Elna Curry, once a concert pianist, develops an unfounded jealousy of neighbor, Trudie Morrow. Elna who suffers from neurasthenia, believes that Trudie is having an affair with her husband,... See full summary »
Elna Curry, once a concert pianist, develops an unfounded jealousy of neighbor, Trudie Morrow. Elna who suffers from neurasthenia, believes that Trudie is having an affair with her husband, John, and vows revenge on Trudie. John explains to Trudie Elna's condition and plan. Trudie, being good-hearted tells John that she'll move. One evening, John returns late from work to discover Elna dead. John burns Elna's suicide note to protect Trudie. This results in John being charged for murder and put on trial. Written by
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
This one would be well remembered and more often studied today if only it had bigger stars in it. To all but the most seasoned early talkie fan, virtually everyone in this film is a complete unknown. For example, top billed is Clive Brook, who today is buried in obscurity.
The film concerns four households on the same street in a suburban town in 1932. Virtually everyone takes the train into work each day, thus showing us the beginnings of modern suburbia in which the place one works and the place one lives are separated by significant distance. These four households are intertwined through various relationships. One household consists of a hen-pecked husband (Charles Ruggles), his overbearing wife who is one of the last true believers in prohibition in its waning days, and the husband's dad who is an alcoholic and always in search of an odd dollar and an odd job in the neighborhood so he can go buy some more bootleg liquor. Another household consists of a young girl and her roommate who are just scraping by. One of these girls is in love with Herbert (Gene Raymond), who is in constant fear of his mother who thinks the girl is not good enough for her son and has threatened to annul any marriage that takes place between the two. Herbert is six months away from being 21 back when that was the age of majority. Herbert's sister Trudie has an innocent enough friendship going with lonely John Curry (Clive Brook). The reason John is lonely is that his wife has been an emotional wreck since the couple was involved in a serious automobile accident. The two have recovered physically, but the emotional scars are still there in the case of Mrs. Curry. Mrs. Curry's emotional state is only made worse by the fact that she believes that her husband is falling out of love with her and in love with Trudie.
All of these situations come together perfectly on the night of June 13 when one member of these four households is found shot to death and another member of one of these four households is falsely accused of murder. Collectively, there are several people on the street that could help to support the alibi of the accused, but they each are hiding something of a personal nature that they would have to publicly reveal if they came forward, plus none of the facts privy to each individual truly exonerates the accused, so they all remain silent. Or do they? This is a great little crime drama on top of being an engaging character study. I highly recommend it as - with the exception of the prohibition angle - it is not dated at all.
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