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Murder! (1930)

A juror in a murder trial, after voting to convict, has second thoughts and begins to investigate on his own before the execution.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Clemence Dane (from: "Enter Sir John"), Helen Simpson (from: "Enter Sir John") | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Herbert Marshall ... Sir John Menier
Norah Baring ... Diana Baring
Phyllis Konstam ... Doucie Markham
Edward Chapman ... Ted Markham
Miles Mander ... Gordon Druce
Esme Percy ... Handel Fane
Donald Calthrop ... Ion Stewart
Esme V. Chaplin Esme V. Chaplin ... Prosecuting Counsel
Amy Brandon Thomas ... Defending Counsel (as Amy Brandon-Thomas)
Joynson Powell ... Judge
S.J. Warmington ... Bennett
Marie Wright Marie Wright ... Miss Mitcham
Hannah Jones ... Mrs. Didsome
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Grogram
R.E. Jeffrey ... Foreman of the Jury
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Storyline

The police find the actress, Diana Baring, near the body of her friend. All the circumstantial proofs seems to point to her and, at the end of the trial, she is condemned. Sir John Menier, a jury member, suspects Diana's boyfriend, who works as an acrobat wearing a dress. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 November 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enter Sir John See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print: British)

Sound Mix:

Mono (R. C. A. Photo Phone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Sir John Menier (Herbert Marshall) was loosely based on Alfred Hitchcock's friend Gerald du Maurier. Hitchcock later directed three films adapted from novels by du Maurier's daughter Daphne Du Maurier: Jamaica Inn (1939), Rebecca (1940) and The Birds (1963). See more »

Goofs

A mid-shot of Sir John shaving shows him shaving off all the shave cream. A closer shot a moment later shows a dab of shave cream still on his chin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Old Woman: People ought to be ashamed of themselves, kicking up all that racket at this time of night.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Hitchcock filmed two versions of this film at the same time: one in English, the other a German language version. See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Mary (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Call of the Khan
(uncredited)
Music by Harry C. Burgess
Publisher: Hawkes & Son
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Good, Early Sound Effort by the Master of Suspense
17 July 2006 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Although not as photographically fluid as his later films, Alfred Hitchcock, in his first sound film, managed to overcome the limitations of early recording equipment. With "Murder," he produced an entertaining work that holds up better and does not creak as much as many films of the early sound period.

"Murder" also provides early clues to themes that continued throughout Hitchcock's movie-making career. The accused perpetrator of a crime, who was caught with circumstantial evidence, has only a single champion that believes in her innocence. The wrongly accused would appear throughout Hitchcock's work from Robert Donat in "The Thirty-Nine Steps" to Henry Fonda in "The Wrong Man" and Cary Grant in "North by Northwest." Sexually ambiguous characters like Handel Fane in "Murder" would continue to fascinate Hitchcock over the years as well. Again, from Judith Anderson in "Rebecca," Robert Walker in "Strangers on a Train," Farley Granger and John Dall in "Rope," to even Mrs. Bundy, the ornithologist in "The Birds," Hitchcock displays a fascination with sexual ambivalence. However, the mincing character in "Murder," as played by Esme Percy, is borderline offensive, even in the context of the period. His sexual orientation is more than suggested by the character's predilection to wear women's clothing, revel in applying makeup, and use effeminate gestures.

However, despite the film's flaws and limitations, the story of Sir John Menier's efforts to prove a young woman innocent of murder is fairly engrossing. As Sir John, a well-known actor and a member of the jury that convicts the accused woman, Herbert Marshall is stalwart as ever, and he cleverly tracks down clues and devises an intellectual trap for his prey. The rest of the cast has little to do but follow Hitchcock's direction, which is capable but not his finest. For Hitchcock students, "Murder" is essential, for other viewers, this early sound effort is generally entertaining, if a bit slowly paced and static visually.


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