But just before the party begins he is bumped off by an explosive Roquewurst sausage that has been left in his bedroom. GEE I. But during the big event, Roland is found dead, slumped over his office desk. Printable contents: Host Guide and Rules Guest invitations and costume suggestions Menu suggestions Group evidence and clues Author's Solution Character booklets for all 10 suspects Optional downloadable audio scene setter Note: Download games are digital files for you to download and print - this is not a boxed game.
Murder Ahoy A swashbuckling murder mystery set in the tropical waters of the Caribbean. Captain Mugwash and his pirate crew are shipwrecked on a desert island where they find a buried treasure chest. But during a drunken celebration on the beach the Captain is discovered slumped over the chest, murdered! Host your own party to find out who whacked the big potato! Murder in Transylvania Who killed Sonya Right? Visitors from all walks of life have come to witness the thrills and chills of this genuine Transylvanian house of horror, all of which will be revealed by the resident tour guide Sonya Right.
But shortly after dinner Sonya is found in her room with two small puncture wounds in her neck. Host your own party to find out who sucked the life out of her! Murder of Course Glynn Eagles, owner of the prestigious Callow Way Golf Club, has just announced plans to build a new exclusive golf resort and is hosting a party to celebrate.
However, during a round of golf before the party begins, Glynn is clubbed to death on the green of the 18th hole. Host your own party to find out who ended his round! Nip, Tuck and a Murder A high society murder mystery set in the cut-throat world of plastic surgery! Host your own party to find out who gave him his last laugh! But, before the first cork can be popped, disaster strikes. Captain E Slost is found overboard, floating on an iceberg with a bullet in his chest. Host your own party to find out who put the Captain on ice!
But before his fabulous dish can be sampled, Russell is found murdered, sawn into pieces! Host your own party to find out who carved him up! Murder at the Pyramids Egypt, , and archaeologist June Digger has made the most incredible discovery of the century. This was no curse, this was murder! Cert U.
But before his guests can toast his success, he is found dead in the stables, strangled with his own whip! Host your own party to find out who choked his chances! Murder on Starship Deathstation IV Join our major sci-fi mashup homage, as Chief Engineer Snotty is selling the blueprints to his latest planet destroying space station! But before the auction can begin Snotty is found in the engine room, spliced in two!
Host your own party to find out who turned Snotty into a red shirt! No-one is 'bolted on', everyone's a suspect. Printable contents: Host Guide - complete instructions for running the party. Character playbooks for all fourteen suspects. Invitations and Costume Suggestions. Question menus.
Whodunit cards. Pages to print? Max print 54 mono A4 pages 12 guests, 12 invites Good times for groups: An excellent way to spend a role-playing evening with friends. Each party takes hours to play. They are filled with intrigue, suspense, humour and the fun of playing both detective and suspect. This game is designed to be played by up to 6 male and 6 female players, in any combination minimum of 4. Suitable for ages 18 and over. Murder in Hollywoodland You're invited to a star-studded yacht party, as Lucas Cameronburg is shooting the biggest blockbuster ever made!
But before he can say "That's a wrap! Host your own party to find out who cut Cameronburg from his own film! Good times for groups: An excellent way to spend a role-playing evening with friends. Fancy a pre-printed version? Click here! Murder at the Manor Lord Heathcliff is throwing a swanky dinner party in honour of his new bride. All the usual suspects are there - the vicar, the cook, the professor - plus a few unusual ones. But dinner will never be served because Lord Heathcliff is hit over the head with a candlestick just as he's taking his customary afternoon swim.
Host your own party to find out who snuffed out his candle! This game is designed to be played by up to 7 male and 7 female players, in any combination minimum of 6. So many people wanted him dead, for so many, many reasons Who committed such a ho-ho-ho horrific deed! Character playbooks for all twelve suspects.
This game is designed to be played by up to 4 male and 4 female players, in any combination minimum of 4. Contains typical murder mystery themes without bad language or reference to intimate relationships. It is Christmas afterall!
But after one too many drinks, the bride and her entourage are invited to 'hunt the stag' with paintball guns. The groom is quickly found and paint-balled head to toe, but nobody can find best man Steve Wingman, who has met a grisly end. Grab your guns and get ready for a facial at the luxury spa and adventure resort of Pamper Island!
Books by Anthony Gilbert (Author of Death Casts a Long Shadow)
The perfect murder mystery for a hen night or girls night in! This game is designed to be played by up to 14 female players, in any combination minimum of 6. Contains adult themes and plentiful innuendo. A Little Murder, at the Manor A player version of Murder at the Manor - same murder but with six all-new suspects! Play it on its own or combine it with Murder at the Manor to accommodate up to 20 guests!
But before anyone can toast his happiness, Lord Heathcliff is killed with the candlestick in the pool room. Character playbooks for all six suspects. This game is designed to be played by up to 3 male and 3 female players, in any combination minimum of 4. Simply Murder at the Garden Party No preparation required - just add friends! Sir Richard Flyson is holding an exclusive garden party and barbeque at his summer residence to demonstrate his latest invention - a vacuum powered strimmer called the Vrimmer.
But when Sir Flyson flicks the switch - well, let's just say the sausages aren't the only things that got burned. It looks like murder Just hand out the roles and let the fun begin! Play in the garden or over dinner, at any time of the day or night There are no 'required' guests as the murderer is chosen randomly each time you play. Murder in the Roaring '20s Gray Catsby has invited his most talented and wealthy friends to a charity gala event at his countryside residence, Catsby Hall.
Join the flappers and dappers to find out who finished her off! A Very Shakespearean Murder What scream through yonder window breaks?
Queen Derivative the Second is having a right royal ado at her Elizabethan court, but before the guests can forketh down the first oxen, her jester Yorick is found dead-ed - stabbed in his chambers! But who-duneth-it? A bawdy bardy romp for up to 7 male and 7 female players! Contains frequent, loaded innuendo! Murder at the Disco New York, It seems that a man whom the miners left for dead is very much alive and out for revenge.
The killer warns each victim of impending doom by leaving behind a black voodoo doll, of which he has a seemingly endless supply. Into this highly charged situation stumbles heroine Marian Rood Nan Grey , who may very well be linked to the murders that follow. Meanwhile her poor husband finds himself powerless to stop her.
