Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Guy Hutchinson ""

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Guy Hutchinson

Guy Hutchinson has worked as a radio talk show host and personality on WHWH and WMGQ radio in NJ and is currently the co-host of  'Drunk On Disney,' 'Adventure Club,' 'Flux Capaci-cast' and 'Camel Clutch Cinema' podcasts. Over the years he has interviewed Mick Foley, Bernie Kopell, Andy Richter, Bebe Neuwirth, Joe Camp, Marvin Kaplan, Robbie Rist and many other entertainment figures.

A blogger since 2004, Guy blogs irregularly on and is the sole correspondent for the Ken PD Snydecast Experience. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook and find links to all of his work on

Detective/mystery films isn't a genre I think about often. Probably because most of the detective/mystery films I watch tend get mentally put into other genres.

Sure, Batman is the world's greatest detective... but I never think of his films as being 'detective' films. 

Because of this, assembling this list came from looking at lists of detective/mystery films and thinking "OH RIGHT!" over and over. There are some gems in here. I hope you enjoy reading them:

Niagara (1953)
Almost every Marilyn Monroe film is underrated. Heck, despite being one of the most famous people in pop culture 50 years after her death Marilyn herself is underrated. 
Ask anyone to name an Elvis song and they know 20. Ask to name a John Wayne film and most people can name at least a few. Ask them to name one of Marilyn's films and they'll probably describe the subway grate scene from Seven Year Itch or the 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend' musical number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
And they probably never saw either.
It's a shame. Marilyn was a fine actress and it shows in this 1953 film. Along side her is the magnificent Joesph Cotten in a tale of murder and mystery set around Niagara Falls.

Hollywood Story (1951)
A Hollywood producer buys an old studio with a dark past. He soon becomes embroiled in the murder mystery the studio holds and finds himself in danger.
Richard Conte is magnificent in the lead and Jim Backus lends a charming supporting performance.

Charlie McCarthy Detective (1939)
When a newspaper is about to expose the mob, people start dropping like flies and it's up to Edgar Bergen and his famed puppets to save the day.
A charming detective comedy that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Lord of Illusions (1995)
Scott Bakula is perfectly cast in the lead role as a NY investigator who finds himself involved in a case in L.A. 
This is a particularly gruesome Clive Barker vision and manages to keep you on the edge of your seat... squirming.

Just Cause (1995)
Sean Connery plays a professor of law who struggles to find a legal way to help any innocent man prove his way to freedom.
In addition to Sean Connery there are standout performances from Lawrence Fishburne, Ed Harris, Scarlett Johansson and Kevin McCarthy. 

Psycho II (1983)
I struggled between putting this film or the remake from 1998 on this list. I decide on Psycho II. 
Psycho (1998) is a competent experiment from a fine director with some great performances. But in the end, it's completely unnecessary.
Psycho II is the underrated gem that needs a second chance. The shadow of Psycho certainly hangs heavily over this as well as the other two sequels (Psycho IV: The Beginning is a particularly clever concept) and for good reason.
But it doesn't make this any less enjoyable. It packs lots of mystery into the 113 minute run time and Perkins is fantastic. The ending won't disappoint.

Freeway (1996)
Here's a little low budget schlock that is bound to brighten up a rainy Saturday in front of the tube. In this clever retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Reese plays a delinquent on the run who meets up with the despicable Bob Wolverton (get it?) played by the excellent Kiefer Sutherland.

The Gay Falcon (1941)
George Sanders is impressive in the role of crime solver and ladies man, the "Gay Falcon." Sanders was no stranger to this type of role, he had played The Saint on the big screen and this was seen as the replacement series.

Zero Effect (1998)
Bill Pullman is superb as the off beat detective Daryl Zero. Jake Kasdan brings a quirky vision and absurd touches throughout. Who wouldn't love a detective who eats tuna from the can as he downs a can of TaB?


Anonymous said...

Nice work on adding Psycho 2! I actually kind of love Psycho 2 and defend it vigorously - yes it's a 'sequel' to a Hitchcock movie, but it's a neat little mystery that's very respectful and fits very well into the Psycho storyline. And at least it's not Psycho 3.

Caftan Woman said...

I haven't seen "Hollywood Story" since I was 12 years old, and I hate thinking about how long ago that was!