6.6/10
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The Unguarded Hour (1936)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 10 April 1936 (USA)
An ambitious barrister and his wife are targeted by blackmailers. In trying to save her husband, the wife becomes involved in a murder case her husband is trying. For his part, the husband's actions make him a suspect in a related murder.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lady Helen Dearden
...
Sir Alan Dearden
...
General Lawrence
...
Bunny
Jessie Ralph ...
Lady Hathaway
Dudley Digges ...
Metford
...
Hugh Lewis
Robert Greig ...
Henderson
E.E. Clive ...
Lord Hathaway
Wallis Clark ...
Grainger
John Buckler ...
Defense Counsel
...
Diana Roggers
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Storyline

An ambitious barrister and his wife are targeted by blackmailers. In trying to save her husband, the wife becomes involved in a murder case her husband is trying. For his part, the husband's actions make him a suspect in a related murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den skæbnesvangre Time  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernard Merivale's adapted play opened in London, England, UK on 31 July 1935. See more »

Quotes

William 'Bunny' Jeffers: [Holding baby] He's so soft. Don't babies have any bones?
See more »

Connections

Version of The Unguarded Hour (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
At first it was hard to watch this...
8 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...and you may find it so too. Not because the film is bad, but because the film starts out with a truly evil person tormenting a very good person (Loretta Young as dutiful wife Lady Helen Dudley Dearden) relentlessly and even seeming to enjoy it. Lady Helen must pay two thousand pounds to a blackmailer to prevent him from revealing love letters that her husband wrote years before they were married to a woman who was married at the time - to the blackmailer. Lady Helen's husband (Franchot Tone as Sir Alan Dearden) is about to be made attorney general, and any scandal would wreck that chance. So she pays. However, this decision to pay up soon embroils her in a murder case - not as a suspect but as a witness. After she comes forward to tell what she knows to free an innocent man of one murder, she unknowingly implicates her husband in another murder. The blackmailer then reenters her life and torments her some more. Yes, the ending is a bit fantastic, but getting there is an interesting ride with this being a very satisfying thriller. The central theme is how hard it can be to prove a negative and how much people - and the legal system - often want to believe the worst.

Hard to believe that Loretta Young is only 23 at this point. She has all the poise and sophistication of a woman quite a bit older than that. But that was true all the way back to her silent days so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'd recommend this one highly, just don't be surprised if you find yourself hissing at the blackmailer villain in this one like in the old silent days. He really is an awful character.


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