Bank clerk William Marble is desperate for money to pay his family's bills. When his wealthy nephew visits, Marble asks him for a loan, but the young man refuses. Marble decides to kill his...
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A stubborn old farmer won't listen to any of his neighbors about how to improve the efficiency of his farm with modern methods, as he thinks "the old ways" were just fine. His three ... See full summary »
William D. Russell
The town of Colbrook, Massachusetts was founded by the family of the same name, and as such they are its leading family. Widowed Mrs. Reginald Colbrook - Mary - has had to manage the family... See full summary »
Bank clerk William Marble is desperate for money to pay his family's bills. When his wealthy nephew visits, Marble asks him for a loan, but the young man refuses. Marble decides to kill his nephew. It is a twisted path to justice after Marble is transformed by the crime he committed and the wealth he gains. Written by
The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York on 30 September 1931 and ran for 70 performances. Charles Laughton originated the role of William Marble. Also in the cast were Elsa Lanchester and Lionel Pape. 5 dialogue cuts to remove suggestive remarks were made for the 1939 re-release. Some censors eliminated references to cyanide before allowing the showing of the movie. See more »
In the final scene, a very obvious boom-mike shadow catches William Marble's last words and then pulls up and out of the shot. See more »
A bank clerk (Charles Laughton) decides to kill his rich nephew (Ray Milland) so that he can steal his wallet and pay off his families debt, which is about to put them in the poor house. After the murder Laughton sends his wife (Dorothy Peterson) and daughter (Maureen O'Sullivan) on a trip and enters an affair. This is a rather interesting film, which has certainly been forgotten over the years but it's tale of a father murdering due to becoming poor might work just as good today as it did in 1932. The film is based on a famous play and for the most part the film plays out like you'd see it on stage but this is also a weakness as there's way too much talk going on. The screenplay seems to bounce back and forth from a serious drama to a crime film and even at times coming off like a black comedy. Laughton turns in a very good performance, although he does take it a bit over the top at times. You'll notice this whenever he begins to freak out that someone is going to find the body that he's buried in his back yard. This part of his performance might lend itself to the black comedy aspect. Milland doesn't have much of a role as he gets killed off rather early on but he's playing that jerk of a bad guy that we'd see him play throughout his career. O'Sullivan has a pretty thankless role but it's nice seeing her anyways.
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