TRUE PRIVATE DETECTIVE

by Maximilliann | created - 04 May 2016 | updated - 23 Sep 2017 | Public

Filmography of the most legendary private detectives who have successfully passed from literature to the big screen. From the clasic victorian detective, Sherlock Holmes and the famous detectives created by Agatha Christie, to the hardboiled detectives, created by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, S.S. Van Dine, H. C. McNeile, Chester Gould, Earl Derr Biggers, Sax Rohmer, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, Brett Haliday, Michael Arles, Leslie Charteris, Peter Cheyney, Mickey Spillane, Ross McDonald, Marvin H. Albert and Lee Child. They're the umbeatable Phillipe Marlowe, Secret Agent X-9, Sam Spade, Nick & Nora Charles, Philo Vance, Bulldog Drummond, Dick Tracy, Charlie Chan, Ellery Queen, Nero Wolfe, Nayland Smith, Michael Shayne, Gay Lawrence "the Falcon", Simon Templar "the Saint", Lemmy Caution, Mike Hammer, Lew Harper, Toni Rome, Harry Callahan, John Shaft and Jack Reacher.

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1. Bulldog Drummond (1929)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A bored WWI veteran helps out a young woman, whose uncle is being held hostage by embezzlers.

Director: F. Richard Jones | Stars: Ronald Colman, Claud Allister, Lawrence Grant, Montagu Love

Votes: 770

2. The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1934)

73 min | Mystery

Drummond leads a black-shirted platoon of men from his former unit against foreign interlopers trying to pull England into dangerous overseas entanglements.

Director: Walter Summers | Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Joyce Kennedy, Francis L. Sullivan

Votes: 133

3. Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1934)

Approved | 83 min | Comedy, Mystery

Algy, Bulldog Drummond's right-hand-man, is getting married. Bulldog attends; on the way home, in the fog, he enters the (apparently deserted) mansion of Prince Achmed in search of a phone.... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, Warner Oland, Charles Butterworth

Votes: 267

4. Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937)

Approved | 67 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

Captain Drummond becomes a prisoner when he intents to protect a beautiful heiress of an espionage organization.

Director: James P. Hogan | Stars: Ray Milland, Guy Standing, Heather Angel, Reginald Denny

Votes: 686

5. Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1937)

Approved | 59 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

Bulldog Drummond goes up against foreign agents trying to steal plans for a top-secret aircraft.

Director: Norman Lee | Stars: John Lodge, Dorothy Mackaill, Victor Jory, Claud Allister

Votes: 272

6. Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937)

Approved | 64 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller

The girlfriend of Captain Drummond has been kidnapped by an enemy of Drummond who seeks revenge. But Drummond and his friend Colonel Nielsen at once follow his trail...

Director: Louis King | Stars: John Barrymore, John Howard, Louise Campbell, Reginald Denny

Votes: 518

7. Bulldog Drummond's Revenge (1937)

Unrated | 57 min | Adventure, Mystery

Captain Drummond travels to Switzerland in order to marry his girlfriend but the disappearance of a dangerous cargo of explosives makes him delay his plans.

Director: Louis King | Stars: John Barrymore, John Howard, Louise Campbell, Reginald Denny

Votes: 486

8. Bulldog Drummond's Peril (1938)

Passed | 66 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

In this episode captain Drummond tries to find the killer of various people. All assassinations were provoked by a diamond of great value, but Drummond will face the danger.

Director: James P. Hogan | Stars: John Barrymore, John Howard, Louise Campbell, Reginald Denny

Votes: 425

9. Bulldog Drummond in Africa (1938)

Unrated | 58 min | Adventure, Crime, Mystery

Drummond, his girlfriend and his butler try to free an high post of Scotland Yard who has been kidnapped.

Director: Louis King | Stars: John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, J. Carrol Naish

Votes: 412

10. Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1938)

Approved | 57 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

The invention of a war machine, that brings to explosion everything one wants to, puts Scotland Yard and Captain Drummond into alarm.

Director: James P. Hogan | Stars: John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny

Votes: 263

11. Bulldog Drummond's Secret Police (1939)

Unrated | 56 min | Mystery, Thriller

Captain Drummond and his girlfriend want to marry but a hidden treasure in the house in which they want to celebrate their marriage is complicating the situation.

Director: James P. Hogan | Stars: John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny

Votes: 391

12. Bulldog Drummond's Bride (1939)

Approved | 56 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A bank-robbery in London prevents - again - the marriage of Bulldog Drummond with his girlfriend. But this time when the delinquents are caught it will be celebrated at last.

