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 »
When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.
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Expensive diamonds are stolen but before the thief can fence them he is strangled by ex-con Cueball, who then takes the gems and continues murdering people he believes are trying to swindle... See full summary »
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Helen and Nita work in a department store to make ends meet while they search for millionaire husbands. They meet Bill and Hank, who make them reconsider whether they really need millionaires to be happy.
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
Interesting Mystery Story Makes Up For An Otherwise Routine Production
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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