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Grief Street (1931)

Passed  -  Crime | Mystery | Romance  -  1 October 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 23 users  
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Alvin Merle, a womanizing Broadway matinée idol, is found strangled in his dressing room. The door is locked from the inside and there is no possible other way into the room. Merle is ... See full summary »



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Title: Grief Street (1931)

Grief Street (1931) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Cast overview:
Barbara Kent ...
Jean Royce
John Holland ...
Jim Ryan
Dorothy Christy ...
Mrs. Alvin Merle aka Ethel Wynn
Crauford Kent ...
Alvin Merle
Lillian Rich ...
Pamela Gregory
James P. Burtis ...
Police Sgt. Jardine
Larry Steers ...
Ralph Burns
Lloyd Whitlock ...
Frank Murray
Lafe McKee ...
Michael - Stage Doorman
Creighton Hale ...
Raymond Largay ...
Police Capt. Blake (as Ray Largay)
Walt (as Arthur Brennan)


Alvin Merle, a womanizing Broadway matinée idol, is found strangled in his dressing room. The door is locked from the inside and there is no possible other way into the room. Merle is having an affair with his leading lady, while his wife, actress Ethel Wynn, appearing in another play in a theater around the corner, is doing the same with Frank Murray, the stage manager on Merle's play. Newspaper reporter Jim Ryan is investigating the case and meets Jean Royce, a young actress who had been fired from the play while in rehearsals. Everybody, including Michael, the old actor now relegated to being just a stage-doorman, has a motive. The explanation for the murder lies within the script of the play. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Mystery | Romance






Release Date:

1 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grief Street  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

Good Second Feature
20 November 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This second feature directed by jack-of-all-trades director Richard Thorpe -- he would go to Metro as a B movie director and graduate to big spectacles, based on his ability to get a cheap performance out of actors like Robert Taylor -- shows Thorpe with warts and details of care.

This locked room mystery has its major weak points, like stagily-read performances from all hands involved, but it also has its strengths, rocking, as it does, between a comedy drama in which the cops spend their time playing craps, and an early police procedural, as one cop uses routine and careful deduction to crack the case. And while Thorpe can't raise a good performance, he does take care of his visuals, as in the scene set in an alley, where he sets the wind machines to gently blowing Barbara Kent's hair.

Although not a particularly good movie, it is interesting as a transitional piece, as silent stars try their hands at talkies, and a different style of mystery from the usual Sherlock Holmes or Philo Vance pointing out what is obvious after the fact.

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