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Murder at Dawn (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 15 February 1932 (USA)
Mad scientist works on a death ray in his mountain hideaway.



(story), (continuity) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Crime | Drama | Horror | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




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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Distributed on a state's rights basis. See more »

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Don't always underrate B movies!
12 February 2014 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Now, "Murder at Dawn" perhaps may not suit the tastes of a highbrow who demands a perfect production and direction and an answer to everything

  • but it's a very stunning, atmospheric and VERY much underrated B

movie, with all the elements of a classic 'isolated mansion' mystery: complete with a thunderstorm, shady types creeping through the garden at night and peeping into windows, a mysterious housekeeper (Martha Mattox, well known to fans of the genre from "The Cat and the Canary" and "Murder by the Clock"), turning fireplaces, bodies in the closet, and so on...

It's also got its 'scientific' element (which constitutes the reason for all the murderous ongoings): an inventor is working in the seclusion of this old house on a device for producing electricity, which could of course be very important for the future of mankind, but also very dangerous...

But the entertainment isn't neglected either in this charmingly old-fashioned 'cheapie': there's romance in the shape of the inventor's daughter (Josephine Dunn) and her fiancé, played by Jack Mulhall - and also a comical side, which is handled very nicely by the 'old' married couple Marjorie Beebe and Eddie Boland. And a very special surprise: Mischa Auer in a VERY unusual role as the strange and sinister caretaker - you'll have to look twice to recognize him!

For friends of the good old 30s' mysteries, an absolute 'must' - it catches the mood and atmosphere just as well as the much more famous classics of the same time, like "The Old Dark House" or "The Bat Whispers"!

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