The matter comes to a terrifying head when she begins participating in human sacrifices and decides to offer up her own baby. Fortunately her husband shows up and puts a permanent hold on her evil activities. But when Dugan sees innocent young Fred Curtis Tom Brown being made the fall guy for a jewel robbery, he decides to help the poor boy out. What Fred doesn't know is that Dugan is his own father, desperate to make amends for his past indiscretions. Never revealing his true identity, Dugan rescues Fred from the clutches of beautiful predator Millicent Bath Adrienne Ames.
The musical score is by Oscar Levant, whose legendary dislike for thick-eared Hollywood executives never prohibited him from picking up his paycheck. It takes a long time, but eventually the reporter succeeds and the gangster is sent up river. Unfortunately, once there, he becomes the leader of the prisoners and, though incarcerated, is soon up to his old tricks of trying to corrupt local politicians and the warden. The obsessed journalist is infuriated and so gets himself sent to prison to stop the gangster once and for all. Schoedsack relaxed a bit with the comparatively sedate crime caper Blind Adventure.
Playing his cards close to his vest, Bruce manages to get his hands on the "secret papers" that are so important to everyone in the story. Of the supporting players, Roland Young is terrific as a dry-witted burglar. The amorous missives were written by his sister and could destroy her reputation. Someone has been using them to blackmail her, so her brother steals them. Unfortunately, they get mixed up in some shipping crates and get sent to California with a bunch of his latest creations. When the crooks learn that the letters are there, they too head for LA making the bulk of this crime drama a race to find those letters.
Hal Wilson Chester Morris is an escaped killer who hides out in the home of noted psychologist Dr. Shelby Ralph Bellamy. While Wilson's gang holds Shelby's family and servants hostage, the pipe-smoking mental doctor calmly tries to discover the reasons for Wilson's murderous proclivities. As gun moll Mary Ann Dvorak covers Shelby, Wilson willingly allows the doctor to psychoanalyze him, using hypnosis to trace the killer's childhood.
Once Shelby forces Wilson to confront his inner demons, the lifelong criminal is never able to kill again. Rather simplistic in its psychological approach, Blind Alley still works as a "film noir," complete with surrealistic dream sequences. A taut story and moody cinematography by Lucien Ballard — with sharp direction from Vidor, and superlative acting by Morris and Bellamy — earn this film noir entry a top spot in the genre.
Cobb as the unflappable head shrinker. Written and directed by Rowland Brown, an aficionado of underworld fact and fiction, the film star Frances Dee as Elaine Talbert, a decadent young heiress who will do anything for a quick thrill. Her ongoing search for a man who will "take charge" of her, Talbert goes on a shoplifting spree and gets mixed up with crooked bail-bondsman Bill Bailey, who is nothing more than a legal extortionist.
She is also sucked into the netherworld of penny-ante crook Drury Darling Chick Chandler and his wife, black-widow nightclub queen Ruby Darling Judith Anderson, in her film debut The climax, involving a booby-trapped billiard ball, is a tenser variation of a famous sequence from Keaton's Sherlock Jr..
And the film's now-legendary final scene, which proves beyond a doubt that Talbert has learned nothing from her perilous experiences, is really one for the books! Hard to find nowadays, Blood Money has justifiably assumed "cult film" status. In the course of the hour journey, a high-ranking British official Ferdinand Gottschalk and an equally prominent Maharajah Douglas Gerrard are both murdered. Police inspector Dyke Edmund Lowe would like to make an arrest, but is stymied by a lack of evidence — or even a murder weapon.
Complicating matters is a scheme hatched by a couple of other passengers to steal a valuable ruby. It turns out that a poisonous cobra is the instrument of death, and that the murderer is Future gossip queen Hedda Hopper appears as one of the most suspicious-looking suspects. Genre: SUSPENSE, Transfer Quality: B In this actioner, an auto racer becomes a cab driver for a company that is being strong-armed by avaricious gangsters trying to gain control of all of the city's taxi companies.
Anyone opposing them is framed, but the brave racer isn't so easily intimidated and he decides to take on the crooks himself. He is assisted by the head gangster's moll. Though lacking the polish of Hollywood's Drummond pictures, this one is closer to the original concept of series creator H. Neile aka "Sapper" than any other film. The plot is motivated by the nefarious activities of a gang of munitions smugglers, disguised as a pacifist organization. Adopting strong-arm tactics that border on the fascistic, soldier-of-fortune Bulldog Drummond Lodge tackles the villains, while Scotland Yard remains in the background, presumably twiddling its collective thumbs.
The hijackers, Mikhail Valdin J. But the intrepid hero pays no heed and is soon off on a dangerous journey that culminates at the Mere, a supposed haunted house. Bulldog Drummond Comes Back was based on H. Carrol Naish Directed by: Louis King. Even more startling, attached to the wayward limb is a case filled with hextonite, a new and highly explosive substance desired by the enemy in general and one Draven Nogais Frank Puglia in particular. With his faithful servant, Tenny E. At first, the wily Nogais manages to elude his pursuers by disguising himself as a woman, but his plans to escape with the explosives are halted on the ferryboat to France.
Despite the relative brevity of his role as Scotland Yard inspector Neilson, John Barrymore earned star billing in this series entry, which was based on H. Realizing that he is the victim of political shenanigans, he dutifully does his time. Eventually he comes up for parole, but the crooked official behind his incarceration, fearing that the prisoner will expose him, makes sure that parole is denied. The innocent inmate has only one consolation— the prison nurse believes him. After completing his training, Martin is pitted against dignified Professor Anthony Sir Guy Standing , who uses his academic status as a cover for his bank-robbery activities.
Keeping himself abreast of police maneuvers by listening to car radios and unobtrusively hanging around headquarters, Anthony ultimately uses his technological know-how to paralyze the police communications systems. But with the cooperation of the Massachusetts police department, whose radios are in full working order, rookie Martin and rustic sheriff Pete Arnot Frank Craven combine forces for a final assault upon Anthony's hideout.
