KID GLOVE KILLER. MGM, 1942. Van Heflin, Marsha Hunt, Lee Bowman, Cliff Clark, Eddie Quillan, John Litel, Cathy Lewis. Director: Fred Zinneman. Shown at Cinecon 27, Hollywood CA, September 1993.

   Marsha Hunt, who co-starred with Van Heflin and Lee Bowman in this crackerjack MGM programmer, was sitting a couple of rows in front of me for the screening. She looked about forty when she turned around to acknowledge the audience applause and she gave the best interview I heard at the convention, answering questions precisely, fully and intelligently.

   In Kid Glove Killer she played the assistant of a crime-lab doctor (Van Heflin), with her attentive suitor and eventual chief suspect in a bombing-murder played by Lee Bowman, perennial lose-the-girl second lead in romantic comedies.

   This was Fred Zinneman’s first directorial stint and Hunt described how he won over the entire crew on the first day of the shooting with a short speech in which he welcomed suggestions from his experienced cast and crew.

   Zinneman, of course, went on to a distinguished career, as did Van Heflin, while Hunt, when her movie career faded in the early fifties, moved on to TV and Broadway. She was at Cinecon to sign copies of her new book, Marsha Hunt’s Hollywood. She seemed genuinely touched by the audience’s appreciation and a nice person into the bargain.

   Luckily, the film was another sleeper that everybody seemed to enjoy. All that wonderful MGM polish lavished on a B-movie script. Quite a tribute to the old studio system.