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Murder at Midnight (1931)

Unrated | | Mystery | 1 September 1931 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »

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
Robert Elliott ...
Inspector Taylor
Clara Blandick ...
Aunt Julia Gray Kennedy
Brandon Hurst ...
Lawrence
Leslie Fenton ...
Walter Grayson
William Humphrey ...
Colton
Tyrell Davis ...
The Englishman
Aileen Carlyle ...
Ella (as Aileen Carlisle)
Kenneth Thomson ...
Jim Kennedy
Robert Ellis ...
Duncan Channing
Edit

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:

Fingers of suspicion moving like the hands of a clock! 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
See  »
Edit

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

Inspector Taylor: [When new evidence comes out] And nobody knew anything about this murder, eh? I wouldn't be surprised to find another body you've all forgotten about.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fascinating lighting techniques
29 June 2006 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

The opening shots of this film are blurry with undefined shapes and objects, however suddenly a light is switched on and the change in lighting brings about sharper and more detailed images. The lighting techniques in the opening sequence are an indication of things to come in the film. It is an early experiment with lighting and varying the contrast levels from shot to shot. In some shots there are plenty of grey hues and details are easy to make out, while in other shots the faces and clothes of the characters are blown out to white. The blowing out to white is used most effectively when Aileen Pringle is interrogated by investigations - as her facial features can hardly be made out, it is hard for us as viewers to tell whether or not she is lying.

However, other than interesting lighting and camera techniques, the rest of the film is pretty flat. The mystery at the heart of the film is intriguing, but it is never really involving since the film lacks strong character development. Robert Elliott plays his hard-boiled detective as a one-dimensional stereotype too, which makes it hard to want to root for him and his desire to solve the mystery at hand. As an early sound film, the audio quality is not too great, with a bit too much atmospheric sound and perhaps some music could have helped. However, the timing of when a character says "and he fired" followed by a bang, and the timing between dialling for the police and a sudden siren sound, show that some thought was indeed put into what the film was going to sound like it. It is a flawed film, but other than a blatantly contrived ending it makes quite satisfactory viewing, and the lighting work is simply fascinating.


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