Its sometimes illogical plot twists notwithstanding, the screenplay is based on a series of factual articles, first published in Saturday Evening Post. Also given a career boost in Car 99 is another new Paramount contractee, Ann Sheridan. Paul Lukas plays Vance, who is brought to the mansion of a wealthy, eccentric widow Alison Skipworth by a mysterious unsigned letter. Several murders are committed in the elderly woman's home, with the evidence pointing to various red herrings before the truth is revealed. Rosalind Russell plays the old lady's secretary and Vance's object of affections ; Eric Blore is Vance's droll valet; and Ted Healy is the obnoxious Sgt.
Heath, ever willing to slap the cuffs on the wrong person. His secretary's lover finds out that the banker has been using fake bonds to make a deal. The opportunistic young lout then begins threatening to blackmail the financier. In a panic, the banker tosses the extortionist overboard. When he learns that his secretary loved the creep, the boat captain launches a search party and the man is all wet, but saved. The repentant banker then kills himself. It isn't long, however, before he's sucked into yet another murder case, with a more colorful array of suspects than usual.
One of the secondary villains, sinister lion tamer Tom Holt, is played by J. Some of the best moments in Charlie Chan at the Circus are contributed by brother-and-sister midget performers George and Olive Brasno. Assigned by the U. Navy to track down a gang of international spies, Charlie Chan Warner Oland heads to Berlin, where as luck would have it his son Lee Keye Luke is representing the United States as a member of the Olympic swimming team.
What no one knows but Chan suspects is that Yvonne is one of the spies, in league with the mysterious Arthur Hughes C.
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Henry Gordon. Yvonne hides a stolen secret weapon in Betty's luggage, leading to a not-so-merry chase through Berlin, and the ultimate kidnapping of Lee Chan by the villains. Plus, there's a murder to be solved, and Berlin police chief Strasset Fredrick Vogeding isn't about to let Charlie Chan get the credit. Ironically, Charlie travels from New York to Berlin via the dirigible Hindenburg — which crashed into flames the same week that Charlie Chan at the Olympics was released PS: The Nazi swastika on the tail of the airship was matted out by the special-effects crew.
Bruce Humberstone. Boris Karloff" read the billing on the opening credits of Charlie Chan at the Opera.
Karloff plays a once-famous opera star who has long been confined to an insane asylum. He escapes, ostensibly to seek revenge on the diva wife Nedda Harrigan who'd betrayed him years earlier. Karloff shows up during the performance of a new opera, and within minutes the murders start.
Detective William Demarest figures the case is open and shut, but oriental sleuth Charlie Chan Oland is not thoroughly convinced of Karloff's guilt—nor is he certain that Boris is genuinely insane. To give away the ending would be churlish, but we can note that Charlotte Henry plays Karloff's daughter, who has been raised to believe that her father was dead. Considered by some Charlie Chan fans to be the best of the Warner Oland efforts, Charlie Chan at the Opera is distinguished by excellent production values, and by an original opera composed by Oscar Levant—who allegedly agreed to this assignment provided he could include the word "Silencio!
The dead man was a prominent horse breeder, whose favorite stallion has been entered in the Santa Anita handicap. At first glance, it appears as though the victim has been kicked to death by his own horse, but further investigation reveals the complicity of a crooked gambling ring. The excitement of the "photo finish" climax is amplified when Charlie and Number One Son Lee Keye Luke are kidnapped by the gamblers — and the murderer still hasn't been revealed!
The best line in Charlie Chan at the Race Track occurs at the end, when Lee excitedly bursts into a room with a vital clue that Charlie has already revealed, whereupon Mr. Chan murmurs: "Please — save clue for next case. The police rule Essex' death a suicide, but Chan believes differently. He follows the trail of clues to the mysterious Zodiac, a crooked spiritualist.
The oriental detective is aided in his investigation by Rhadini Cesar Romero , a charming stage magician who hopes to expose Zodiac as a phony and blackmailer. After several plot twists and a couple of additional murders, all the likely suspects are gathered together during one of Rhadini's performances at Treasure Island, the San Francisco branch of the World's Fair. In a truly eerie climax, mystic Eve Pauline Moore who really does have psychic powers, prepares to name the killer.
The revelation of the culprit is a genuine surprise, staged with topnotch showmanship by director Norman Foster, whose wife Sally Blane Loretta Young's sister appears in a small role as Essex's widow. The story is motivated by a King Tut-like curse, which has apparently befallen the members of an archeological expedition. Charlie Chan Warner Oland is brought into the case when a French museum wants to find out how several valuable Egyptian artifacts, originally slated for museum exhibition, have ended up for sale to the highest bidder.
Arriving in Egypt, Chan must first figure out the modus operandi for two murders in which neither a weapon nor a wound was found. The solution to the killings involves a certain musical pitch played on a violin a familiar mystery-movie device of the period. While awaiting the birth of his first grandchild, Chan endeavors to solve a shipboard murder on a Hawaiian freighter.
Hint: the most likely suspect is played by George Zucco, so it's safe bet that he's not the guilty party. Hampering Chan's investigation is the well-meaning assistance of overeager Charlie Chan Jr. Audiences immediately warmed to Sidney Toler as the new Charlie Chan, encouraging 20th Century-Fox to keep the series going as long as possible.
Before long, Jeanne Bentley Louise Henry , another divorce-seeker, is found slain, and the police are certain that Mary, or her estranged husband, is responsible. It so happens that the Whitmans are from Honolulu, the stamping grounds of Charlie Chan, which is why our wily hero shows up in Nevada with son Jimmy Victor Sen Yung in tow. Every so often, the mystery slows down long enough for an amusing battle of wits between Chan and local sheriff Fletcher Slim Summerville , who admittedly has only half the necessary ammunition.
The billing order of the supporting cast is as usual a giveaway of the true killer's identity, but this doesn't lessen the enjoyment of this well-crafted programmer. It isn't long, however, before Chan has been summoned by the local constabulary to help smash an international dope ring. Only after rounding up the smugglers does Charlie reveal the well-concealed identity of the criminal mastermind behind it all. The nominal romantic lead is played by Charles Locher, who went on to greater fame as Jon Hall.
