30 user 26 critic

Night Key (1937)

Approved | | Crime, Thriller | 2 May 1937 (USA)
The inventor of a new top-of-the-line burglar alarm system is kidnapped by a gang in order to get him to help them commit robberies.


Lloyd Corrigan


Tristram Tupper (screenplay), Jack Moffitt (screenplay) (as John C. Moffitt) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... David Mallory
Warren Hull ... Jim Travers (as J. Warren Hull)
Jean Rogers ... Joan Mallory
Alan Baxter ... John Baron aka The Kid
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Petty Louie
Samuel S. Hinds ... Stephen Ranger (as Samuel Hinds)
David Oliver ... Mike Callahan
Ward Bond ... Fingers
Frank Reicher ... Carl
Edwin Maxwell ... Kruger


The inventor of a new top-of-the-line burglar alarm system is kidnapped by a gang in order to get him to help them commit robberies.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE MADE HIS ENEMIES BEG FOR MERCY! (Print Ad- Fort dodge Messenger-Chronicle, ((Fort Dodge, Iowa)) 14 July 1937)


Crime | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This B picture was shot in 27 days for $192,000. This was 6 days and $17,000 over the initial budget and due to director Lloyd Corrigan's inexperience and star Boris Karloff's insistence that union rules regarding an 8-hour day be obeyed. See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Boris Karloff (1996) See more »

User Reviews

Burglary with Boris!
17 November 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

The almighty Boris Karloff is primarily an icon of horror cinema so it's a bit peculiar that this film, which is in no way horror-related, got included in the fancy and recently released Karloff DVD-collection (cover image displayed here on the main page). Personally, I'm glad it's there, as "Night Key" was completely unknown to me and it's always a great pleasure to discover a new film from your favorite actor, especially if it's as amusing and adequately plotted as this film! Boris is once again very convincing as the elderly inventor of burglar alarms who just reached a personal breakthrough with his new system of a beam-based alarm. When he attempts to sell his invention to a major company, the manager slash former business partner robs him for the second time and Mallory develops a plan to get even. By developing a way to crack the old alarm systems, he hopes to sell his new one quicker but unfortunately a gang of mobsters takes quite an interest in his burglary methods… "Night Key" is by no means a mesmerizing film, but it benefices from a good pace and excellent acting performances. Apart from Boris, there's the really great acting to admire of Alan Baxter, Ward Bond and Hobart Cavanaugh as a small time crook. It's a fun little film, albeit very politically correct and loaded with clichés and stereotypes.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Italian

Release Date:

2 May 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Key See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed