Bureau of Missing Persons (1933) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bureau of Missing Persons (1933)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Although claiming to be based on actual cases, this mild crime drama appears to have been derived more from a screenwriter's manual than a police blotter. Newly transferred from robbery to missing persons, glib Butch Saunders (Pat O'Brien) is like the proverbial bull in a china shop at first, but quickly gets the hang of things. In walks pretty Norma Roberts (Bette Davis), claiming to be missing her new husband, whom she accuses of shipping out. Despite being married to nagging Belle (Glenda Farrell), Butch falls in love with the dame, until, that is, he learns the truth. Norma's last name isn't Roberts at all, but Williams, and she is wanted in Chicago for the murder of her boss, Therme Roberts. Begging Butch to cover for her -- "just for a little while. I'll explain everything later" -- Norma does a disappearing act herself and makes it look like suicide. But Butch refuses to buy the act and with the help of his boss, Captain Webb (Lewis Stone), the fast-talking cop arranges for a corpse to be lying in state at a local funeral parlor under the name of Norma Williams, hoping to flush out the real Norma. Norma walks right into the trap with another cockamamie story at the ready. But this time, it may just be the truth and Butch becomes determined to clear the lady of murder.


Bette Davis
as Norma Roberts
Pat O'Brien
as Detective Butch Saunders
Lewis Stone
as Police Captain Webb
Glenda Farrell
as Belle Howard Saunders
Allen Jenkins
as Detective Joe Musik
Ruth Donnelly
as Gwendolyn `Pete' Harris
Hugh Herbert
as Detective Hank Slade
Alan Dinehart
as Therme Roberts
Tad Alexander
as Caesar Paul
Wallis Clark
as Mr. Paul
Adrian Morris
as Irish Conlin
Clay Clement
as Burton C. Kingman
Henry Kolker
as Theodore Arno
George Chandler
as Homer Howard
Grace Hayle
as Bureau Client
Christian Rub
as Apartment House Manager
Dewey Robinson
as Waterfront Diner Customer
Hobart Cavanaugh
as Mr. Harris
Edward Keane
as Hotel Manager
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Critic Reviews for Bureau of Missing Persons

All Critics (3)

Off-beat tale of police investigation benefits from supporting actors.

December 27, 2018 | Full Review…

Terrific, fast-paced pre-Code cynical comedy melodrama.

May 24, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

So the story's not perfect! But this was a fun programmer, fast-paced and a typical Warner's potboiler of that time period.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: C | Full Review…

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