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How to Be a Detective (1936) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • A man is giving a lecture on how to be a detective. The first section of the lecture deals with identifying criminals, where he asks a sketch artist to compile a composite of the complete criminal based on the stereotypical features of several different known criminals, and the types of crimes they generally commit. The second section deals with how to catch a criminal. As luck would have it, he gets a call about a crime, which he uses as real life case study. Luck is perhaps what he really needs to catch the criminal. The third section deals with getting a confession. He demonstrates his approach to questioning a suspect, where he often gets more information than he anticipates. The fourth and final section deals with how to get a conviction. Although that is a role of the police, a good detective always likes to have a hand in that conviction. The lecturer shows definitively in this section why crime does not pay.

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  • Benchley's lecture on detective work includes topics such as: types of criminals to be detected; getting a confession; and escorting a criminal to prison. Guess who ends up behind bars.


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