Convicted (1931) Poster


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Fascinating "B" Mystery Filmed on Board a Real Ocean Liner
JohnHowardReid16 June 2008
Photographed by Sid Hickox, the cameraman that big stars like Bogart and Flynn always asked for, "Convicted" was largely filmed on board a real ocean liner. The stars in this case are Aileen Pringle, as the diminutive if feisty Broadway luminary, the lovely Dorothy Christy who steals every scene in which she appears, Richard Tucker who plays a most objectionable villain with startling conviction, and Jameson Thomas, surprisingly relaxed as the amateur detective of the piece. Also in the cast, unfortunately, is Harry Myers, who is a bit of a pain in more ways than one, but he does manage one or two effective moments. The plot admittedly is slight but the characters are as real as the setting. Director Christy Cabanne takes advantage of his locations to keep audience interest high even when nothing much is actually happening.
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Of Bad Moviemaking
boblipton1 October 2003
Awful second feature about a shipboard murder following a crooked poker game fails to maintain any suspense or indeed, any interest at all. There is some experimentation with dubbing to deal with moving shots -- dubbing in which the mouths don't match words spoken. Harry Myers, best known for his role as the rich drunk in Chaplin's LIMELIGHT, plays the drunk here too, although nowhere near as amusingly.
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Don't forget your bow tie if you go on a cruise.
robinakaaly23 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This was an interesting documentary about life on an ocean liner in passage from New York to Los Angeles. There was footage of the scary looking passenger gangplanks, freight being loaded, and the side of the ship as she left harbour, with passengers on the ship and crowds on the quayside waving at each other. We see the funnel belching out smoke as if there were no Clean Air Acts (there weren't then, of course). Once at sea we are introduced to the Captain on the flying bridge and the First Officer as they exchange observations about the weather for the voyage. The Captain then gives the navigating officer orders for the course to be followed, both gyro and magnetic. We then move to bridge where we see the helmsman being given his orders for the course to steer. From time to time we return to the bridge to see how the helmsman is getting on. A one point the Captain asks for the ship's position, and the Navigating Officer takes a star sight with his sextant. Down below, amongst the First Class passengers (we don't get to see any lower class ones), we see how the stewards handle baggage, and invite the more attractive passengers to dine at the Captain's table. We also see how the Purser handles requests from passengers to change their cabins (usually at extra cost), and how the shift system in the radio room works. The equipment for sending and receiving wireless messages seemed very complicated, though it worked very quickly. The cabins seemed quite large and surprisingly high ceilinged, though the passageways and corridor ceiling seemed more as one would expect. Life on the ship seemed to revolve around walks on the open and covered decks, and dances in the evenings, when dress suits for the men and silky backless numbers were de rigueur. When several passengers are murdered we get to see how the Ship's Doctor carries out his preliminary investigations to establish cause of death, and how the Captain exercises his quasi-police and judicial functions. Finally we see the ship approaching harbour at the end of the voyage, and passing other, outbound vessels. We also get to meet several fictional passengers from the world of entertainment, and a criminal journalist. These characters, their lives, loves, criminal activities and gambling tended to get in the way of the examination of shipboard life.
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Dorothy Christy is the most natural actor in the movie
kidboots9 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Aileen Pringle knew everyone who was anyone in the twenties and beyond. She was an intellectual and her biting comments on renowned authors of the day (Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Dreiser) make interesting reading. She was H.L. Mencken's mistress and was also married to James M. Cain (author of "Double Indemnity", "Mildred Pierce", "The Postman Always Rings Twice"). MGM also made her an "unofficial" greeter when any New York writer came to Hollywood because of her connections and because she could "read". There is a very interesting article about her by Stuart Oderman. In films she found fame as the romantic heroine in a series of silent films based on Elinor Glynn's pseudo erotic novellas - "Three Weeks" (1924), "His Hour" (1924) etc.

In "Convicted" she plays Clair Norville, an actress, who is taking a cruise. She is being harassed by another passenger, Tony Blair, (Richard Tucker), a producer of her last show. He has embezzled funds and is traveling with Constance (Dorothy Christy, the most natural actor in the movie) another actress, who wants her cut. Clair also renews her acquaintance with Bruce Allen (Jameson Thomas, who excelled at playing unexciting types) an amateur detective, who has a soft spot for her.

