COVER UP (1949)

The whole town’s in on this Cover Up! Insurance investigator Sam Donovan (Dennis O’Keefe) is in a small town at Christmas to look into a claim regarding a Roger Phillips who committed suicide – or was it murder. The poster above has William Bendix looking like a gangster and he gets billing above O’Keefe.


Dennis O’Keefe

Donovan’s company will be making a big pay-out, so he just wants to confirm what happened. Unfortunately the local sheriff ,Larry Best (William Bendix) isn’t helpful. The gun used in the suicide has disappeared. Best’s laconic  response is .”It’ll turn up.” The coroner is out of town. There’s no police report. All highly suspicious.

William Bendix

The sheriff smokes a pipe – that usually means the character’s a good guy!


Donovan is smitten with Anita Weatherby (Barbara Britten) whose father is a businessman in the town. (Barbara reminded me of Joan Leslie.)


Doro Merande

Doro Merande is very good as the protective Weatherby housekeeper,Hilda..


Virginia Christine

Virginia Christine plays Margaret Baker,the beneficiary of the insurance policy. Did she and her husband have anything to do with the death. But she insists it was suicide – she’d get more if it was murder.


Art Baker, William Bendix, Dennis O’Keefe

The sheriff finally produces two bullets which seem to have come from a luger – Anita’s father Stu Weatherby (Art Baker) owns such a gun. But so does the sheriff.

So, plenty of suspects as Donovan tries to unravel what happened. The sheriff tells Donovan about a case he had – a man who was a blight on the whole community. He hurt a lot of people and there was another man who loved the town and couldn’t stand it any longer.

The ending isn’t entirely satisfactory, but the plot is quite good .

Paul E Burns

The shop owner who found the body,Mr.Abbey (Paul E. Burns) says he didn’t see any gun. I only recall Paul E. Burns playing bit parts ,mainly as a drunk. It was nice to see him in this as a solid citizen.

According to IMDB, Dennis O’Keefe wrote the story under a pen name, Jonathan Rix.

The DVD cover is also a mystery! Anyone know what film the front cover shows?  or the back cover?


4 responses »

  1. That DVD cover is funny!!! I see Mike Mazurki on there. I like the line you have here “The sheriff smokes a pipe – that usually means the character’s a good guy!” Even Barbara Britton’s name is incorrect on the front cover and correct on the back. Who does these things???? Any one of us film buffs could come up with something much better than plenty of these covers. Anyway, glad you liked it too.

  2. Isnt it just! I recognised Mazurki and also Raymond Burr. Wish I knew who that woman was with Burr. I didn’t see the misspelling of Barbara’s name.

  3. The DVD cover combined with the Christmas Tree in Cover-Up makes this dandy Christmas treat a double mystery!

    • Gosh,Paddy (hope it’s ok to call you informally), wonder how you came across this review from 2017. Yes, it could be described as a Xmas film. I can’t even remember the ending!

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