Director: James P. Hogan | Stars: John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny

Votes: 315

13. Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1947)

Passed | 70 min | Adventure, Crime, Mystery

"Bulldog" Drummond is vacationing in his country home in England, and his house if rifled by two thieves. After they leave he finds a card marked with some mysterious letters. Doris ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Salkow | Stars: Ron Randell, Anita Louise, Patrick O'Moore, Terry Kilburn

Votes: 39

14. Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1947)

Approved | 65 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

A Scotland Yard Inspector, seeking a missing heiress, is murdered in his own home. "Bulldog" Drummond finds one of the two women claiming to be the real heiress hiding in a closet in the ... See full summary »

Director: Frank McDonald | Stars: Ron Randell, Gloria Henry, Patrick O'Moore, Anabel Shaw

Votes: 46

15. 13 Lead Soldiers (1948)

Approved | 64 min | Crime, Mystery

Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond is called in to solve the murder of a man from whom two lead soldiers were stolen. Drummond learns that the two soldiers were part of a set of thirteen which... See full summary »

Director: Frank McDonald | Stars: Tom Conway, Maria Palmer, Helen Westcott, John Newland

Votes: 75

16. The Challenge (1948)

68 min | Mystery

A sea captain is murdered before he can reveal the location of hidden gold. Bulldog Drummond is on the case.

Director: Jean Yarbrough | Stars: Tom Conway, June Vincent, Richard Wyler, John Newland

Votes: 26

17. Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951)

Approved | 80 min | Crime, Mystery

With a ruthless gang terrorizing London, Scotland Yard calls Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond out of retirement. With the help of detective Helen Smith, Drummond infiltrates the gang under an ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Margaret Leighton, Robert Beatty, David Tomlinson

Votes: 298

18. Deadlier Than the Male (1967)

Approved | 98 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

British agent Bulldog Drummond is assigned to stop a master criminal who uses beautiful women to do his killings.

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: Richard Johnson, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Nigel Green

Votes: 1,217

19. Some Girls Do (1969)

G | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A series of unexplainable accidents befall the people and companies responsible for developing the world's first supersonic airliner (SST1). A British agent is sent to investigate and with ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: Richard Johnson, Daliah Lavi, Beba Loncar, James Villiers

Votes: 369

20. The Canary Murder Case (1929)

82 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A beautiful showgirl, nicknamed 'the Canary', is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and soon ends up dead. But who killed 'the Canary'. All the suspects who knew her had ... See full summary »

Directors: Malcolm St. Clair, Frank Tuttle | Stars: William Powell, Jean Arthur, James Hall, Louise Brooks

Votes: 473

21. The Greene Murder Case (1929)

69 min | Drama, Mystery

At the end of each year, the extremely wealthy but odious Greene family gets together at the spooky old family castle to establish terms of a will, though they despise each other. This year... See full summary »

Director: Frank Tuttle | Stars: William Powell, Florence Eldridge, Ullrich Haupt, Jean Arthur

Votes: 250

22. The Bishop Murder Case (1929)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Mystery

When the body of a man nicknamed "Cock Robin" is found with an arrow in the heart on an archery range along with a chess bishop as a clue, Philo Vance investigates.

Directors: David Burton, Nick Grinde | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Leila Hyams, Roland Young, Alec B. Francis

Votes: 562

23. The Benson Murder Case (1930)

Passed | 65 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A ruthless, crooked stockbroker is murdered at his luxurious country estate, and detective Philo Vance just happens to be there; he decides to find out who killed him.

Director: Frank Tuttle | Stars: William Powell, William 'Stage' Boyd, Eugene Pallette, Paul Lukas

Votes: 234

24. The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

Passed | 73 min | Crime, Mystery

Philo Vance, accompanied by his prize-losing Scottish terrier, investigates the locked-room murder of a prominent and much-hated collector whose broken Chinese vase provides an important clue.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: William Powell, Mary Astor, Eugene Pallette, Ralph Morgan

Votes: 2,669

25. The Dragon Murder Case (1934)

Approved | 67 min | Mystery

The Stann family gives a small party prior to daughter Bernice's marriage to socialite Monty, but all of the guests seem to be against the match.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Warren William, Margaret Lindsay, Lyle Talbot, Eugene Pallette

Votes: 441

26. The Casino Murder Case (1935)

Passed | 82 min | Mystery

After socialite Lynn Llewwllen receives an anonymous threat, he is poisoned at his uncle's casino, and although he recovers, his wife is murdered by the same killer.

