Barbara Stanwyck plays wealthy heiress Miss Manton, who sees an old friend drive away from an empty house one night, and when she goes inside, finds a dead body. She rushes out to call the cops, and by the time they reaches the scene, the body's gone.
At that point, I figured it was going to be a movie about her being caught up in a string of murders, while the killer tries to make her look nuts to discredit her. But that's not it. A very young Henry Fonda plays a newspaper editor who writes an unflattering article about Miss Manton and her friends flaunting their wealth and wasting police time, and ends up in her crosshairs.
Manton convinces her friends to help her investigate, despite the police alternating between trying to warn them off, pin the murders on them, or use Manton as a decoy to lure out the killer. Fonda keeps trying to get involved, and keeps his getting ass kicked by the society gals.
You know, some people would pay good money to be beaten and tied up by a lot of rich, attractive young women. All he has to do is start talking.
Fonda apparently decides he likes rich women who aggravate and confound him, and tries his best to woo Stanwyck, who is mostly annoyed by his attempts to "protect" her.
It's a fun movie. The murder mystery is fairly clever, with clues and false leads. Stanwyck and her friends are hilarious, excited to investigate the murder, until they start running into actual dead bodies. The lead cop on the investigation is played by Sam Levene, who usually plays smart-mouth, dim-witted cops. He's as out-matched in the battle of wits by Stanwyck as Fonda is, which is entertaining. Stanwyck plays Manton as determined and clever, but not brilliant or fearless. She gets scared and nervous, but she's too curious and stubborn to give up.
I don't know if I buy the romantic tension between Stanwyck and Fonda, but I've mentioned before I'm not a big fan of relationships based on two characters who fight and bicker all the time. Fonda's good at playing a guy who's besotted with a lady that also frustrates the hell out of him. It's funny watching them argue and annoy each other, at least.