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From Headquarters (1933)

When a Broadway playboy is found dead, it's up to detective Jim Stevens to pick the murderer out of several likely candidates.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lou Winton
...
Sgt. Boggs
...
Anderzian
Henry O'Neill ...
Inspector Donnelly
...
Manny Wales
Dorothy Burgess ...
Dolly White
Theodore Newton ...
Jack Winton
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Muggs Manton
...
Mac
Murray Kinnell ...
Horton
...
Dr. Van de Water
Kenneth Thomson ...
Gordon Bates
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Storyline

A wealthy Broadway playboy is found dead. He was actually a vicious blackmailer. It's up to police lieutenant Jim Stevens to pick the murderer out of several likely candidates like the cocaine addict Dolly White. And Stevens has a love-affair with Lou Ann Winton, who may or may not be mixed up in the murder. Written by Robert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Drama

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Rastro Invisível  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At about 6½ minutes, the police department uses IBM punch cards and a sorting machine to search a database. This may be the first display of that technology in film. See more »

Soundtracks

Shuffle Off to Buffalo
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Whistled by the policeman as he walks up the stairs
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User Reviews

 
Energized B holds its own.
21 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From Headquarters is a rather contrived and convoluted murder mystery but its brisk running time of 64 minutes and economic cross cut editing give the film more of a vitality than one would expect with the stolid George Brent in the lead. Clichés abound but a gallows humor among the precinct set nullifies them much of the time as the cops turn the screws on the suspects and the supporting cast steals most of the film.

It's another day down at headquarters of processing common criminals and chasing leads while reporters slovenly lie about waiting for a big story which comes in the way of the murder of a lecherous, blackmailer. Detectives Stevens (Brent) and Boggs (Eugene Palette) are given the case but approach it differently. Forensics meanwhile jumps into high gear gathering evidence through devious means and the killer as well as the victim remains in doubt until the final moments.

With the exception of the retiring Brent From Headquarters entire cast plays it broad and over the top. Margaret Lindsay's suspect and also the ex of Steven's divides her time between being stilted and hysterical while Palette's Sgt. Boggs spends the entire film lunging like a mad bulldog at all the suspects. In the same respect Hugh Herbert's overzealous bail bondsman, Robert Barrat's unctuous rug dealer and Edward Ellis's dark humored pathologist fit well into the spirit of the film.

Director William Dieterle and cameraman William Rees provide a decent look and rhythm to From Headquarters most of the way evoking in moments comparison to His Girl Friday and The Detective Story but its incredulous story line can only elevate it at best to a decent Charlie Chan.


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