Charlie Chan Sidney Toler arrives in the City of Light for a reunion with his war buddies, only to find those lights dimmed by a city-wide blackout. The murder victim this time out is munitions manufacturer Douglas Dumbrille, who sells out his country by selling arms to an unnamed enemy. Harold Huber shamelessly overacts as the Parisian inspector assigned to the case. Charlie Chan in City of Darkness ends on a prescient note, with Chan expressing trepidation over the "Peace in Our Time" solution to the Munich affair. Fane seems to have resolved some of her problems and is prepared to move forward with her life — with help from phony mystic Tarnevarro Bela Lugosi — when she turns up murdered.
Inspector Chan Warner Oland is up to his neck in possible suspects, including Tarnevarro, who was getting inside information on Fane and working some kind of scam; Fane's assistant, Julie O'Neil Sally Eilers , who felt compelled to tamper with evidence; her would-be fiance, Jimmy Bradshaw Robert Young , who tried to keep Julie from finding the body; Fane's oily ex Victor Varconi ; Smith Murray Kinnell , a painter and beachcomber who was lurking around the murder scene; and two servants, Jessup Dwight Frye and Anna Violet Dunn , one of whom seems very nervous.
Several of these people had motive and opportunity, and the plot thickens considerably when some seemingly innocuous witnesses admit to hiding evidence, others start turning up dead, and yet others seem to be destroying evidence. Chan, juggling this list of suspects and the thinly veiled racism of some of them and the presence of his well-meaning but inept assistant Kashimo Otto Yamaoka , as well as his family life, maintains his cool, cerebral demeanor throughout, despite attempts on his own life and the slang-laden yammering of his children, which the detective scarcely understands. The reading of a will is delayed until young Fred Gage Edward Trevor , one of the principal heirs to the fortune, can be located.
Gage shows up at the family mansion, only to be promptly murdered. Alas, Chan apparently fails, and Henrietta falls victim to the mysterious killer — or does she? The suspect roster includes a pair of phony mystics, an ill-tempered caretaker and a stock swindler — but it's the least-likely suspect who proves to be the guilty party, one of several of the many surprises packed into the final reel.
While entertaining at the home of magazine publisher Court Aldrich Samuel S. It seems that Aldrich was working hand in glove with gangster Tony Garcia Harold Huber , who has kept himself busy knocking off the publisher's enemies. Could Garcia be the murderer this time as well, or was it someone else at the party? Inspector Dailey Edgar Kennedy wants to find out-but he doesn't want the unsolicited assistance of Charlie McCarthy, who insists upon playing Sherlock Holmes, replete with deerstalker and magnifying glass. Though essentially a "stunt" film, Charlie McCarthy, Detective pleases the crowd with an abundance of hilarious dialogue and a reasonably good mystery subplot.
Lyle Talbot plays Ted Lacey, a disgruntled ex-cop reduced to driving a sightseeing bus in Chinatown. When a man who has been collecting funds for the Chinese communist cause is murdered, Lacey leaps at the opportunity to solve the case in hopes of getting his badge back. The killing is tied in with some stolen airplanes — and, this being Hollywood's version of Chinatown, there's an abundance of sinister-looking suspects.
Eighteen-year-old Valerie Hobson is the pretty if antiseptic heroine. For reasons best known to the folks at Universal, Chinatown Squad was included in TV's "Shock Theatre" package, lumped together with the studio's Frankenstein and Dracula pictures! The circus has stopped to perform in a small town when the trouble begins. During the course of the film, much of the cast is killed, planning to kill, or killing each other.
This was not the only innovation in this fascinating early talkie, in which straight-arrow movie hero Gary Cooper is cast as a racketeer known only as The Kid. Eventually railroaded into prison by her crooked cohorts, Nan implores The Kid to give up the rackets, but he refuses.
Things go downhill very rapidly after that, culminating with The Kid and Nan being taken "for a ride" by rival thugs. Cast in a role originally intended for Clara Bow, Sylvia Sidney does a magnificent job and was soon typecast as a downtrodden Depression victim, born with two strikes against her. Conversely, Gary Cooper never again played anything quite like "The Kid. But after Rains is plagued by severe headaches, he discovers that he truly does have "visions".
Suddenly his predictions begin to come true, and Rains is elevated to a position of prominence in European social and political circles. Despite the protestations of his loving wife Fay Wray , Rains becomes intoxicated by his own power, which leads to disaster. Several mysterious killings have taken place at a co-ed college, and it looks as though there won't be anyone left alive to appear in the annual campus musical.
The police, headed by the irascible Chief Magoun William Frawley are at a loss to solve the murders, so the students take it upon themselves to play detective. It is college cutie Sally Dunlap Arline Judge who discovers that the killing spree is related to the accidental death of a student during a long-ago fraternity hazing. The film's most startling moment occurs when music student Paul Gedney Johnny Downs is knocked off while singing his latest composition, ironically titled "In the Middle of a Kiss. Robert Kent plays a star football player who is framed by gamblers on a robbery charge and sentenced to prison.
Serving three years behind bars, Kent is paroled in the custody of the same gambling boss Sidney Blackmer who engineered the frame. Unaware that his benefactor is also the guy who sent him up, Kent falls in love with the gambler's innocent sister Anne Nagel. Ten points to anyone who can figure out the relevance of the film's title. Genre: SUSPENSE, Transfer Quality: B Of interest mainly because of the talent involved, this film remains a tepid bootleg melodrama about a small-town football hero attempting to prove that he is as ruthless as his rich girlfriend's father.
Hawkes, however, does not approve of the banker's heartless business practices and is fired for refusing to sell questionable stock. Big John, as it turns out, is employed by the banker, who is thus made to pay for his own liquor twice. Despite the ruthlessness of the gangster and his henchman Fish Face Frank Rice , Hawkes manages to get the upper hand, proving once and for all that he is the banker's equal and worthy of Alison's love. Corsair which was the name of Chester Morris' pirate vessel was produced at Catalina Island by silent screen director Roland West as a showcase for for his girlfriend Thelma Todd.
A gifted comedienne, Todd was made to change her name to Alison Loyd for the occasion, but producer-director West gave her very little to work with, and she quickly returned to her former employer, comedy king Hal Roach. West, who had helmed a couple of interesting silent melodramas, ended his screen career with Corsair, opening instead a restaurant with Todd as his partner.
