A mystery writer accused of murdering his publisher sets out to discover the real killer.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Constance Dowling ...
Steven Geray ...
James Bell ...
William Forrest ...
Henry Small
Sid Tomack ...
Mike Foster - Bartender
Paul E. Burns ...
Elevator Operator
Harry Strang ...
Detective - Applegate's Assistant
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Storyline

A down-and-nearly-out writer makes a drunken visit to the office of his publisher, who turns up dead shortly afterward, and the writer is unable to prove his innocence. But with the aid of the publisher's secretary, and a fellow-writer -- maybe or maybe not -- he finds the guilty person. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

6 February 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inside Story  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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B Murder Mystery with Extremely Ingenious Plot Variation
5 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This was the directorial debut of Robert Gordon, whose debut is however not of earth-shaking importance, as he never shook the earth later on. The film is an entertaining low-budget B murder mystery, and Chester Morris and Constance Dowling both overact. Morris especially over-does it as a particularly obnoxious drunk early in the film. This is unfortunate, as the story requires us to have sympathy for him later on, and those who find abusive drunks hard to tolerate will have to be strong. The chief merit of this film is an extraordinarily ingenious twist to the 'murder in a locked room' motif. Several films have been made on the theme: 'how did the murderer escape from the room containing the corpse when the room was locked from the inside?' In this version, however, another ingenious layer is added to the conundrum. Here we have the drunken author (just mentioned) inventing a plot solution for this while he is intoxicated and forgetting it when he has sobered up. However, by that time, someone who heard his idea has actually carried out the clever plan and implicated Morris as the murderer! When Morris tries to track down the people he told the idea to when he was drunk, in the hope that they will remember it and enlighten him, so that he can clear himself of a murder charge, he runs into difficulties. The bartender to whom he told the idea is murdered, to stop him telling the solution of the crime. Those of us who like to solve things will inevitably be interested in this film, and will disregard the inadequacies of the production as being beside the point. Hence, murder mystery fans will find much in this film to intrigue them. And perhaps they will wish, as I found myself doing, that the excellent story idea had been carried out with a better film version, or indeed that someone would remake it and do it properly this time.


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