11 user 7 critic

Curtain at Eight (1933)

An elderly detective sets out to find who murdered a stage actor.


E. Mason Hopper


Edward T. Lowe Jr. (screen story) (as Edward T. Lowe)




Complete credited cast:
C. Aubrey Smith ... Jim Hanvey - Detective
Dorothy Mackaill ... Lola Cresmer
Paul Cavanagh ... Wylie Thornton - Actor
Sam Hardy ... Martin Gallagher - Captain of Detectives
Marion Shilling ... Anice Cresmer
Russell Hopton ... Terry Mooney - Reporter
Natalie Moorhead ... Alma Jenkins Thornton
Hale Hamilton ... Major Manning
Ruthelma Stevens ... Doris Manning
Arthur Hoyt ... Watkins - Night Watchman
Dot Farley ... Ella - Party Guest
Jack Mulhall ... Carey Weldon


An elderly detective sets out to find who murdered a stage actor.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film took place on the East Coast in New York City Thursday 26 August 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2) and on the West Coast in Los Angeles Thursday 23 November 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »


Alma Jenkins Thornton: A wife has some rights, particularly an undivorced wife.
Wylie Thornton - Actor: If Doris Manning smelled a rat, she'd back out like that
[he snaps his fingers]
Alma Jenkins Thornton: And we can't afford to lose the Manning millions, can we, Dear?
Wylie Thornton - Actor: Keep on, keep on, you'll throw a monkey wrench into the whole works.
Alma Jenkins Thornton: Oh, you'd find words to soothe the troubled waters. Your lips fairly drool honey when they want to. That's how you got me.
Wylie Thornton - Actor: I wish some of the same could get rid of you.
Alma Jenkins Thornton: [mockingly] Ah, what is life without you, my Sweet? Each hour away ...
See more »


Followed by Jim Hanvey, Detective (1937) See more »

User Reviews

A smidgen better than average for the genre.
4 May 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

During the 1930s and 40s, Hollywood made something like 1838234252847 murder mystery B-movies and "Curtain at Eight" is one of them. Like most of these films, it all hinges on a cliché--the dopey detective who is totally clueless. Chief Detective Martin Gallagher jumps to conclusions and comes up with theories and tries to make facts fit it (instead of vice-versa). If it weren't for another detective (C. Aubry Smith--in a very unusual role for him).

When a two-timing actor is murdered, there are two obvious suspects. But, when one turns up dying, it looks really bad for the other suspect. It MUST be him, or so the dopey policeman thinks. But they realize that a chimp (mistakenly called a monkey throughout the film) might actually be the shooter...maybe. So who did it? And, more importantly, is there enough to separate this from the pack of films in the genre? Well, the answer is not a lot. It's very typical in most every way. The differences were the hero (Smith) and the very end when he learns who the real killer is. It's worth seeing if you like these sort of films but for most, it's quite skippable.

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Release Date:

1 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backstage Mystery See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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