The Lone Wolf Strikes (1940)

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(Image via Movie Poster Shop)

Michael Lanyard (Warren William) is a reformed crook who now finds himself in the business of recovering goods rather than stealing them. One day, he’s approached by old pal Stanley Young (Addison Richards), who needs help finding a necklace that was stolen from Phillip Jordan (Roy Gordon). Phillip, sadly, is not around to hunt for the necklace himself. He’s been murdered.

The case should be a breeze for Michael, but things get complicated when Delia Jordan (Joan Perry), the murdered man’s daughter, sticks her meddling toes in the mystery pool.

Sidney Salkow directs 1940’s The Lone Wolf Strikes.

This was the second film to star Warren William in the “Lone Wolf” detective role. The first with William was The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, released in 1939, though several other actors had already taken on the character — including Frances Lederer and Melvyn Douglas! TCM notes that this series was quite popular with both audiences and critics, receiving much higher acclaim than similar detective series.

While I found the film very enjoyable, I don’t see what sets it apart from any other detective series in such a way that critics and audiences would go mad for it. Warren William, however, is great in the role.

William comes across as cool, calm, and collected — a detective ready to take on anything that comes his way, without so much as breaking a sweat! But he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and really dig into his cases either.

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(Image via warrenwilliam.com)

One of my favorite aspects of the film is how he always seems to be one step ahead of absolutely everyone. Such a smart and suave detective!

Character actor and TMP favorite Eric Blore also brightens the film with one his trademark cynical sidekick performances. His character is that of Jamison, the detective’s valet.

The Lone Wolf Strikes is definitely worth a watch for detective/mystery buffs, and especially for fans of its leading actor, Warren William. I, for one, will be seeking out the ’39 film, which I have never seen. Co-starring Ida Lupino and Rita Hayworth, it can only be even more enjoyable than this installment!

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