Time to Kill
Directed byHerbert I. Leeds
Written byBrett Halliday (characters)
Screenplay byClarence Upson Young
Based onThe High Window
by Raymond Chandler
Produced bySol M. Wurtzel
StarringLloyd Nolan
Heather Angel
CinematographyCharles Clarke
Edited byAlfred Day
Music by
Distributed by20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • December 24, 1942 (1942-12-24) (New York City)
  • January 22, 1943 (1943-01-22) (United States)
Running time
61 mins.
CountryUnited States

Time to Kill is an American mystery film[1] directed by Herbert I. Leeds.[2] It is the first screen adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel The High Window,[3][4] which was remade five years later as The Brasher Doubloon. The detective was changed from Philip Marlowe to Michael Shayne for this version, with Lloyd Nolan playing the part and Heather Angel in a rare turn as leading lady. It is also the final Michael Shayne film starring Lloyd Nolan made at Fox, who closed down their popular B movie unit which included Mr. Moto, Charlie Chan, and the Cisco Kid. In 1946 the series would be reborn at Producers Releasing Corporation with Hugh Beaumont taking over the role.


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In order of billing:[5]



20th Century Fox bought Raymond Chandler's novel The High Window for $3,500.[6] RKO Pictures purchased the rights to Chandler's 1940 novel Farewell, My Lovely and made 1944's Murder, My Sweet which would have the character of Philip Marlowe.[6][7]


David Raksin was uncredited for his work on Time to Kill although the book Film Composers in America : A Filmography, 1911-1970 credits him.[8] Emil Newman is credited with the film score of Superior "Michael Shayne" thrillers: Murders surround theft of valuable coin.[4]


Time to Kill was written by Clarence Upson Young, based on Raymond Chandler's novel The High Window.[3][4] Brett Halliday wrote a series of books with Michael Shayne as the lead character whereas Chandler's was Philip Marlowe. 20th Century Fox was looking for detective film series after the success of Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto film series in 1940.[9][10]


Time to Kill's cinematographer was Charles Clarke.[4]


Critical response

In 1978's The Detective in Hollywood by Jon Tuska claimed it "is in every way superior to the later remake, The Brasher Doubloon".[7]



  1. ^ Backer 2010, p. 321.
  2. ^ Chandler, Raymond (1946) [1942]. Time to Kill. (Cleveland) [ New York City ]: (World Publishing Company) [ Alfred A. Knopf ]. ASIN B0007ED26I.
  3. ^ a b Phillips 2000, p. xvii.
  4. ^ a b c d Young 2000, p. 642.
  5. ^ Phillips 2000, p. 288.
  6. ^ a b Townsend 2010, pp. 3–4.
  7. ^ a b Pitts 1991, p. 93.
  8. ^ McCarty 2000, p. 515.
  9. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2015). Turner Classic Movies Presents Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965 (3rd ed.). New York City: Plume. ISBN 978-0147516824.
  10. ^ Manchel 2001, p. 1198.