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24 Hours (1931)

 -  Drama  -  10 October 1931 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 148 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

A nightclub singer is carrying on an affair with a married man. When she is found murdered, her lover is suspected of the crime.

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(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: 24 Hours (1931)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Jim Towner
...
Fanny Towner
...
Rosie Duggan
...
Tony Bruzzi
George Barbier ...
Hector Champion
Adrienne Ames ...
Ruby Wintryingham
Minor Watson ...
David Melbourne
Charlotte Granville ...
Sairna Jerrold
...
Mrs. Dacklehorse
Wade Boteler ...
Pat Healy
Bob Kortman ...
Dave the Slapper
Malcolm Waite ...
Murphy
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Police Commissioner
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Storyline

A nightclub singer is carrying on an affair with a married man. When she is found murdered, her lover is suspected of the crime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twenty-Four Hours  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eugene Pallette was replaced by Regis Toomey before shooting began. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another forgotten Pre-Code gem
12 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The other reviewers were on the mark on this one. It is an excellent Pre-Code drama. It catches you from the opening credits, superimposed over theatrical-looking models of the New York City skyline. You see the time on a big clock tower, and the 24 hours of the title starts there. All the action fits into that time frame, and the film ends with a shot of the same tower, with the same time as at the beginning. They sure fit a lot of excitement into that one-day period.

Brook and Francis are the stars of the film, but Hopkins really steals the show as the nightclub singer. You often read of Hopkins' difficult side- that she wasn't easy to work with, etc. And she and Bette Davis seem to have had a real hate-fest going (but, of course, Davis was reputed to be difficult, too). Whatever the truth of all that, I have always liked Hopkins a lot. She gave some wonderful performances, especially in that Pre-Code era. Her Ivy in "Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is probably her best, but she was good in everything. "The Story of Temple Drake," this film, and many others. And she was great in comedy films, too. See "The Smiling Lieutenant" and "Trouble in Paradise," for example. The fact that such a master as Ernst Lubitsch put her in a number of his films says something.

Kay Francis was always good in these weepie kinds of roles. She really patented the part of the woman who is unhappy in her marriage, and looks for love elsewhere. This part is along the lines of the many films she made for Paramount and Warners, and she's very effective and believable here. I have mixed feelings about Clive Brook as an actor (as a man, he was reportedly a great guy). In many of his parts, he is the stiffest of stiff-upper lip gentlemen. As in "Shanghai Express." You kind of want to shake him, to get some kind of reaction out of him. But he was very popular at that time, and people seemed to like him. He could be very good, when he broke that frozen mask, and showed some emotion. He has a touching scene here, when he finds Hopkins the morning after his drunken adventures.

Lucille La Verne, one of the all-time great character actresses, is wonderful here, as always. She had such a distinctive face and voice. You can see why Disney used her as the model and voice of the witch in "Snow White." She was good in everything, from the woman who hides, and cheats, the down-and-out Rico in "Little Caesar," to her iconic part as the pal of Madame De Farge in "A Tale of Two Cities." You know, one of the ladies who sits knitting at the base of the guillotine, cackling and jeering as the aristocrats have their heads cut off. That part is probably the one everyone remembers her for. Her bio on IMDb.com is very interesting- a longtime legitimate stage actress, etc.

Director Gering's bio is interesting, too. A member of a Soviet delegation to the States, who stayed, and made a career for himself. He made some interesting films, too. "The Devil and the Deep," "Thirty Day Princess," and some other excellent films.

These early-Talkie films are so interesting, for a myriad of reasons. Aside from having great actors, production values, good directors, etc., they are also interesting for their historical and sociological insights into those times. It really is like peering through a kind of time- machine window, as if you're looking in on people from another era, or almost from another dimension. It really is fascinating. I also think these early sound movies, with their short running times, are like filmed short stories. Most of them run a little over an hour, and they manage to fit so much into that brief time. New movie makers could learn a lot on how to cut to the chase in such a short time, and still make a good film.

Anyway, check it out. This is a fascinating Pre-Code film, almost a blueprint for the late 40s Film Noirs. And it has some great performances.


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