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The Roadhouse Murder (1932)

Passed | | Thriller | 6 May 1932 (USA)
To gain fame, a reporter arranges to be suspected of murder.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Chick Brian
Purnell Pratt ...
Inspector William Agnew
Roscoe Ates ...
Edmund Joyce (as Rosco Ates)
David Landau ...
Kraft
...
Fred Dykes
Phyllis Clare ...
Louise Rand
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Charles Spengler (as Gustav Von Seyffertitz)
...
Jeff Dale
William Morris ...
Judge
Frank Sheridan ...
District Attorney
Carl Gerard ...
Defense Attorney
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Storyline

Chick Brian, overeager cub reporter, is stranded during a storm with his girlfriend Mary at the remote Lame Dog Inn. As Mary says, 'What a creepy place!' Soon, they're alone in the house with the victims of a double murder...and Chick has the silly idea of incriminating himself (hiding evidence of his innocence for later) to gain journalistic fame. Things go wrong and the electric chair looms... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1932 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut of 'Bruce Cabot (I)'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

THREE LITTLE WORDS
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Hummed by uncredited bathing blonde
See more »

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User Reviews

Fair But the Leads Are Just Too Dumb
11 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Roadhouse Murder, The (1932)

** (out of 4)

The one thing this RKO film can say is that they did this story several years before Fritz Lang's BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. In the film, a reporter (Eric Linden) and his girlfriend (Dorothy Jordan) are in a roadhouse when two people are murdered. There's enough evidence left by the real killers to make the search for them very easy but the reporter wants a story so he decides to take the evidence and leave news bits and pieces to make himself look guilty. The plan is for him to go on the run, cause a news sensation, go to trial and then bring out the real evidence to clear his name but of course nothing goes as planned. THE ROADHOUSE MURDERS wasn't the first film to do this story and while the Lang film wasn't the greatest movie out there it at least told the story a lot better than what we get here. I'll admit that I was entertained by the first thirty-minutes but there are just so many holes in the story and the two lead characters are so stupid that you can't help but find the entire thing annoying. One of the biggest problems happens right when the murders happen as the real killers see the reporter and the girlfriend yet do nothing to them. If these killers were worried about being caught then why on Earth do they let the witnesses live? Another problem is that this cub reporter isn't the brightest thing in the world so not for a second did I believe he could pull this off. Another thing that doesn't work is the direction because we never believe what we're watching. The idea of someone putting themselves in this situation is far-fetched to begin with but at least someone like Lang could use the suspension of disbelief but that never happens here. Linden isn't too bad playing the dimwit reporter but the screenplay just makes the character come off very annoying. The same could be said for Jordan who is good but her character is just too dumb. The supporting cast includes Bruce Cabot in his film debut playing the real killer and Phyllis Clare as his helper. Roscoe Ates of FREAKS fame has a small role here and actually steals the picture with his comic bit. At 72-minutes the final forty or so go by rather slowly because you're becoming so annoyed with the characters and it's a shame more attention wasn't given to the story. This was clearly just a "B" picture for the studio so they were just cranking it out when they should have tried fixing some of the problems and making for a good mystery.


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