Seeing through Deception, Go-Get – ‘Em, Haines

The Closed mystery film genre focus on solving a crime through detective work and does not reveal the identity of the individual who committed the act. Audience have to pay attention to the plot to see clues of the criminal mind, however, they can be mislead through red herrings such as characters who have motives to commit a crime but didn’t. Murder is a often seen in the plot of the genre and its up to the protagonist to string together the leads to discover the perpetrator.

Sam Newfield has directed Undercover Men (1934), Bulldog Courage (1935), The Fighting Deputy (1937), The Fighting Renegade (1939), Tiger Fangs (1943), Wolf Dog (1958), Flaming Frontier (1958), and other films.

In the film Go-Get – ‘Em, Haines (1936) the pursuit of the truth and justice is conveyed through Steve Haines as he works to prove the innocence of a man wrongfully accused of a crime. The story shows that no matter what no one can escape from justice after committing a wrong and expect to have a end with peace of mind.

In the office of The Editor Walter Bernard (Ernest Hilliard), Steve Haines (Bill Boyd) is assigned to get a quote from John Grahams in regards to the defunct electric company. Steve reluctantly goes to Graham as he has football tickets. He rushes to Grahams’ residence by taxi when John Graham (Lee Shumway) leaves and Steve follows him to a cruise ship that’s set for sail.

Onboard he runs into Gloria Palmer (Eleanor Hunt) a former lover of Grahams and also Tony Palmer, an acquaintance of Steve. On the deck he shares a brief exchange with Jane Kent (Sheila Terry) who initially snubs him as she doesn’t know him. Steve after failing to find a room in the sailing ship helps a klutzy passenger up who invites him to stay at his cabin and he accepts.

Meanwhile, John Grahams is in his cabin counting money when The Steward (Louis Natheaux) enters the room with a drink. Angered that the steward entered while he was handling the money in his suitcase he splashes the drink at the steward demanding that the drink wasn’t the one he ordered. Peering outside from a the cabin window Tony spots the money that John has with him.

Steve encounters Henry Kent (Clarence Geldert) his favorite actor and greets him and then makes his way to Jane who’s waiting for her father, Henry to which surprises Steve. Steve suggests that the cruise should have a play and gets everyone on it the act, in hopes to get Grahams out in the open.

During the prep for the play one of the actors indicates that he’s unable to perform and Grahams is asked to participate to which he hesitantly complies. Before the play begins the lights are cut and a gun prop is switched with a real one. When Henry enters his scene, he fires the gun at Grahams who collapses and the audience and actors believe its part of the act. Gloria discovers blood on Grahams and the play is stopped as Captain Ward (Lloyd Ingraham) wants to start an investigation. Henry is considered a main suspect as he fired the gun and was one of the people Grahams cheated money from.

Go-Get-Em-Haines
Go-Get – ‘Em Haines (1936) Cover

After interviewing several persons of interest Steve believes that Tony is the one responsible for Grahams’ death, However, after encountering a steward who came out of Grahams’ cabin, Steve gives chase. As the pursuit ensues the steward tries to evade Steve who manages to tear a piece of the uniform and takes it to be identified.

Eventually, Steve assembles the Captain and the suspects in a room and tells them that he has a witness who’s recovering under a doctor and can identify the killer. Steve steps out to gauge the reactions of the group then confronts the Captain in his quarters who confesses to switching the guns as he was scammed by Grahams. Shortly after solving the mystery Steve writes to Walter to tell him about the cruise and his plans to marry Jane as she sits with him as he writes the letter.

As a reporter Steve Haines is accustomed to conducting investigative work through research and interviews. Steve Haines follows the Sherlock Holmes archetype in detective work and use of deductions. The sense of humor of Haines makes his character three dimensional as he teases his acquaintance and his editor in the film. For 56 minutes this black and white film will provide plenty of red herrings that will keep the audience guessing until the end of the film.

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