5.5/10
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5 user 1 critic

A Night for Crime (1943)

A dark night in war time, with several black-outs, it's just a night for murder. Susan Cooper, a fast-talking girl reporter, doubles as amateur sleuth solving yet another mystery among Hollywood's famous.

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(story "A Beautiful Night For Love"), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Susan Cooper
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Joe Powell
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Det. Hoffman
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Mona Harrison
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Carol Lynn
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Hamilton Hart
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Chief of Police Williams
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Arthur Evans - Chauffeur
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Edna Harris ...
Telephone Operator
Jimmy Starr ...
Columnist
Erskine Johnson ...
Erskine Johnson
Edwin Schallert ...
Columnist
Harry Crocker ...
Columnist
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Storyline

A dark night in war time, with several black-outs, it's just a night for murder. Susan Cooper, a fast-talking girl reporter, doubles as amateur sleuth solving yet another mystery among Hollywood's famous.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Was it the star who was killed, or the mysterious double? And who was the midnight strangler?


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Details

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Release Date:

18 February 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night for Crime  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Around 32 minutes into the movie Joe Powell (Lyle Talbot) is seen talking on the phone with a movie poster for The Panther's Claw (1942) on the wall behind him. That was a PRC film made the year before this one. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amateurish but still rather charming mystery-comedy
3 May 2012 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Joe Powell, movie studio publicity man, visits Susan Cooper, Hollywood reporter, at her apartment. He proposes, she laughingly refuses, Joe takes a phone call from the boss…and suddenly there's a scream from across the hall! A young actress is found murdered in her room. Who did it? And where is Mona Harrison, the studio's biggest star? Mr. Hart, studio producer, is going to be out $300,000 if Mona doesn't show up to finish her work on their latest picture….

It's a Hollywood mystery that makes no sense and contains no great suspense yet somehow manages to be quite entertaining. Lyle Talbot and Glenda Farrell are enthusiastic as Joe and Susan; Farrell is fine as the spunky and quick-thinking reporter, while Talbot makes a game effort at portraying a smooth talker with a winning wit—a task made difficult by a script that is sorely lacking in originality and cleverness.

Since it's a pretty silly movie, Ralph Sanford probably comes across best as the very silly police detective Hoffman. Big and dumb, Hoffman is supposed to say idiotic things—and indeed he does, often amusingly. Ralph Sanford does look like he's having fun.

A typical exchange occurs when Farrell pretends to confess to the murder and meets Hoffman's objections: "But I had a motive, Hoffman, I had a wonderful motive." "Yeah? What?" "Well, you see, Ellen bought a dress exactly like one of mine. Now you know what that does to a woman…" --Is that funny? Not exactly. But delivered by actors who look like they're convinced that it is funny…it is actually kind of humorous. And that's pretty much true of the film as a whole.

The Hollywood setting is interesting….On Talbot's studio office wall is a movie poster for another PRC production, The Panther's Claw. Presumably the film's "Motion Picture Associates" is a studio not unlike the genuine Producers Releasing Corporation. So does the film's creative but ethically challenged studio boss, Mr. Hart, bear any resemblance to real life studio execs? I could not say.

Overall, it's an enjoyable enough picture for viewers willing to let its good-natured and unassuming air overshadow its many weaknesses.


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