Kruger plays William Mellon, a shifty shyster whose underhanded methods loses him the love of his sweetheart Anne Nana Bryant , who subsequently marries a powerful senator Thurston Hall. What Mellon doesn't know is that Anne has borne him a son, whom the senator has adopted. Reaching adulthood, Paul Douglass Montgomery opts for a legal career himself, taking a clerical job with his own father's firm.
In typical "B"-picture, Mellon is charged with murdering one of his more odious clients — and Paul is appointed prosecuting attorney in the case. Peter Lorre is a deceptively shy plant technician who is actually the head of a foreign spy ring. Eager to get his hands on the plans of a new, secret aircraft, Lorre bribes Donlevy to help him steal the blueprints. Donlevy agrees, and the theft is carried out. But while the conspirators are making their escape by airplane, the plane develops motor trouble and crashes—exactly the intention of Donlevy, who isn't as dishonest as he seems. Crack-Up isn't very deep, but Peter Lorre plays his limited role with a refreshing sense of sardonic humor.
Carrol Naish Directed by: Malcolm St. A drunken neighbor staggers in and interrupts their brainstorming before passing out on the floor. The three playwrights then pretend that he is really dead and begin trying to figure out how it might have happened. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the drunk ends up dead for real and now the writers have some real work to do. She wants more money. The doctor then plans to murder him and then rob him. Before he acts, the physician comes to his senses and confesses his scheme to the police. He then swears he will have the bank officer return the cash.
Unfortunately, the bank official is killed and robbed. The doctor, who had come to hypnotize him, is found unconscious. Someone chloroformed him. At this point the movie grinds to a halt and an intermission is inserted. It's purpose is to allow the viewer one minute to look back upon the clues and try to solve the murder. A clock ticks off the seconds, and the characters and clues quickly flash across the screen. It is still very difficult to determine "whodunit" until the very end of the picture. There they try to overtake the town. Meanwhile the mob boss searches for the perfect job.
He convinces a millionaire, the owner of a department store, to help his gang rob the store blind. The plot fails and the gangsters battle it out with the bobbies. Famed attorney Claude Rains, incensed that his mistress Margo has been seeing other men, kills the girl—or at least thinks he does. Rains believes he is "above" such irritations as conscience and morality, and calmly arranges to cover his crime, using his knowledge of the law to escape detection. But Rains cannot truly escape from himself, and is cajoled by a surprising turn of events to break down and confess.
Crime without Passion was ostensibly directed by Ben Hecht, who cowrote the screenplay with his longtime partner Charles McArthur, but most of the actual direction was the responsibility of cameraman Lee Garmes. Walter Huston is district attorney Brady, who quickly convicts Robert Graham Phillips Holmes of murdering a man who was harassing his girlfriend. Brady is later made the warden of the prison where Robert is held. Brady tries to make friends with Robert, but Robert will have no dealings with the new warden. Nevertheless, Brady, who thinks Robert is a decent man who became embroiled in extraordinary circumstances, gives Robert a job as his chauffeur.
As he drives with Brady's daughter Mary Constance Cummings , the two fall in love. Robert knows Ned killed Runch, but refuses to tell Brady. Brady reluctantly sends Robert to solitary confinement to get him to give up the murderer's name, but Robert holds out on him. Stevens was one of five films that Michael Powell directed for producer Irving Asher. Ex-dancer and femme fatale Doris Stevens, in need of money to pay off a loan shark, has married wealthy Arthur Stevens only to discover that he refuses to part with any of his money.
Meanwhile, Chris Jensen, an employee of Mr. Stevens', finds himself in some financial difficulties involving an unpaid-for ring. When he visits a pawnbroker, he sees Doris leaving the premises — and finds the pawnbroker dead. She denies any wrong-doing and uses her wiles to convince him that it would be in both their interests if he did not tell anyone about this. He goes along with her, but when he later learns that Mr. Stevens has suddenly taken ill, he suspects that she may be trying to kill her husband to collect on his insurance.
Jensen hurries to his employer's house, hoping to avert another murder. Crown's screenplay was by the prolific Brock Williams, who had earlier worked with Powell on three earlier "quota quickies. When Wall Street lays its famous egg in , Crawford and Bakewell find that they can no longer pursue their flamboyant lifestyle for example, they'll have to put a moratorium on the sort of "lingerie parties" with which this film opens. Crawford gets a newspaper job, while Bakewell ties up with vicious bootlegger Clark Gable. When Gable is implicated in the murder of seven gangsters a transparent reenactment of the St.
Bakewell is ordered to kill Edwards; Crawford, not knowing of her brother's actions, takes Edwards' place, wooing Gable in hopes of getting a scoop. When Gable finds out that Crawford's working undercover so to speak , he prepares to rub her out, but her life is saved by Bakewell at the cost of his own.
Compared to the rest of the stick-figure leading men in Dance Fools Dance, Clark Gable stood out like a testosterone-soaked thumb, and it wouldn't be long before he'd be promoted from villains to heroes. The sponsor had a reputation for using women. A clever radio engineer solves the mystery. Priestley stage play, Dangerous Corner is a cautionary fable about the damage caused by telling the unvarnished truth.
A burned-out radio tube is the catalyst for a series of painful and potentially dangerous revelations during a weekend party. The upshot of all this is the suicide of party guest Ian Keith and the mysterious theft of a large sum of money. Through an ingenious last-act plot twist of the kind so beloved by Priestley and his ilk , the audience is treated to both a happy and a tragic denouement. Long ignored by film historians, Dangerous Corner was rediscovered when it popped up repeatedly on the American Movie Classics cable service in the mids.
Unlike the version — Satan Met a Lady, starring Bette Davis — 's The Maltese Falcon stays close to the source material, aside from a tacked-on ending that relieves some of the book's cynical severity. The film had a standard feel for a studio production of the early sound period; it arrived in theaters right before the surge of detective movies, as horror and gangster films were falling out of favor.
Journeyman director Roy Del Ruth helms adequately enough, and the prolific but lightly regarded bit actor Ricardo Cortez does well with his interpretation of Sam Spade as a saucy womanizer. To avoid confusion with the later John Huston production, this film has often been renamed The Dangerous Female. Meanwhile the Asian lover he dumped plots her revenge. Leigh plays a Stockholm dress-shop owner during World War I, who, being a neutral, is permitted to travel unmolested to and from France.
