The police find the actress, Diana Baring, near the body of her friend. All the circumstantial proofs seems to point to her and, at the end of the trial, she is condemned. Sir John Menier, a jury member, suspects Diana's boyfriend, who works as an acrobat wearing a dress.Written by
Claudio Sandrini <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Mystery Story that will grip and enthrall from the opening terrifying scream to the final escape from justice of the murderer in his leap of death! (Print Ad- Vancouver Sun, ((Vancouver, BC)) 25 July 1931)
When Mr. Markham introduces his wife to Sir John and when the three of them dine together, Mrs. Markham has a corsage attached to her fur coat. Once the three of them head to the boarding house, the corsage is gone, with no explanation of its disappearance. See more »
People ought to be ashamed of themselves, kicking up all that racket at this time of night.
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The UK version includes approximately 12 minutes of footage cut from the USA release. The extra footage occurs primarily in two sequences:
Additional jury deliberations prior to the introduction of Herbert Marshall as Sir John.
After the discovery of the broken basin in the playhouse dressing room, there is a lengthy sequence showing Sir John paying the stagehand who granted him entrance and leaving with the Markhams. The scene fades to the end of the day, with the weary trio stopping at the door of "the policeman's rooming house", where Sir John had planned to stay the night. Noticing the shabby neighborhood, he starts to change his mind and retire to his luxury hotel suite, but Ted Markham reminds him of his hope to discover further clues at the rooming house. Fade in to Sir John in bed the next morning, being awakened by the sound of crying children. The landlady (Una O'Connor, billed in the USA credits although all her scenes are cut) enters and regales Sir John with her troubles. Meanwhile, her children play on and around the bed and give him a kitten, which crawls under his covers. The landlady confirms that the suspected killer had access to a police uniform. Enter Ted Markham, whose ensuing dialogue with Sir John reinforces the importance of the "second" policeman and establishes the existence of the blood-stained cigarette case, both of which ultimately prove critical in solving the murder. Here, the scene cuts to the prison where the USA version picks up with Sir John's interview of Norah Baring.
A jury finds an actress guilty of murder. Afterward, one of the jurors (Herbert Marshall) has second thoughts about their verdict. So he decides to conduct his own investigation into the crime. Early talkie from Alfred Hitchcock is notable for featuring the first voice-over in film history. Obviously the film shows the limitations of the medium in 1930. Given those limitations, Hitch's direction is all the more impressive. You can see some of the master's burgeoning greatness in some of the techniques he uses and the little bits of humor sprinkled throughout. It's still a slow-moving and often creaky relic of early sound filmmaking, but it managed to keep my interest. Nice ending, too.
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