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Nine Lives Are Not Enough (1941)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 September 1941 (USA)
An investigative crime reporter helps the cops solve the case of a missing tycoon who's later found dead in a cheap boarding house.


Fred Niblo Jr. (screenplay), Jerome Odlum (from the novel by)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Reagan ... Matt Sawyer
Joan Perry ... Jane Abbott
James Gleason ... Sergeant Daniels
Howard Da Silva ... J.B. Murray - City Editor (as Howard da Silva)
Faye Emerson ... Rose Chadwick
Edward Brophy ... Officer Slattery
Peter Whitney ... Roy Slocum
Charles Drake ... 'Snappy' Lucas
Vera Lewis ... Mrs. Slocum
Ben Welden ... Moxie Karper
Howard Hickman ... Colonel Andrews
Cliff Clark Cliff Clark ... Lieutenant Buckley
Tom Stevenson Tom Stevenson ... Charles Sanborn - Chauffeur
Paul Phillips Paul Phillips ... Hot-Foot
Joseph Crehan ... Yates


Boy crusader Matt works for the Daily News and always breaks the big story. The only trouble is that he usually has the wrong information and the paper must print a retraction. But this time he thinks that he is on the right track. On patrol with his cop friends, they find the body of millionaire Edward Abbott in a cheap boarding house. It could be suicide or murder and Matt goes with murder, but the inquest goes with suicide. So Matt is out of a job, but in love with Jane and goes with his hunches - which put him in the middle of more killings. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Reporter chases killer ... and vice-versa !


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 September 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nouă vieţi nu sunt destule See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Friday 21 September 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Cincinnati Friday 12 October 1956 on WKRC (Channel 12), in San Francisco Sunday 14 October 1956 on KPIX (Channel 5), in Albuquerque Friday 26 October 1956 on KOAT (Channel 7), and in Bloomington IN Saturday 17 November 1956 on WTTV (Channel 4). See more »


In the car chase scene Col. Andrews (Howard Hickman) is shown brandishing a revolver with a four inch barrel. Later the barrel is clearly a six inch barrel. It switches back and forth a couple of times. See more »


'Snappy' Saunders: Oh, some day I'm gonna get even with you. I'm gonna dance on your grave. I'm gonna lock you in a burning building and record your screams on a phonograph record.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title "Nine Lives Are Not Enough" is the jumbo headline on the bundle of newspapers being opened. Then, the cast credits are boxed "adverts" on the inside pages of the paper. See more »

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User Reviews

B mystery
5 July 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Nine Lives Are Not Enough" is a light 1941 B mystery starring Ronald Reagan, Joan Perry, James Gleason, Howard da Silva, and Faye Emerson.

Reagan plays a newspaper writer, Matt, who prides himself on getting the big stories, but he's a little too quick on the draw and brings in the wrong info. His latest malfeasance has caused him to be demoted to riding in a patrol car with two officers. As luck would have it, they are called in on a dead body. Turns out it's a millionaire, Edward Abbott, who for some reason was holed up in a boarding house. Was it suicide or murder? Matt is sure it's murder; unfortunately, the inquest decision is suicide. But Matt is not convinced. Out of a job and falling for the victim's daughter (Joan Perry), Matt keeps investigating, and the bodies continue to fall around him.

This was a perfect role for Ronald Reagan, who had a lightweight, charming presence on the screen. He's so good here, handling the rapid-fire dialog and some slapstick with ease. The whole cast is good, and the mystery moves quickly and keeps you interested. I particularly loved James Gleason, a policeman who is saddled with the worst cop ever (Edward Brophy).

Joan Perry became Mrs. Harry Cohn and retired. And we know what happened to Reagan. Years ago, someone mentioned that even if you didn't like his politics, once you met him, he would charm you. The person she was talking to said, "Never," to which the other person replied. "You would. I've seen it happen many times." I believe it.

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