The Locked Door (1929)

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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 340 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 7 critic

On her first anniversary Ann Reagan finds that her sister-in-law is involved with a shady character from her own past, and determines to intervene.


(as Geo. Fitzmaurice)


(play), (screen adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
William 'Stage' Boyd ...
Helen Reagan
Harry Stubbs ...
Harry Mestayer ...
District Attorney
Mack Swain ...
Hotel Proprietor
Telephone Girl (as Zazu Pitts)
George Bunny ...
The Valet


While Ann and the son of her boss are out on a ship beyond the 12-mile limit, which allows liquor to be consumed, the son, Frank makes unwanted advances towards her. While she is fighting him off, the ship is raided and the passengers herded ashore. Eighteen months later Ann is celebrating her one year anniversary to Lawrence Reagan when her young sister-in-law announces she is in love, and it turns out to be Frank. Ann decides to save her husband's sister from a fate worse than death, and goes to Frank's apartment to prevent an elopement. Lawrence also goes to the apartment that night, and everyone is entangled in a crime of passion. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A drama of sacrifice and supreme love


Film-Noir | Mystery





Release Date:

16 November 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det tredie Skud  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Other than one bit part, this is Barbara Stanwyck's feature film debut. See more »


Frank Devereaux: Shoot yourself in the head, and if you live, you can become a Waiter.
See more »


Remake of The Sign on the Door (1921) See more »


I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling
Written by Fats Waller and Harry Link
First tune played on the boat
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User Reviews

Good adaptation by the great C. Gardner Sullivan

Someone referred to this as "stagy," and was more correct than perhaps he knew: "The Locked Door" was originally a stage play, and this movie was an adaptation, a good one in my opinion.

C. Gardner Sullivan had been writing scenarios and inter-titles since at least 1912, and is honored among aficionados who know his work from those earliest years of motion pictures.

The four top-billed players were also veterans, except for Barbara Stanwyck who has only one previous credit.

Rod La Rocque had been in movies since at least 1914, and put in 12 more years.

Betty Bronson became a huge star with her seventh role, Peter Pan in the movie of that name, and reportedly was chosen for the part by James M. Barrie, the author, himself.

William Boyd, known here at IMDb as "William 'Stage' Boyd," is the primary reason the Screen Actors Guild usually forbids a member having the same name as another, Harrison Ford being the only exception that comes immediately to my mind.

This particular Boyd was busted on something shameful and the picture of "the other" William Boyd, who later became very famous as Hopalong Cassidy, was published in a newspaper, almost destroying his career.

In this cast there are lots of "withs" who help make this a very good movie, including Mack Swain and Zasu Pitts.

The story is not really a mystery, at least not to us, because we see everything that happens, but it is a drama, with conflict and character change.

I'm reminded of the aphorism that people in small towns buy their local paper not to see who did what, because everyone knows, but to see who gets blamed.

That's the premise of this story, and it's well done, plausible by the standards of its time.

There is also a good point for modern society: Laws against consensual acts, such as gambling or ingestion of certain substances, in this case, alcohol, cause more problems than they solve.

"The Locked Door" is good cinema, especially for anyone who wants to watch the evolution of the art.

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