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 ...
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Typical Monogram whodunit from the 30's, with dialogue and sound effects based on the well known mystery book with same title. A valuable gem from India is stolen in an old dark mansion and... See full summary »
Gustav von Seyffertitz
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Rod La Rocque,
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This was the first sound remake of the Hitchcock silent classic inspired by the Jack the Ripper legend. Ivor Novello, who played the title role and headed the team writing the script, was ... See full summary »
Eight strangers are invited by a mysterious unknown host to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. The eight (5 men, 3 women) are wined, dined, then greeted by their host's voice via a ... See full summary »
Roy William Neill
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George E. Stone
In a cheap hotel-room in New York City Jelke shoots gangster Joe Wells, takes a package from his pocket and flees.Wells staggers into an alley. On her way to her apartment above a wax ... See full summary »
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
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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