The Midnight Warning (November 15, 1932)
Released on November 15, 1932: (running time 61 minutes) A New York doctor staying in Chicago for the 1932 Presidential Nominating Convention is shot in his hotel room and it is up to his famous detective friend to unravel the mysterious reasons behind the shooting.
Produced by George W. Weeks
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
Written by Norman Battle and John T. Neville
The Actors: William 'Stage' Boyd (William Cornish), Claudia Dell (Enid Van Buren), Huntley Gordon (Mr. Gordon, hotel manager), John Harron (Erich), Hooper Atchley (Doctor Steven Walcott), Lloyd Whitlock (hotel clerk Rankin), Phillips Smalley (Doctor Bronson), Lloyd Ingraham (mortician Adolph Klein), Henry Hall (Doctor Barris), Allan Cavan (policeman in hotel room), Lon Poff (Welsh), Art Winkler (Jim)
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Burnt Ear Bones and the "Other Thing"
Both Republican and Democrat Presidential conventions were held in Chicago in 1932, as the Great Depression was ravaging the world. June 14-16 the Republican Party renominated President Herbert Hoover, and on June 27-July 2 of that same year the Democrats chose Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt.
A famous New York nerve doctor is staying at the prestigious Clarendon Arms hotel in Suite A to attend the first political convention, and just before midnight he gets a phone call from the front desk telling him that a man named William Cornish is in the lobby and wanting to visit him.
His old friend is a famous detective, and as the two are renewing their friendship the doctor shows the detective a small chunk of something he discovered in his hotel room fireplace. The detective confirms the doctor's belief that it is a piece of badly burned ear . . . human ear.
As the detective is talking to the doctor, the doctor suddenly slumps to the floor. The detective quickly calls for the hotel doctor to come to the room and the desk clerk taking the call nods mysteriously to the hotel manager. Soon the doctor, the hotel manager and the desk clerk are in the room and while the hotel manager and desk clerk exchange knowing glances, the doctor announces that the unconscious man has only fainted, and will soon recover.
When the detective and the New York doctor are alone again, the detective announces that his friend didn't simply faint, but had been shot, and the manager and desk clerk certainly knew that he had been shot. The detective puts a coat and hat over a lamp and puts it in front of the window so that it looks like a man is standing in front of the window, and they watch the street below from another window.
Before long another shot rings out and the dummy falls to the floor. The detective has spotted the flash from the gun in the window of a studio apartment across the street from the hotel and he takes the doctor over to the apartment and they break in and look around.
The apartment is now empty as they search for clues . . . but they slip quickly into the shadows when they hear someone turning a key in the lock . . . . They watch from their hidden spot as a beautiful blonde enters and calls out for Erich . . . . Thus begins one of the most unique and mystifying detective stories to be preserved on film from 1932 Chicago . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Allan Cavan and Lloyd Whitlock
Claudia Dell and John Harron
Henry Hall and Philliips Smalley
Hooper Atchley and Claudia Dell
Hooper Atchley and Phillips Smalley
Hooper Atchley and Phillips Smalley
Hooper Atchley and William 'Stage' Boyd
Huntly Gordon and Lloyd Ingraham
Huntley Gordon and Lloyd Whitlock
John Harron, William 'Stage' Boyd and Phillips Smalley
John Harron and William 'Stage' Boyd
Lloyd Whitlock and Huntley Gordon
Phillips Smalley, Lloyd Whitlock, Claudia Dell and Lon Poff
William 'Stage' Boyd
William 'Stage' Boyd and Huntley Gordon
William 'Stage' Boyd and Hooper Atchley