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Murder at Midnight (1931)

Unrated | | Mystery | 1 September 1931 (USA)
Murder sparks the search for the killer.

Director:

(as Frank Strayer)

Writers:

(story) (as W. Scott Darling), (story) (as Frank Strayer) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Millie Scripps
Hale Hamilton ...
Phillip Montrose
...
Inspector Taylor
...
Aunt Julia Gray Kennedy
Brandon Hurst ...
Lawrence
...
Walter Grayson
...
Colton
Tyrell Davis ...
The Englishman
Aileen Carlyle ...
Ella (as Aileen Carlisle)
...
Jim Kennedy
...
Duncan Channing
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Storyline

Wealthy Mr. Kennedy shoots his secretary, Channing, during a parlor game, but it turns out the gun was loaded with real bullets. Luckily, criminologist Phillip Montrose is on hand to help the police. When Kennedy quickly ends up dead as well, the police think it's a tidy murder-suicide, but the family lawyer knows of a letter that voiced Kennedy's suspicions about someone who was out to get him. Soon, the cops are on the trail of a ruthless and clever killer who is one step ahead of even Montrose. Written by D Jensen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | b movie | See All (2) »

Taglines:

A shadowy hand through a veiled door--and doom! A parlor game and death a player! A telephone jingle--and eternity! See more »

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Monster Kills  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Photophone Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its first telecast Tuesday 21 May 1940 on New York City's pioneer, and still experimental television station W2XBS. See more »

Quotes

Detective Carter: [about the butler's body] Is he dead?
Inspector Taylor: No.... It's his day off.
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Connections

Referenced in Pugwall: Extra-Terrestrials (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Interesting Mystery Story Makes Up For An Otherwise Routine Production
16 September 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

The mystery story in "Murder at Midnight" is an interesting one, with some good plot turns, plenty of suspects, and a competition between the police and some amateur sleuths to see who can solve the case first. The story is good enough to make up for the rest of the production, which is routine or somewhat weak in several other respects.

The story starts cleverly, with a murder committed in the course of a party game, and the scenario is well-written, maintaining the tension and interest all the way to the finale. There are clues and suspects in abundance, and most of the details fit together pretty well. As another reviewer has observed, it gives you a fair chance to figure things out yourself. If the rest of the production had been up to the level of the story, this might have been one of the classics of its era.

Some of its weaknesses are simply the common ones of the early 1930s: the irregular pacing and the distracting background, which unfortunately keep the script's rather snappy dialogue from working better. It also could have been improved if more attention had been given to the atmosphere, and with a somewhat stronger cast. The best performance comes from Clara Blandick as a cantankerous aunt, but the rest of the cast is mostly undistinguished, although Aileen Pringle and Alice White are both quite pleasant too look at.

Nevertheless, it's still well worth seeing, at least if you enjoy movies of its era, because the story really is a good one for its genre. With some improvements, it could have been quite good.


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