Murder at Midnight (September 1, 1931)

 
Murder at Midnight
 

Released September 1, 1931: (running time 66 minutes) Amateur Detective Phillip Montrose is at a party when a murder happens, and just as he narrows it down to one suspect, that person is murdered.

Produced by Phil Goldstone

Directed by Frank R. Strayer

The Actors: Aileen Pringle (Esme Kennedy, the wife), Alice White (Millie Scripps, the upstairs maid), Hale Hamilton (Phillip Montrose, the criminologist), Robert Elliott (Police Inspector Taylor), Clara Blandick (Aunt Julia Gray Kennedy), Brandon Hurst (Lawrence, the butler), Leslie Fenton (Walter Grayson, Esme's brother), William Humphrey (Colton, the lawyer), Tyrell Davis (The Englishman with glasses), Aileen Carlyle (Ella, Swedish maid), Kenneth Thomson (Jim Kennedy, the husband), and Robert Ellis (Duncan Channing, Kennedy's secretary)

 

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Murder in the Mansion, or The Telephone Call to Die For

Ukrainian born Sacha Baraniev came to the U.S. when he was four years old, and by the time he was thirty, he was writing screenplays for Hollywood using the name Sy Bartlett. He loved mixing with Hollywood stars, and had regular Sunday barbecues that featured the stars of Hollywood. That is probably where he met Alice White, one of the suspects in this murder mystery.

Alice White had an actor boyfriend, but she and married man Sy began a torrid affair, creating a wicked scandal, forcing Sy to divorce his wife and marry Alice two years after this movie was released. Alice was  already divorced from Sy in 1942, when Jewish Sy joined the Air Force and was in the lead airplane serving as bombardier, dropping the first bombs over Berlin during World War Two.

It is a dark and stormy night as our adventure begins, and the large grandfather clock is ticking loudly. The butler quietly moves the hands of the clock to midnight, then slowly disappears into the darkness. A French door opens from the patio, and a shadowy figure quietly enters. From the top of the mansion staircase, a woman in a nightgown slowly descends the stairs, meeting the man in the shadows.

They embrace, kiss tenderly, and then turn as a man in his pajamas walks down the stairs with a gun in his hand. The lady’s husband turns on the light, facing his wife, who is in the arms of his long-time friend and secretary. After a brief confrontation, the husband pulls his wife to his side, and shoots the intruder in the heart.

The man drops to the floor, as the husband and wife stand together with the smoking gun. You will not believe what happens next. I guarantee it, unless you have watched this story before. You will absolutely, positively, not believe what happens next. I will tell you that Alice White, playing the sexy upstairs maid Millie, is watching from nearby. I will also tell you that Alice White is probably not the killer in this twisted tale of terror, or maybe she is. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Kenneth Thompson, Aileen Pringle, Robert Ellis
Kenneth Thompson, Aileen Pringle, Robert Ellis
Aileen Carlyle
Aileen Carlyle
Aileen Pringle, Clara Blandick
Aileen Pringle, Clara Blandick
Aileen Pringle, Hale Hamilton
Aileen Pringle, Hale Hamilton
Aileen Pringle, Robert Ellis
Aileen Pringle, Robert Ellis
Alice White
Alice White
Alice White
Alice White
Alice White
Alice White
Brandon Hurst
Brandon Hurst
Brandon Hurst, Alice White
Brandon Hurst, Alice White
Brdandon Hurst, Leslie Fenton
Brdandon Hurst, Leslie Fenton
Brandon Hurst, Robert Elliott
Brandon Hurst, Robert Elliott
Brandon Hurst
Brandon Hurst
Clara Blandick
Clara Blandick
Clara Blandick, Aileen Carlyle
Clara Blandick, Aileen Carlyle
Clara Blandick, Robert Elliott
Clara Blandick, Robert Elliott
William Humphrey, Kenneth Thompson
William Humphrey, Kenneth Thompson
Clara Blandick, Tyrell Davis, Hale Hamilton
Clara Blandick, Tyrell Davis, Hale Hamilton
Clara Blandick
Clara Blandick
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton
Hale Hamilton
Kenneth Thompson
Kenneth Thompson
Kenneth Thompson, Aileen Pringle
Kenneth Thompson, Aileen Pringle
Kenneth Thompson
Kenneth Thompson
Leslie Fenton
Leslie Fenton
Leslie Fenton, Robert Elliott
Leslie Fenton, Robert Elliott
Leslie Fenton
Leslie Fenton
Robert Elliott
Robert Elliott
Robert Elliott, Alice White
Robert Elliott, Alice White
Robert Elliott, Hale Hamilton
Robert Elliott, Hale Hamilton
Robert Elliott, Leslie Fenton
Robert Elliott, Leslie Fenton
Robert Elliott, Tyrell Davis
Robert Elliott, Tyrell Davis
Robert Elliott, Alice White
Robert Elliott, Alice White
Robert Elliott
Robert Elliott
Robert Ellis
Robert Ellis
Vernon Dent
Vernon Dent
William Humphrey
William Humphrey