Veidt plays a supposedly disgraced German officer who is actually head of his country's secret service. The two fall in love, despite the fact that Leigh has a secret as well: she is a double agent, sympathetic towards the Allied cause. During one of Leigh's voyages to France, her ship is captured by a German U-boat. Veidt swaggers on board, threatening to sink the ship if Leigh is not turned over to him. But the circumstances reverse themselves, and Veidt finds himself Leigh's prisoner--a circumstance that is not altogether unpleasant for him.
Wong is on the trail of the criminals who murdered her father. The villains are running an illegal-alien operation, smuggling cheap Chinese and Mexican labor into San Francisco and killing those unlucky souls who prove "inconvenient". Wong takes a job as an exotic dancer in a Central American nitery, hoping to trap the murderers in the act.
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Though J. Carrol Naish Directed by: Robert Florey. To get even, he sends out his daughter to kill Fletcher, but en route, she meets up with a Scotland Yard detective and her plans are waylaid. He is sent to a high-rise facility in LA. It seems the fellow was only following the instructions of his domineering, constantly nagging wife who, as soon as he is put away, takes up with a more successful businessman.
This causes her new lover's ex-lover to get insanely jealous and kill the conniving wife. The businessman decides to take the blame for the death and he is sent to the same jail as the dead woman's husband. One of the two meets a violent end. After several other incidents occur, police begin to think of sabotage.
Louis Cardinals during a championship season. The arrival of hotshot pitcher Larry Kelly Robert Young coincides with an apparent plot to sabotage the Cards' chances of making it to the World Series. A failed attempt to poison all the pitcher's mitts is followed by a series of murders: catcher Dunk Spencer Joe Sauers is shot while sprinting to third base, pitcher Frank Higgins Robert Livingston is strangled in the locker room, and lovable catcher Truck Hogan Nat Pendleton is killed with an arsenic-laden hot dog.
Finding himself one of the many suspects, Kelly nearly becomes a victim as well when he is slipped a booby-trapped baseball. With the help of sportscaster Jimmy Downey Paul Kelly , Kelly exposes the murderer, surviving to win the pennant and the heroine, team secretary daughter Frances Clark Madge Evans.
Partly filmed on location at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field home of the Chicago Cubs' minor-league LA farm team , Death on the Diamond offers a fresh slant to the standard whodunit format, with some particularly good work by Ted Healy as an exasperated umpire. That MGM produced the film is tipped off by two of the studio's trademarks: The killer's last-minute confession, wherein the guilty party transforms from a mild-mannered soul into a raving lunatic, and the shoddy process-screen work in the ballgame scenes.
She is subsidized by pillar of society Otto Kruger, who is actually the "big boy" behind the city's rackets. Patrick must prove that Toler didn't own a weapon that he is accused of pointing at a terrified states' witness. She believes in her client's innocence, but honest district attorney Robert Preston steers her to the side of Right.
Patrick is exonerated of a complicity charge, and bad guys Toler and Kruger are carted off to prison. Marlene Dietrich delivers a subtle and witty performance as a Viennese prostitute who offers her services as a spy during WWI. As "Agent X" our heroine proves invaluable to her superiors, seducing and betraying enemy officers with the greatest of ease. But when she falls in love with Russian spy Lt. Kranau Victor McLaglen , she permits him to escape her clutches, and as a consequence is sentenced to be executed. Ever the mistress of her own fate, "X" stands proud and tall before the firing squad, even comforting the officer in charge Barry Norton who can't bring himself to shoot a woman.
The scenes between Dietrich and bemedalled general Warner Oland are in themselves worthy of the admission price; equally as entertaining is the brief sequence in which the jaded heroine disguises herself as a zaftig peasant girl. Genre: SUSPENSE, Transfer Quality: A In this crime drama a high-school principal's principles are put to the test when he, also a member of a parole board, is given the ultimate power to decide whether his son, a brutal criminal is to be paroled. The others do not know about the inmate's relationship to their colleague and the son tries to use this to his advantage.
Sure enough his blackmail works and the heartless crook is freed to go on an unparalleled crime spree with his moll until his father comes forth and gives him final justice. Genre: SUSPENSE, Transfer Quality: A In this early talkie, a vicious crime lord played by Lew Ayres in a rare villainous role decides that he has had enough and much to the shock of his colleagues decides to give the business to his second in command James Cagney in hi second film role and retire to Florida after marrying his moll.
Unfortunately, he has no idea that she and Cagney are lovers. Part of the reason the don wants to leave is to keep his young brother, who idolizes him, from learning the awful truth about his avocation. Soon after moving down to Florida, former rivals kidnap the brother and kill him, causing the reformed gangster to come back for deadly revenge. This was an innovative film and featured a lot of elements that would become standards in the gangster genre including tommy guns carried in violin cases, terrible shoot-outs, and lots of rum-running rivalry.
Eluding police commissioner David Theron Samuel S. Hinds at every turn, Crane intends to snatch the famed Konjer diamonds from under the nose of jeweler Gordon Ainsley Donald Meek. Things take a sinister turn when a humorless professional crook Paul Guilfoyle tries to cut himself in for a piece of the action.
Had Preston S. Foster been so inclined, RKO could have built a profitable series around the adventures of devil-may-care Robert Crane. Starring: Preston S. Foster, Whitney Bourne, Samuel S. MacLaine takes a liking to the intellectual doctor and allows him to go home after his job is done.
Muni finds himself the reluctant "staff physician" for the gangster, thus is periodically spirited away from his practice to look after the criminal. He has given his word not to "rat" on the crooks, but he can't sit idly by while the gangsters loot the city. Muni foils the crooks by injecting them with a drug which induces temporary blindness.
Socrates was remade in as King of the Underworld, with Humphrey Bogart as the gangster boss and actress Kay Francis in Paul Muni's role with surprisingly few dialogue alterations to accommodate the gender switch! The plot centers around a mysterious "dragon pool" on the Stamm estate, which figures prominently in the deaths of several unsympathetic society types.