After a poker game Blair is found dead - a couple of the players had made threats after he accused them of cheating. Clair is seen leaving his room after returning an unwanted gift and Constance also pays him a visit. Then the wireless operator is killed, "pierced with a knife" - the same way that Blair was murdered. Allen then locks everyone in the stateroom saying "someone in this room is the murderer"!!! Alls well that ends well - it turns out that the ship's steward had seen Dayton's radio message about Blair stealing funds and decided to blackmail him - Dayton was killed because he threatened to talk.

Dorothy Christy was really wasted in this film - she had a couple of good scenes but then her character petered out.

Not Recommended.
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If It Were Any Slower, They'd Throw Dirt on It
Hitchcoc4 February 2008
It takes three fourths of the movie for anything to happen. People stand around, making speeches, posing in little groups. For long stretches there are individual shots of different characters. After a line is delivered, they all stand wait a few seconds to say anything. There is not emotion, not even movement. The plot involves a cad who gets his just deserts and those suspected of killing him. Unlike most of these old mystery movies, there is little charm; not even an eccentric character to speak of. There are a series of interrogation scenes designed to give us clues, but they are so lifeless, it doesn't matter. Don't bother.
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1931 Mystery With Static Story and Camera
jayraskin128 October 2010
Early sound cameras were heavy and enclosed in a soundproof booth. Shooting on an ocean liner probably prevented any tracking shots. Thus the actors simply walk to the center of the frame and say their lines. The lack of camera movement makes a dull and pretty straightforward plot even duller. The other Christy Cabane films that I have seen, "The Mummy's Hand" and "Jane Eyre" were also a bit static, but moved like a tiger compared to this. The highlight of the film was seeing Harry Myers, the actor who played a great supporting role in Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights." I had never seen him in another movie before. Here, he has little to do beyond saying that his name is "Sturgeon, like the fish." He manages to make it funny. The other actors were fine, but, they all act as if they're on stage. The film is 57 minutes, not the 63 minutes listed on the Mill Creek Crime Collection. It is still rather slow and lacking in suspense. An annoyingly hiss fulled soundtrack does not help either.
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"I had a little bird keep an eye on you, and here I am."
classicsoncall6 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As with many early talkies, this one suffers from a stagy look and characters who mouth their lines without emotion as if they were reading their characters from the script. Others on this board have rightly noted that Dorothy Christy, portraying a secondary character, was the most natural of the bunch as a gold-digger intent on 'getting her share' from the film's first murder victim, Tony Blair (Richard Tucker). Adding some comic relief to the proceedings was Harry Myers getting some mileage out of an inebriated passenger routine on the cruise ship Cal York. Actually, he was half funny and half annoying, and at one point it looked like he almost whip-lashed himself.

Well, before it's over, there are two dead bodies, and the man put in charge of the case by the ship's captain is newspaper reporter Bruce Allan (Jameson Thomas). Soon he goes into full stereotypical detective mode questioning passengers and sleuthing around the ship. Yet when all is said and done, the resolution to the mystery is handled in ham handed fashion, and you didn't have to be a genius to figure it out yourself well before the final curtain. I was particularly amused when Allan whirled around with his pistol to implicate Weldon; he almost whip-lashed himself too.

Still, Bruce Allan is no Charlie Chan, and I couldn't help thinking that there would have been a more cerebral investigation of the murder mystery if the Oriental Detective was on board. So if you're interested in seeing how he would have come up with the killer, try the 1940 film "Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise" with Sidney Toler in the lead role. It's got double the murders and a very cool cast that includes Lionel Atwill, Leo G. Carroll and Charles Middleton.
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2/10's terrible.
MartinHafer18 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
An obnoxious guy who everyone hates is murdered. Now, there are a bazillion quests aboard a cruise ship who are suspects in this 1931 whodunnit.

This is a pretty terrible picture. It's obvious that it was made by a third-rate studio, as aside from having no recognizable actors in the film, many of them cannot remember their lines. And, what's worse, these scenes with flubs were not re-shot--an obvious sign of a 'Poverty Row' production. For example, one lady cannot remember the name of the guy who was her boss and who was sexually harassing her through much of the film! Uggh. And, to make matters worse, the film seems to have too many of the bad B-movie clichés to make it worth seeing. My favorite was the guy who knew who the murderer was--so the dummy approaches him and demands money to keep his mouth shut. And, in a typical bad movie pattern, only seconds later is he shot dead. Duh...trying to blackmail a THAT'S an intelligently written scene!! As a result of all these factors, the film is a dull mess. Now I like B-movies, but this is one that even fans of Bs would find hard to enjoy!
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