Friend Tim Winthrop asks criminal lawyer and amateur detective Clay Dalzell to find his girl, Alice, who disappeared a year earlier without a trace. When they go to the theater with Clay's would-be fiancée, Donna Mantin, Tim recognizes the star, Mary Smith, as his girl, and yells "Alice," after which she bolts from the stage and disappears once again. Reporter Tommy Tennant knows why she bolted, but before he can tell Clay the reason, he is shot dead and Clay is wounded slightly in Clay's apartment. The many suspects include Roger Classon and his wife, Jerry, who are looking for Alice to testify and save Roger's friend from the electric chair for a murder he didn't commit; Abe Ohlman, the producer of Mary's show; and gangster Jimmy Kinland who seems to know more than he's telling. It's up to Clay, with the help of Donna, to trap the murderer and find Alice. Written by
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
William Powell and Ginger Rogers are a neat screen team in "Star of Midnight," a 1935 comedy-drama that concerns the disappearance of a woman named "Alice." Alice's hapless boyfriend spots her starring in a show under another name and wearing a mask. He stands up in the audience and screams "Alice" - and by the time he gets backstage, Alice has left the building. Shortly after this, a newspaper columnist is murdered in Powell's apartment. That's just the beginning. When Alice fades from view, it signals a web that connects a couple of crimes and an old girlfriend of Powell's.
Powell plays a lawyer who often doubles as a detective, and Rogers is a young woman who decided as a child that she was going to marry him. They make a good-looking and fun couple. Both handle the dialogue beautifully and play off each other well. It always amazes me how quickly people spoke in the early films. It really gives witty dialogue a nice crackle. This is also a good film to see to get a grasp on the '30s styles of design and fashions. Lots of time is spent in Powell's impressive apartment, and the slim Rogers shows off a beautiful wardrobe. There is also some footage of New York in the '30s which is marvelous.
"Star of Midnight" has a somewhat colorless supporting cast, the exception being Paul Kelly, with most of the focus being on Powell and Rogers. This is a familiar role for Powell, but I could watch him forever. He was a true master of this genre. A very enjoyable movie -I wish Powell and Rogers had been paired together more.
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