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Before Dawn (1933) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Garrett Fort (screen play)
Edgar Wallace (from the story by)
View company contact information for Before Dawn on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 August 1933 (USA) See more »
Sinister forces compete to find the million dollars in gold hidden by recently deceased gangster Joe Valerie in his family's old dark house 15 years earlier, Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
"There will always be death when men seek to take what ain't theirn." See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Stuart Erwin ... Dwight Wilson
Dorothy Wilson ... Patricia

Warner Oland ... Dr. Paul Cornelius
Dudley Digges ... Horace Merrick
Gertrude Hoffman ... Mattie (as Gertrude W. Hoffman)
Oscar Apfel ... O'Hara

Frank Reicher ... Joe Valerie

Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Marble
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stanley Blystone ... Police Car Driver (uncredited)

Ed Brady ... Paddywagon Cop (uncredited)
Tom Brower ... Detective Schultz (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Detective Brady (uncredited)
Ted Oliver ... Police Desk Sergeant Hamilton (uncredited)

Irving Pichel ... Police Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)

Max Wagner ... Policeman in Car (uncredited)

Directed by
Irving Pichel 
Writing credits
Garrett Fort (screen play)

Edgar Wallace (from the story by)

Ralph Block  screenplay (uncredited)
Marion Dix  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Shirley C. Burden .... associate producer (as Shirley Burden)
Merian C. Cooper .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Lucien N. Andriot (photographed by) (as Lucien Andriot)
Film Editing by
William Hamilton (edited by)
Set Decoration by
Carroll Clark (settings)
Van Nest Polglase (settings)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Walter Mayo .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Philip Faulkner Jr. .... recordist (as Philip J. Faulkner Jr.)
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph F. Biroc .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Charles Bohny .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Max Steiner .... musical director
Max Steiner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #1333-R, 29 August 1935 for re-release) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Hollywood Reporter news items had Gregory Ratoff, Hobart Cavanaugh and Lal Chand Mehra as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. At one point, several arrested psychics exited a police van, but only the back of their heads were visible. One was wearing a turban, a common costume for Mehra.See more »
Dwight Wilson:[to Patricia] Say, baby, I'm for yuh. My face hasn't been so red since I went to my first burlesque show.See more »
The Wedding MarchSee more »


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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
"There will always be death when men seek to take what ain't theirn.", 9 May 2014
Author: utgard14 from USA

A pretty clairvoyant (Dorothy Wilson), her greedy father (Dudley Digges), a shady doctor (Warner Oland), and a detective (Stuart Erwin) all look for hidden gold in a haunted house. Nice little old dark house mystery with good direction from Irving Pichel. Dorothy Wilson isn't well known today but she impresses in this role. I'm not sure why she didn't have a bigger career. She's certainly talented enough and beautiful, too. Speaking of people not well-known, Stuart Erwin had a career that last five decades but most people wouldn't know him from Adam today. He was always a solid actor, usually in comedies. But here he shows he can handle being the leading man. He was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar a few years later but didn't win. Warner Oland takes time off from being Charlie Chan to be a bespectacled villain here. He's always good. Character actor Dudley Digges is reliable as ever. Jane Darwell has a brief bit but she's good. Gertrude Hoffman is great, too. Wait until you see her final scene. Overall, a solid cast and nice direction elevates a somewhat flimsy story. Very interesting for the time in that it treats psychic phenomena as real.

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