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The Dark Hour (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 18 February 1936 (USA)
A pair of detectives investigates the murder of an elderly millionaire who was the target of blackmail and death threats and find that there is no shortage of suspects, many of them in the victim's own family.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Paul Bernard
...
Elsa Carson
...
Charles Carson
...
Mrs. Tallman
...
Foot, the Butler
...
Peter Blake
...
Henry Carson
Michael Mark ...
Arthur Bell (as Michael Marks)
...
Dr. Munro
Miki Morita ...
Choong
Aggie Herring ...
Mrs. Dubbin, the Cook
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Storyline

Two reclusive, rich old men, brothers and wards of their niece, Elsa Carson (Irene Ware)are very protective of their own affairs and also keep a close eye on Elsa. One of them, Henry Carson (William V. Mong), is murdered and his brother, sister, and household servants all come under suspicion. Elsa enlists the aid of a private detective, Jim Landis (Ray Walker, she has met and is falling in love with. Jim, in turn, solicits help from an older, retired detective, Paul Bernard (Berton Churchill). Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Morte nas Sombras  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Victor High Fidelity System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film took place in New York City Sunday 14 April 1940 on pioneer television station W2XBS (Channel 1); in Syracuse it first aired Wednesday 29 December 1948 on freshly launched WHEN (Channel 8). See more »

Connections

Featured in Crime Wave: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Economical mystery packs in fun
23 July 2011 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

"But I didn't do it." "What! Then who the heck did?" The Dark Hour keeps viewers—and detectives—guessing until the final moment. A truly puzzling mystery combined with some juicy performances make this quite a nifty little hour of fun.

Berton Churchill as the retired detective—respectfully requested by his younger counterpart Ray Walker to assist on the case—is wonderfully nimble-minded and yet perhaps suspicious. Irene Ware is earnest and intelligent as the niece of rich old uncles in whose house the mystery develops—but she's obviously hiding something. Hedda Hopper bustles in occasionally with energy and smarts as an aunt who seems to know plenty but isn't saying just what.

Not a fancy movie, but one that's paced just about right: The action certainly moves along quickly, but care is taken to allow us time to notice which characters are thinking a bit more than they're saying. Irene Ware's character, for example, is given an extra moment of screen time here and there—just enough of an extra glance for us in the audience to see quite clearly that she's holding something back. Again, it's not fancy or subtle—but it does show that director Charles Lamont was paying attention.

The dialog is crisp enough; the actors move with energy. Hopper and Churchill, in particular, appear to enjoy themselves immensely in their roles.

My only complaint is that the sound is badly chopped up in the version I saw. Lines are dropped and cut into pieces (including in a couple of key moments!). I can only assume that the print from which this came had been shown about a hundred times and broken and been spliced in about that many places. Oh, well—I can live with that. Otherwise: a top-notch B mystery.


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