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Before Dawn (1933) More at IMDbPro »


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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:
good story 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?

Working title: "Death Watch"See more »
Police Chief John F. O'Hara:Ah, that Valerie was delirious!
Dr. Paul Cornelius:It wouldn't be the first time a million dollars made a man delirious
See more »
The Wedding MarchSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
good story, 14 May 2014
Author: blanche-2 from United States

The dying Joe Valerie tells a psychiatrist (Warner Oland) that he has hidden a million dollars in gold from a robbery committed years before. He offers the location of the gold in exchange for the doctor ending his life.

The gold is in the house being guarded by two elderly women. One is Mrs. Marble (Jane Darwell). She reads of Valerie's death and intends to take the money and leave. But Joe's ghost appears to her and as a result, she falls down the stairs and dies.

The police aren't sure what happened. At the urging of the officer in charge of arresting fake clairvoyants (Stuart Erwin), they use Patricia, who is actually a real clairvoyant, to tell them what happened.

This was a lot of fun, with young Dorothy Wilson as the clairvoyant and Dudley Digges as her father. Stuart Erwin had a pleasant screen personality used to good advantage here, and Warner Oland, who would become one of the Charlie Chans, is quite different here.

For me the most fascinating thing about the film is that as of this writing, it's 81 years old. Everything in the world has changed, everyone in this film is long gone, and people are still watching the movie.

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