The first of three Pine-Thomas productions for Chester Morris finds him as wise-cracking private detective Humphrey Campbell who impresses his boss, Oscar Flack, no end by not only finding ... See full summary »
Opera star Gino D'Acosta (Leo Carrillo), due to perform in the open air of the Hollywood Bowl, is warned by a Swami (Pedro de Cordoba)that he will die if he sings. That warning comes to pass and his death proves to be murder. Police detective Steve Farrell (Chester Morris) works backstage to sort out the clues pointing to the identity of the killer. Suspects include a primma donna, her conductor husband, an insane composer, an ambitious singer and a dancer and her husband partner. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
It's opera night at the Hollywood Bowl and tenor Gino D'Acosta (Leo Carillo) has everyone mad at him: his understudy, the conductor, two women he's been leading on, an aspiring composer upset because Gino won't read his opera .It seems only a matter of time before somebody knocks Gino off. A fortune teller has already told him: "If you sing tomorrow night, you will die."
The story's not real unique but it's performed with panache by a solid and colorful cast. Chester Morris is a fast talking police detective who strikes up a romance with cute scientist Madge Evans. Grant Mitchell is earnest as the tenor's doctor friend. Frank McHugh has some good moments as the singer's secretary who keeps belting out bits of opera, much to the annoyance of maestro H.B. Warner.
The setup of various characters' motives is rather involved and there is a fair amount of music, as well, so the story itself moves somewhat deliberately. The complicated plot eventually arrives at a surprising (and unlikely) resolution.
It's certainly not the best B mystery ever made, but MGM's production values, the somewhat unusual setting, and a fun cast make it very watchable.
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