Movie Review: Nancy Drew....Reporter (1939)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1939 movie starring Bonita Granville and Frankie Thomas.

Synopsis: Nancy Drew enters the local newspaper’s amateur reporter contest and, not liking her assignment, decides to clear Eula Denning of murder charges instead. With the help of boyfriend Ted Nickerson, she searches for a tin can that may have the real murderer’s fingerprints on it and hatches a plan to make the killer reveal himself.

Who's In It?


I came across this movie a few days ago and, since it was raining this morning before work (meaning I couldn't take my walk), I decided to watch it. This is the second Bonita Granville Nancy Drew movie I've seen and hoped this movie would be as good as the first one I watched. As it turns out, I think it was actually better.

As far as murder mysteries go, this movie did lack a little something. Basically, there wasn't much of a mystery at all. The movie reveals the real killer and his motive within the first few minutes and, as it turns out, Nancy (Granville) didn't even need to do much searching for the canister because Eula Denning (Betty Amann) told her where to find it. That being said, this film did turn out to be a charming movie.

I think the thing I liked best about this film is, even though it was a murder mystery, it managed to remain very upbeat. I especially loved how Nancy managed to manipulate all the men she was around, including her boyfriend, Frankie (Thomas), and her father (Litel). This actually resulted in quite a few funny moments, my favorite being when she accidentally caused Frankie to wind up in a boxing match.

Also, while the movie lacked a real mystery, there was still just enough twists and turns to keep it from being too predictable. Some of these were a bit more serious, such as when Nancy and Frankie end up with a gun on them. Others, such as the scene in the Chinese restaurant, were funny. And, the overall movie was entertaining as a result.

I'm still a bit undecided about the two kids in the movie, Killer (Jones) and Mary (Lee), mostly because they really didn't have much to do with Nancy's case. But, I will admit, even though they were annoying at times, they did manage to make some of the scenes (such as the one in the Chinese restaurant) funnier. So, in this case at least, I don't think they hurt my overall opinion of this film.

Final Opinion

If you like a good mystery, you might be a little disappointed by this film. However, I do think the excellent story, combined with some pretty funny and upbeat moments do make it worth taking the time to watch.

My Grade: A

More By This Writer

Love Poems for My Wife

When Steve first met Cynthia back in 2000, he knew she was the woman for him and proposed to her just three months after their first date. Married to her since 2003, he has ofte...

View on Amazon

The Icky, Sticky Mess on the Floor

A young boy discovers a mess in on his kitchen floor one morning and, before he knows it, is trapped as the icky, sticky mess grows larger. Can his mother save the day? The book...

View on Amazon

Updated: 06/23/2016, StevenHelmer
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
DerdriuMarriner on 03/31/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system does have Nancy Drew...Reporter amongst its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So I expect to be watching this movie soon, sometime after Lent ends.

Was it that the mystery was sacrificed for an emphasis more on how one goes about assembling clues? The learning experience of the procedural aspects sometimes would get lost on audiences if the mystery is too complicated.

You might also like

Movie Review: Son of Frankenstein (1939)

A review of the 1939 monster movie starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Movie Review: The Mummy's Hand (1940)

A review of the 1940 monster movie starring Dick Foran and Peggy Moran.

Movie Review: The Sea Hawk (1940)

A review of the 1940 pirate movie that pairs Errol Flynn and Claude Rains.

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...