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Cast

Cast overview:
William Gargan ...
Perry Travis
...
Lois Allen
Gene Morgan ...
Brainy Barker
Romaine Callender ...
E.J. Easton
Egon Brecher ...
Sir Conrad Stava
Drue Leyton ...
Norma Foster
Wade Boteler ...
Police Lt. Conroy
...
McBride
Raymond Lawrence ...
Harkness
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Plot Keywords:

detective | See All (1) »

Genres:

Thriller

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Release Date:

23 September 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Two Minute Alibi  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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The plot holes are deeper than the bullet wound in the dead man's head!
30 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Reporter Perry Travis (William Gargan) is at the landing of the Hindenburgh waiting for the arrival of a powerful industrialist named Foster. Trying to get an interview with him, he is blocked at every step by Foster's secretary Lois (Marguerite Churchill). Showing up at Foster's estate, he is just in time for cocktails just as the man whom he wants to see is killed, presumably by suicide but under Gargan's idea, murder! O.K., good set-up, but why mention the Hindenburgh if it was not a plot twist, ironically exploding the following year, killing thousands of people and being the greatest moving vehicle disaster ever in the air.

The suspects follow pretty much every murder mystery set-up: the much younger wife, an assistant who is obviously involved in an affair with the wife, a crazy male secretary and mysterious servants. Dwight Frye is the crazy live-in secretary who refers to one of the characters as "You wholesale stealer of death!" in a dramatic outburst similar to many of his rants as the crazy Renfield in "Dracula". It seems the supposed philanthropist Foster wasn't the kindly industrialist he seemed to be to the public, but a maker of weapons for mass destruction and like the assistant whom Frye tells off, more interested in war than in peace even though on the outside he professed a love for peace and a hatred for combat.

There are some good plot twists in this little B Columbia mystery which runs just a good tight hour and the denouncement of what occurred is pretty original as well. However, for all its good points, there are still many questions unasked, especially one concerning two of the suspects found in a locked garage with poisoned gasses leaking out. When Gargan and one of his assistants sit inside the garage with the same gasses threatening to kill them, they spout some strange but still amusing lines of dialog concerning their own impending deaths should the gas actually be fatal, but a lot of the humor and some of the plot developments seem unnecessary overall. Gargan had a similar style to that other 1930's wise-cracking detective/reporter butinsky, Lee Tracy, and is given the best lines. Most of the cast is filled with extremely obscure actors which makes the few lesser known "B" stars like Gargan, Churchill and Frye more noticeable. All in all, a true curio, but nothing to tax the brain either.


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