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Murder at Dawn (1932)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Horror  -  15 February 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 51 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

Mad scientist works on a death ray in his mountain hideaway.



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Title: Murder at Dawn (1932)

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Complete credited cast:
Jack Mulhall ...
Doris Farrington
Eddie Boland ...
Marjorie Beebe ...
Martha Mattox ...
The Housekeeper
Phillips Smalley ...
Judge Folger (as Phillip Smalley)
Crauford Kent ...
Arnstein (as Crawford Kent)
Frank Ball ...
Dr. Farrington
Alfred Cross ...


Federal Judge Folger accuses two Wall St. speculators of manipulating the stock market because of their knowledge of a solar-power machine being perfected by Professor Farrington. He goes the Farrington's mountain lodge, The Crag, to investigate. Danny and Farrington's daughter, Doris, are also heading there to get Farrington's consent to get married. They take along a married couple, Gertrude and Freddie, as chaperone's. Farrington's servants include a spooky housekeep and her even-spookier son, Henry. Doris and her companions arrive to find that Folger has been murdered and her father is missing. Freddie partakes of some bootleg whiskey his finds and goes on a search; he finds the professor's body in another room and that of Henry in a closet. He informs Danny but when they return both corpses have vanished. Written by Les Adams <>

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Crime | Drama | Horror | Mystery


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Release Date:

15 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Death Ray  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

A Waste Of Strickfaden's Electronic Equipment For An Inferior Film.
11 March 2006 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

The second recorded deployment of Kenneth Strickfaden's fabulous fantasy lab equipment (following the original Frankenstein), is the sole element apt to please viewers of this wearisome essay at creating an Old Dark House mystery, wherein stabs taken toward comedy and suspense are less than persuasive, and production values in this low-budget affair are anaemic. Danny (Jack Mulhall) and Doris (Josephine Dunn), in order to avoid a stall in their marriage plans, entrain with married chums Freddie (Eddie Boland) and Gertrude (Marjorie Beebe) to the mountain hermitage of Dr. Farrington, inventor father of Doris, to gain his consent for their wedding, and on a dark and stormy night (as can be noted from repeated footage of identical flashes of lightning), with the film striving for a general atmosphere of malevolence, the quartet arrives at Farrington's aerie. Meanwhile, the doctor is seen demonstrating his latest brainchild, a "VXO Accumulator", to a visiting colleague, Judge Folger, a contrivance that will purportedly mine the sun's rays for the development of free power that will benefit mankind, but as the device might also be utilized for evil, the stage is set for harrowing proceedings. These include Folger's murder, along with the kidnapping of Farrington, all while the bewildered young couples try to stay out of harm's way from such as secret passages and trap doors, disappearing corpses, a sinister caretaker played by Mischa Auer (complete with maniacal cackling laughter), in addition to two other men who skulk about the grounds (one of whom is dropped, unidentified as to name or purpose, by the script); notwithstanding these melodramatic events, the film is bare of moments that may be interesting to a sensate viewer. In truth, from its very beginning, this is a poor film, and even with the surfeit of ominous occurrences tossed at us, the work is so substandard that a viewer eventually is resigned to merely studying the sequences to wonder at examples of what are not only distinctly tedious goings-on but risible as well, the script, direction, acting, and editing being as atrocious as can be imagined.

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