Director: Edwin L. Marin | Stars: Paul Lukas, Alison Skipworth, Donald Cook, Rosalind Russell

Votes: 464

27. The Garden Murder Case (1936)

Passed | 61 min | Drama, Mystery

Two people with ties to rich murdered socialite Lowe Hammle die from unusual suicides but Vance suspects hypnosis and foul play.

Director: Edwin L. Marin | Stars: Edmund Lowe, Virginia Bruce, Benita Hume, Douglas Walton

Votes: 348

28. The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939)

Approved | 78 min | Comedy, Mystery

The zany plot follows nitwit Gracie Allen trying to help master sleuth Philo Vance solve a murder. Allen's uncle fixes her up with Bill at a company picnic. When the two go out to a ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Gracie Allen, Warren William, Ellen Drew, Kent Taylor

Votes: 177

29. Calling Philo Vance (1940)

Approved | 62 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Despite an exclusive contract with the U.S. government, designer Archer Coe's design is being bid on by German, Japanese, and Italian agents - until he's murdered.

Director: William Clemens | Stars: James Stephenson, Margot Stevenson, Henry O'Neill, Edward Brophy

Votes: 285

30. Philo Vance's Gamble (1947)

Approved | 62 min | Mystery

Philo goes after a gang of murderous jewel thieves.

Director: Basil Wrangell | Stars: Alan Curtis, Vivian Austin, Frank Jenks, Tala Birell

Votes: 99

31. Philo Vance Returns (1947)

Passed | 64 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

Playboy Larry Blendon (Damian O'Flynn) introduces his grandmother Stella Blendon (Clara Blandick) to his fiancée, radio singer Virginia Berneaux (Ramsay Ames). Despite Larry's record of ... See full summary »

Director: William Beaudine | Stars: William Wright, Vivian Austin, Leon Belasco, Clara Blandick

Votes: 103

32. Philo Vance's Secret Mission (1947)

Approved | 58 min | Mystery

Publisher Martin Jamison sends for Philo Vance as he wants to hire him as a technical advisor on the crime stories he publishes. Paul Morgan, Morgan's partner, regards the plan as foolish. ... See full summary »

Director: Reginald Le Borg | Stars: Alan Curtis, Sheila Ryan, Tala Birell, Frank Jenks

Votes: 50

33. The Thin Man (1934)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 24,467

34. After the Thin Man (1936)

Passed | 112 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick investigates the case of a missing man and later a murder that is connected to Nora's family.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart, Elissa Landi

Votes: 8,728

35. Another Thin Man (1939)

Passed | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in new parents Nick and Nora to sort things out.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey, Otto Kruger

Votes: 5,924

36. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

Passed | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick and Nora are at their wisecracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race track.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson, Donna Reed

Votes: 4,887

37. The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)

Approved | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick and Nora visit Nick's hometown, and end up involved in a murder.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Lucile Watson, Gloria DeHaven

Votes: 4,518

38. Song of the Thin Man (1947)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

Nick and Nora investigate the murder of a bandleader in New York.

Director: Edward Buzzell | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Keenan Wynn, Dean Stockwell

Votes: 4,073

39. The Thin Man (1957–1959)

30 min | Comedy, Mystery

Amateur detectives Nick and Nora Charles investigate various crimes.

Stars: Peter Lawford, Phyllis Kirk, Asta, Jack Albertson

Votes: 181

40. The Maltese Falcon (1931)

Passed | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Bebe Daniels, Ricardo Cortez, Dudley Digges, Una Merkel

Votes: 2,553

41. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 142,025 | Gross: $2.11M

42. Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger

Votes: 11,019

43. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 74,400 | Gross: $6.54M

44. Lady in the Lake (1946)

Approved | 105 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

The lady editor of a crime magazine hires Philip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss. The private detective soon finds himself involved in murder.

Director: Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully

Votes: 4,634

45. The Brasher Doubloon (1947)

Approved | 72 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Detective Philip Marlowe encounters a variety of characters while checking on why Leslie Murdock stole a rare doubloon from his mother.

Director: John Brahm | Stars: George Montgomery, Nancy Guild, Conrad Janis, Roy Roberts

Votes: 813

47. Marlowe (1969)

PG | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A young woman from Kansas hires LA private detective Philip Marlowe to find her missing brother.

Director: Paul Bogart | Stars: James Garner, Gayle Hunnicutt, Carroll O'Connor, Rita Moreno

Votes: 2,878

48. The Long Goodbye (1973)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama