The Wall Street Mystery (November 1, 1931)
Released on November 1, 1931: Two Wall Street stock brokers are shot to death in their locked office and only the quirky Doctor Crabtree can figure out what happened.
Directed by Arthur Hurley
Written by S.S. Van Dine
The Actors: Donald Meek (Doctor Crabtree), John Hamilton (Police Inspector Carr), Frances Dale (Dorothy Paige, secretary), Hobart Cavanaugh (Martin Hill, book keeper)
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Making a Killing on Wall Street
Comedy ‘shorts’ or ‘one-reel’ movies were common during the golden age of movie theaters, but murder mystery shorts were much rarer, and often not preserved as well as the comedies. This murder mystery is one of a series of stories featuring a quirky doctor who always sees clues that the Police Inspector never considers. In this episode a cleaning lady peers into a locked office on Wall Street and sees two dead bodies. The two dead men are partners in a stock brokerage firm, and the police doctor believes that it was a murder suicide, but crafty Doctor Crabtree is the only person who can unravel the clues and explain what really happened.
Here are the clues we are given in this fast-paced murder mystery, in the hopes that we might also discover what really happened. The secretary, who is having an affair with the boss, is discovered in a locked coat closet. The book keeper also has a thing for the secretary, but cannot compete for her affections because she is attracted to the boss’ money. Colonel Pettijohn, a customer of the firm had an appointment at the time of the killings, but he claims that the door was locked and the lights were out so he went back home. The gun that killed both men belongs to another customer of the firm, a blonde divorced gal with a penchant for perfume. There you have it . . . . All of the clues needed to figure it out . . . . Well, almost all of the clues . . . . Who killed whom? Pop a small bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
The actor portraying Colonel Pettijohn
The actress portraying Mrs. Reginald Darnell
Donald Meek and Hobart Cavanaugh
Frances Dale, Donald Meek and John Hamilton
Frances Dale and Donald Meek
Movie screen credit for Donald Meek
Movie screen credit for Frances Dale
Movie screen credit for Hobart Cavanaugh
Movie screen credit for John Hamilton