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13 user 12 critic

Murder by the Clock (1931)

An elderly woman installs a horn in her crypt in case she's buried alive.

Director:

Edward Sloman

Writers:

Charles Beahan (play), Rufus King (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
William 'Stage' Boyd ... Lt. Valcour (as William Boyd)
Lilyan Tashman ... Laura Endicott
Irving Pichel ... Philip Endicott
Regis Toomey ... Officer Cassidy
Sally O'Neil ... Jane, a Maid
Blanche Friderici ... Julia Endicott
Walter McGrail ... Herbert Endicott
Lester Vail ... Thomas Hollander
Martha Mattox ... Miss Roberts
Frank Sheridan ... Chief of Police
Guy Oliver ... Watchman
Frederick Sullivan ... Medical Examiner
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Storyline

An elderly woman installs a horn in her crypt in case she's buried alive.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

will | vamp | mask | maid | fingerprints | See All (13) »

Taglines:

Three Murders Done-But Only Two Persons Die! (Print ad-Citizen Advertiser ((Auburn N.Y.)) 29 September 1931)

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime à Hora Certa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lacking subtlety and pacing.
4 April 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Murder by the Clock" is an early murder mystery and it has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, it seems to have just about as much going against it and I see it as a movie only worth seeing if you have nothing better to do!

When the story begins, you learn that a nasty old lady is trying to figure out which person to leave her fortune to--and one is an obviously psychotic and mentally challenged guy. But leaving the money to a different relative is NOT a good choice either, as the man and his conniving wife, Laura, plan on murdering the old lady. Once this occurs, it's like a bag of potato chips...and Laura manipulates the men around her to keep killing to ensure she'll be rich AND avoid jail.

The problems with the film mostly boil down to subtlety....or the lack of it. Laura (Lilyan Tashman) is so obviously manipulative and evil that she's practically a cartoon character (like Snidely Whiplash, perhaps). And, because she's so obvious and transparent, seeing men throwing their lives away for this not super attractive and nasty lady just didn't make any sense. The other problem was that the film went on too long...and relied too much on filler. Cutting a bit of it AND making Laura more believably evil would have improved this one significantly.


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