolen diamonds.

Two reporters are vying for the story and trying to solve the case before the police do.  A secret agent played by George Zucco adds mystery to Midnight Manhunt.  His presence improves what is definitely a low budget “Poverty Row” B film.

Leo Gorcey was the son of actors.  He was born in New York City in 1917.  He started out with the  Dead End Kids, which turned into the East Side Kids, and later the Bowery Boys in the 1940s.  Gorcey had a reputation for having a temper and acting out at times.

george-zucco-fog-island

George Zucco in a Fog Island still from the Public Domain

His father and brother acted with him in the Bowery Boys movies.  He was said to have taken his father Bernard’s death very hard.  Gorcey had issues with alcohol that would cost him film roles and eventually get him fired from the Bowery Boys series.  He died at the age of 51 in 1969 due to liver failure.  Excess alcohol consumption was a contributing factor.

George Zucco made his living playing primarily master criminals, mad doctors, corrupt officials and mystery men.  While the other characters including Gorcey add to the film, Zucco carries the film with his superior acting and presence.  If you have an hour, it is worth watching.  You can watch it for free on YouTube by clicking here.  Zucco is at his best as the mysterious agent.

Let me know where you think it stands with other Zucco films.  You can leave a comment or ask a question about this or any post on my Facebook pageTwitter profile and Google+ page.

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