Detectin’ (1936)

Featuring Carlton King and Vivian Rich

Our genial friend the town marshal, Jed Bascombe, has been reading several books on “How to Become a Detective.” The desire to masquerade or lose our identity is innate with most of us and Jed buys some professional disguises from a Mail Order Theatrical Equipment House. Then he proceeds to make up as a tramp and nearly frightens his little friend the milliner, Mary Allen, out of her wits. She calls up the town marshal’s office and learns that the supposed tramp is her friend, Jed.

In the meantime the central telephone girls have spread the news that a tramp is lurking around, and a number of the citizens hastily arm themselves with sticks and stones and proceed in quest of him. They find him at the back door of Mary’s house where he has just called to show her his very effective disguise. Mary has told them of the fact, but they decide to play a practical joke on Jed, which they proceed to do to his extreme anguish and the spectator’s enjoyment. After threatening to tar and feather him and even lynch him they finally decide to run him out of town. In despair he seeks refuge in a freight car, only to be landed unexpectedly in another town where he is promptly arrested.

We digitized and uploaded this film from the Prelinger Archive. Email us at if you have questions about the footage and are interested in using it in your project. detectin-1936

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