Dr. Robert Ordway (Warner Baxter) is a psychiatrist that sometimes works with Inspector Dawes (John Litel) from the police department. Dawes calls in Ordway to discuss the murder of a model, Elaine Stewart. He asks Ordway to unobtrusively observe a suspect named Jimmy Gordon (John Abbott). Gordon is an artist that, as a sideline, creates paper silhouettes at a local carnival for patrons. In the model’s apartment was found a similar silhouette cut from a newspaper. Nothing about the artist jumps out at Ordway.
Gordon also lives in the same apartment building that Elaine did. The area is filled with apartment buildings where artists and models live and work. Another artist, Clive Lake (Coulter Irwin), approaches Dr. Ordway with a problem. Lake periodically has blackouts and wants Ordway to help him with his problem. His most recent blackout was the night before when Elaine was murdered. Lake maintains that he never even knew Elaine. Ordway believes that he can help him with his lapses of memory and takes him on as a client.
When Lake’s fiancé, Connie Mace (Dusty Anderson), is murdered, and the body found under Lake’s couch, the police begin to suspect Lake is a murderer. Believing his client is innocent, Ordway uses his investigative skills to try to determine who, among Lake’s friends and acquaintances, is capable of murdering, not only these models, but another one who went missing a year before.
“The Crime Doctor's Warning” was released in 1945 and was directed by William Castle. It is a crime mystery, and released in September of 1945, is the fifth of ten movies in the Crime Doctor series. William Castle directed at least three of the “Crime Doctor” films. This was the first.
This is your standard who-done-it fluff mystery, typical of the 40’s “B” movie. It is a decent offering with lots of suspects and a fairly interesting story. There are a couple plot holes as well as a couple clues that are not explained fully but the overall movie was good. The film moved along at an even pace but because of the plot holes there were parts that seemed to stall a little bit. Not enough to spoil the film but enough to notice.
Coulter Irwin, who plays Clive Lake, is not the best actor in the bunch. He may have been trying for confused amnesiac, but he came off as wooden. There are, however, a couple seasoned character actors of note; John Abbott, as Jimmy Gordon, and Miles Mander, as the gallery owner, in particular.