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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.



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


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Complete credited cast:
Chick Brian
Inspector William Agnew
Edmund Joyce (as Rosco Ates)
David Landau ...
Fred Dykes
Louise Rand
Charles Spengler (as Gustav Von Seyffertitz)
Jeff Dale
District Attorney
Carl Gerard ...
Defense Attorney


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




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 May 1932 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Referenced in The Complete Citizen Kane (1991) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Okay telling of a clichéd tale of a man framing himself for murder suffers from there being too many other similar films and being a bit out dated in its approach
6 August 2006 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

A reporter on the copy desk tries to get a chance to break a big story he has a lead on. When he tries to run it down he ends up bursting in on the girlfriend of the publisher of the paper as she's bathing. Deciding to relax with his girlfriend after a trying day he ends up stuck in the rain in his car with its top down. Getting a room at a roadhouse the couple thinks they hear a shot. Going to investigate they find two dead bodies and two people rifling through a desk who tell them "they know and saw nothing" before they climb out a window. Our hero sensing a big scoop then tries to bend the crime to his advantage and sets himself up for the murder so that he can write about it. The problem comes when he's unable to prove his innocence when he needs to.

This early talkie is an okay, if clichéd, little film once it gets going. The early scenes in the newsroom seem to be steals from the Front Page and its over lapping dialog in a mad attempt to exploit the then novelty of sound film. Once the murders occur and the plot is in motion things are enjoyable even if we've seen it all before.

The problem with this film is that its plot has been done countless times before and since. You know whats going to happen the question is do you care enough to see how they do it this time. Complicating matters is the acting which is often stilted and seemingly out of date and artificial. The behavior of the City editor at the opening is very unnatural. Coupling the odd acting styles with what now seems to be very silly dialog makes matters worse. I wasn't sure if I was laughing at or with the film. There are a few times when all of the problems in plot,acting and dialog come together to produce some big "they didn't mean that" sort of laughs.

If you like old mysteries and don't mind one thats a bit past its freshness date I'd give it a try. If you don't want your movies stilted I'd stay away.

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