Jinx Winslow

Created by Kay Krausse

“Oh Please Miss Detective… I Want To Be Arrested By You!”
— the tagline

In the fast-paced Private Detective (1939, Warner Brothers), Jane Wyman plays MYRNA “JINX” WINSLOW, a pert’n’pretty female private eye with the gift of gab, who joins forces with Lieutenant Jim Rickey to investigate the suspicious murder of an oil heir, whose ex-wife and her lover are the principal suspects. There’s also a sizable trust fund, a custody battle, a deserted mansion at midnight, a chauffeur who likes to drink and (of course) romantic entanglements between Myrna and Jim to keep things moving.

Sound familiar? Wyman had already played Torchy Blane in 1939 (replacing series star Glenda Farrell), and impressed the studio heads enough that they rewarded her with this starring role, which was essentially a photocopy of the Torchy role.

EVIDENCE

  • “Jack, when are you going to use your head for something besides a place to put your hat?”
    — Jinx

UNDER OATH

  • “Private Detective runs 57 minutes-and “runs” is the right word here.”
    — Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

FILMS

  • PRIVATE DETECTIVE
    (aka “Lady Dick”)

    (1939, Warner Bros.)
    56 minutes, black & white
    Tagline: “Oh Please Miss Detective… I Want To Be Arrested By You!”
    Based on the story “Invitation to Murder” by Kay Krausse
    Screenplay by Earle Snell and Raymond L. Schrock
    Directed by Noel M. Smith
    Cinematography by Ted D. McCord
    Original Music by Rex Dunn
    Produced by Bryan Foy
    Executive producers: Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner
    Starring Jane Wyman as MYRNA “JINX” WINSLOW
    with Dick Foran as Lieutenant Jim Rickey
    Also starring Gloria Dickson, Max ‘Slapsie Maxie’ Rosenbloom, John Ridgely, Morgan Conway, John Eldredge, Joseph Crehan, William B. Davidson, Selmer Jackson, Vera Lewis, Julie Stevens, Jack Mower, Henry Blair, Earl Dwire, Willie Best
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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