Not a particularly mysterious mystery, The Dragon Murder Case works better on a melodramatic level, with some genuinely spooky camerawork courtesy of the ever-reliable Tony Gaudio. George Raft stars as Harry Young, a half-caste saloonkeeper who shelters beleaguered white girl Toni Jean Parker from her tormentors shades of Broken Blossoms. Harry falls in love with the girl, but mixing of the races was still a Hollywood no-no in , so tragedy results — except for Toni, who finds happiness in the arms of Eric Benton Kent Taylor , a man of "her own kind.
To avoid confusion with another Limehouse Blues, this one was retitled East End Chant for television. There they find themselves profoundly affected by the old blind man and his loyal dog that lives there. They also gradually begin to respect the honest toil and simple rewards of country life. When the gang leader finally asks them to come out of hiding, the former criminals turn him in.
Boarding a Berlin-bound train, Corvall attempts to swipe a briefcase stuffed with documents which will prove that the Nazis have been infiltrating vital industrial centers in the United States. He is helped along by Brenda Ballard Brenda Marshall , whose behavior suggests at times that she might not be all that trustworthy. According to the Warner Bros. Coming on the heels of the studio's Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Espionage Agent was indication enough that Warners had declared war on Germany long before President Roosevelt made it official. When Powell becomes the prime suspect in a murder case, Arthur endeavors to solve the case herself — and to reclaim her ex-hubby in the process.
After a well-directed semiclimax at a race track, the killer is revealed during one of those expository scenes in which all the suspects are gathered together in one room. The murderer attempts to escape, and Powell is knocked cold in the process. When he awakens, he discovers that Arthur has set up some projection equipment, and is running a film of a minister reciting the wedding vows. Trapped again!
Bradford was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Powell's Thin Man films. A wealthy banker named Ferguson is found murdered, and his bound-and-gagged wife Vivienne Osborne is rescued by the police. It appears at first that the murderer was an unknown burglar, but the cops think otherwise, hypothesizing that Mrs.
The small town where the murder occurred suddenly becomes the center of a media circus, with reporters from all over the country grasping and clawing for a "hot scoop. She also has her heart broken when her husband, likewise a reporter, uses his assignment as an excuse to sleep around. The relentless media blitz eventually drives Mrs. Ferguson whose guilt or innocence is never completely established to kill herself and also ruins the lives of everyone around her.
Once considered a relic of its period, The Famous Ferguson Case grows more timely with each passing year. The murder victim this time is a celebrated rare book collector, and the motive is a missing first edition of Paradise Lost. Fast and Loose might have been faster and looser had it been shorter than 80 minutes. Chesterton's crime-solving cleric Father Brown was first brought to the screen in , in the corpulent form of Walter Connolly.
The good father spends most of the film trying to retrieve a valuable diamond cross from elusive thief Flambeau Paul Lukas. Father Brown is convinced that Flambeau is eminently redeemable, but the double-crossing thief hardly proves to be a prime candidate for salvation. Amazingly, Father Brown's faith in Flambeau's essential decency proves well-founded, but it's certainly touch-and-go for a while.
Long unavailable for reappraisal, 's Father Brown, Detective has been eclipsed by the popularity of the Alec Guinness remake. Naive Southern boy Breckinridge Lee comes to the big city for fame and fortune. He starts out honest, but is unable to the resist hefty payoffs offered by crime lord Louis Blanco to suppress certain stories. Time passes and Lee does a great job for Blanco.
Lee's girl friend tries to get him to go straight, but he has become too accustomed to the money and besides is too deeply mired in corruption to ever escape. In the end, he loses his life when a story about Blanco's latest shenanigans escapes his watchful eye and gets printed. Believing Lee was behind the double-cross, Blanco orders him executed and tragedy ensues. Everson as one of the fastest-moving crime melodramas of the s if not the fastest Fog Over Frisco still manages to leave viewers breathless.
Top-billed Bette Davis plays giddy heiress Arlene Bradford, whose perverse fascination with gangsters gets her mixed up in a stolen-securities scheme. Arlene's more sensible sister Val Margaret Lindsay tries to keep her out of trouble, but this proves impossible. Entering into the fray are hotshot society reporter Tony Donald Woods and goofy photojournalist Izzy Hugh Herbert , who like Val get in over their heads when they stumble upon the body of the murdered Arlene.
The identity of the killer remains a well-concealed secret until Izzy, of all people, stumbles across a vital clue.
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Things really begin to accelerate when Val is kidnapped by Arlene's gangster cohorts who, interestingly enough, are very reluctant to take her prisoner and do so only when there's no other option! Barrat as a butler who isn't a butler, and Henry O'Neill as a gosh-knows-what who may be the murderer. Though physical action is at a minimum, Fog Over Frisco is kept constantly on the move by director William Dieterle, using every cinematic trick and optical effect wipe dissolves, iris-outs, swish-pans etc. The film was less effectively remade as Spy Ship in Foster's winning record in the courtroom has earned him a colorful clientele, including several notorious criminals, but he doubts his abilities when his girlfriend Irene Manners Kay Francis is charged with manslaughter after a violent incident which occurred while she was drinking.
Wanting to protect Irene, Foster tries to pull a few strings, but the results find Foster facing a five year sentence for jury tampering. While Foster certainly doesn't want to be separated from the woman he loves, he also knows that in prison he'll have to face several former clients whose defense didn't pan out. For The Defense was based in part on the true story of William Fallon, a well-known attorney of the day. The story concentrates on the investigation of a single murder. The victim, seemingly respectable, was actually a vicious blackmailer, a fact that brings several shady supporting characters into the story.
Chief detective Stevens George Brent divides half his time to the tedium of police procedure and forensic work, and the other half to his romance with Lou Ann Winton Margaret Lindsay , who may or may not be mixed up in the murder. Dorothy Burgess delivers a chillingly convincing performance as a cocaine addict, while comedian and home-movie enthusiast Ken Murray is equally effective as a snide reporter. As stooge and "gopher" for arrogant rising star Poole Bradley Page , Matt is a ready-made fall guy, much to the chagrin of the only person who truly cares for him, studio publicist Ann Wray Eleanor Lynn.
