The Law of Contact

Murder at Midnight (September 1, 1931)

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Murder at Midnight

Released September 1, 1931: Detective Phillip Montrose is at a party when a murder happens, and just as he narrows it down to a suspect, that person is murdered also.

Directed by Frank R. Strayer

The Actors: Aileen Pringle (Esme Kennedy), Alice White (Millie Scripps), Hale Hamilton (Phillip Montrose), Robert Elliott (Inspector Taylor), Clara Blandick (Aunt Julia Gray Kennedy), Brandon Hurst (Lawrence), Leslie Fenton (Walter Grayson), William Humphrey (Colton), Tyrell Davis (The Englishman), Aileen Carlyle (Ella), Kenneth Thomson (Jim Kennedy), and Robert Ellis (Duncan Channing).


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The advertising tag line that was used for this thriller is: Fingers of suspicion moving like the hands of a clock!

This is a pretty good detective murder mystery, and one of the first ones made with sound. This movie was made before it was common to place background music with the dialogue, and was also made before the discovery of 'method acting' by Lee Strasberg so you may find the dialogue quite 'dry.' But if you can put that aside, you will enjoy one of the first great who-done-it films with plot twists and camera angles that were revolutionary for the time.

We have a house full of wealthy folks playing games, and during a realistic game of charades, wealthy Mr. Kennedy pretends to shoot his male secretary using a gun with blanks, but someone has substitued real bullets for the blanks. Before the police can find out much about this murder, Mr. Kennedy also turns up dead, an apparent suicide. Can the police discover the real murderer? Can famous crime detective Philip Montrose find the killer? The plot twists and turns, and you will have a hard time figuring this one out, but try anyway, because that's most of the fun of crime thrillers :~)

If you want to see a more modern re-make of this plot, check out The Mystery of Mr. Wong, starring Boris Karlof.