Russ Ashton

Created by Myron A. Nunes

Tom Neal (of Detour fame) starred as private eye RUSS ASHTON, head of The Ace Detective Agency, in two supposedly enjoyable little B romps from 1947, The Case of the Baby-Sitter and The Hat-Box Mystery.

In the fast-paced The Case of the Baby-Sitter, Russ is hired to "baby sit" the child of a Duke and a Duchess (George Meeker and Rebel Randell). In reality, however, the Duke and Duchess are jewel thieves, and the baby is a kidnap victim. What they really want is for Russ to protect them from a rival gang.

In The Hat-Box Mystery, one of Russ' ops, Susan Hart (Pamela Blake), is given a camera concealed in a hat box, and assigned to secretly take a picture of a woman. When the woman is killed, Susan is charged with murder, so Russ and his less-than-useful assistant, Harvard, come to the rescue.

Much of the same cast is featured in both films, with Allen Jenkins and Pamela Blake appearing as Russ' assistants.

FILMS

  • THE CASE OF THE BABY-SITTER.. Buy the DVD
    (1947, Screen Art)
    41 minutes
    Based on a story by Myron A. Nunes
    Screenplay by Carl K. Hittleman and Ande Lamb
    Directed by Lambert Hillyer 
    Produced by Carl K. Hittleman
    Executive producer: Maury Nunes
    Starring Tom Neal as RUSS ASHTON
    with Allen Jenkins as Harvard Quinlan
    and Pamela Blake as Susan Hart
    Also starring Virginia Sale, George Meeker, Rebel Randall, Keith Richards, Lona Andre, Crane Whitley, Eddie Kane, Mickey Simpson, Bill Kennedy, Polly Van, Tom Kennedy, Phil Arnold, and Joseph De La Cruz as "The Kidnapped Baby"

  • THE HAT-BOX MYSTERY.. Buy the DVD
    (1947, Screen Art)
    44 minutes
    Based on a story by Myron A. Nunes and Carl K. Hittleman
    Screenplay by Carl K. Hittleman and Don Martin
    Directed by Lambert Hillyer 
    Produced by Carl K. Hittleman
    Executive producer: Maury Nunes
    Starring Tom Neal as RUSS ASHTON
    with Allen Jenkins as Harvard Quinlan
    and Pamela Blake as Susan Hart
    Also starring Virginia Sale. Edward Keane, Leonard Penn, Lona Andre, Zon Murray , Tom Kennedy, Jack Cheatham, William Ruhl, Al Hill, Bob Nunes 

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. And a tip of the fedora to Dale Stoyer.


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