Cole Case, The (1931) ** 1/2 (out of 4) Dr. Crabtree (Donald Meek) and Insp. Carr (John Hamilton) are visited by a man who has been receiving notes threatening to kill him. The latest note says he will die at eight o'clock tonight so Carr sends a couple men to his house. Sure enough the guy is murdered under everyone's noses so the two men must find out what really happened. I've seen about half of this series so far and the mystery here, from the S.S. Van Dine story, is about middle ground. The story itself is mildly entertaining and the two leads do a nice job together. I'm sure fans of the series will enjoy this more than those just being introduced. The biggest problem is that there's way too much build up and not enough involving the actual solving of the case. When the killer is finally revealed, after a rather obvious clue, I couldn't help but feel as if very little thought went into it. I haven't read the Van Dine story so I'm curious how much was either cut out or just not filmed so that the film could run as a two-reeler.
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