With the cops hot on their trail, Matt and Ann run off into the night, spending the rest of the film as the titular fugitives. Only when Ann convinces Matt to stop living in Poole's shadow and to stand on his own two feet does he gather up the gumption to solve the murder. The real murderer later confesses his crime to his priest. The priest strongly urges the killer to tell the police, but he steadfastly refuses.
At the end, the killer attacks and mortally wounds the priest. The murderer feels guilty for his deed and gives the priest a lifesaving blood transfusion. He then admits his crime and saves the innocent man from execution. Genre: SUSPENSE, Transfer Quality: B In this crime drama, an undercover cop infiltrates a crime syndicate being run by an incarcerated mob boss who conducts his business via a short-wave radio concealed in his cell. The boss is caught and placed in solitary confinement. The cop, the boss's physical double, takes his place. Soon changes in the gang's activities are subtly made.
The "boss" orders his mob to keep careful records of their activities. Ostensibly, this is to make the organization more businesslike, but of course, it is really to gather enough evidence to convict them all. Trouble ensues when the real boss escapes from jail. A shoot-out ensues. The story wastes no time getting started, with Floyd Garden Douglas Walton being killed in the first reel from a fall in a steeplechase. It looks like an accident — but then, so do the subsequent deaths of Lowe Hammle Gene Lockhart and Mrs. Fenwick-Ralston Frieda Inescourt.
The police are baffled, but Philo Vance Lowe deduces that the victims were done in by a very clever — and very deadly — hypnotist. The revelation of the killer's identity won't be surprising to longtime mystery buffs, but it proved quite a shock to audiences in The tense final scene, in which the murder attempts to mesmerize Vance into committing suicide, was effective enough to be "borrowed" for the Sherlock Holmes film The Woman in Green. Oozing faux continental charm, Anton Walbrook inveigles his way into the confidence of the young mistress Diana Wynyard of a large Victorian mansion.
Walbrook is searching for the rubies that he'd stolen from the previous owner of the house—whom he'd also murdered. Suspecting that Wynyard is about to catch on to his secret, Walbrook enlists the aid of a sluttish maidservant to drive his loving bride crazy. The ploy almost works, but Wynyard is rescued by an unexpected ally. Partly to eliminate confusion, and partly to avoid unfavorable comparison to the shorter and far superior British film, MGM allegedly ordered that all prints of the original Gaslight be destroyed.
Evidently that order was not honored to the letter, since the Gaslight is still safely available for both theatrical and TV exhibition. Threatening to destroy all of Europe if his demands aren't met, Borg hasn't reckoned with the resourcefulness of gorgeous secret service agent Viola Beech Karen Morley and American reporter Derrick Holt Robert Baldwin. Things move apace until a serial-like climax in a runaway airplane. It's giving away nothing of the outcome to reveal that Viola and Derrick fall in love along the way.
The Girl from Scotland Yard makes no pretence at believability, though it's slightly more credible than Karen Morley's tacked-on British accent. The staff there has seen it all and this is reflected in their hard-bitten demeanor, their cynicism, and the cruel jokes they play. One of them, an excellent surgeon gains a new outlook on life after he gets involved with investigating the death of a mobster, fatally shot in his hotel suite during a card game. The police call him to the scene to look at the corpse. There he discovers a lipstick-stained cigarette butt.
He begins to search for the woman who smoked it. Later that day, the woman, severely beaten, shows up in the hospital emergency room. The surgeon miraculously saves her, and then falls for her. As she lays healing, she is seen by a mobster who had come to pay his respects to the cop who killed two members of his rival gang. The mobster later sends one of his thugs to make sure that the woman stays eternally quiet. The thug's attempt to kill her is thwarted by a young intern who is wounded in the ensuing scuffle. The gangster then gets himself admitted into the hospital where he plans to kill the woman himself.
This proves to be a fatal mistake as the vengeful intern "accidently" injects the gangster with a deadly poison and then claims that the mobster was D. The woman is now safe. George Raft plays Ed Beaumont, the right-hand man to genial ward heeler Paul Madvig Edward Arnold , who wants to clean up his political act. On the eve of a major election, Madvig is implicated in a murder, and it's up to Beaumont to help him out.
Intimately involved in the case is Janet Henry Claire Dodd , the sister of the murdered man and the daughter of "above reproach" Senator Henry Charles Richman. Though no babe-in-the-woods, Beaumont is in for quite a few disillusionments as he pursues his investigation, though he does rather better romantically than the redoubtable Madvig. The Glass Key was remade and improved in , with Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake and Brian Donlevy; neither version, however, has as much bite and vitriol as the Hammett original.
Cagney plays a young lawyer whose education has been financed by soft-hearted racketeer William Harrigan. Though scrupulously honest, Cagney is looked upon with suspicion by his fellow agents because of his association with the crooked Harrigan. He proves he's a "good guy" when his former girl friend Ann Dvorak, now the wife of mobster Barton MacLane, tips him off to a "Little Bohemia"-style gangster hideaway.
Dvorak later sacrifices her own life to help Cagney rescue his new girl, nurse Margaret Lindsay, from the vengeful MacLane. He is a wealthy boy who marries her without knowledge of her past life. The happy couple soon has a baby. Their happiness is destroyed when the gangster escapes from prison and goes out looking for revenge on his ex-moll.
When her hubby's parents discover the truth about her they are appalled and enraged. They strongly pressure her to give up the baby and leave her husband forever. Her husband goes to Paris for a divorce and the woman becomes a nightclub singer. Trouble ensues when the gun-toting gangster shows up to shoot her down.
Fortunately a fast-shooting detective is there and kills the gangster first. Later her husband comes back from Paris and decides that he doesn't care about her past. The little family is happily reunited. Actually, there's very little mystery involved, since the audience is informed at the outset that dignified Dr. Tindall Henry Stephenson is responsible for the death of his faithless wife Claire Dodd. Carefully arranging the evidence, Tindall manages to convince the authorities that Mrs.
Tindall's lover Frank Marsh Richard Arlen is the criminal. Detective McKinley McLaglen is ready to declare the case closed, but reporter Russell Kirk Lowe , who's sweet on Marsh's sister Vera Adrienne Ames , suspects there's more to the story than meets the eye.