Production Company: First National
Top Billed Actors: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
IMDb Rating: 7.4
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 0 Oscars
Nominated for 1 more:
Plot: A murder case is dug up by a sleazy newspaper and people talk on phones.
The acting had to be top notch in this movie due to the nature of it being adapted from a play. The majority of the film took place in either the newspaper office or the home of Nancy Vorhees, the woman who murdered her husband twenty years prior to the setting of the movie. Robinson and Karloff knock it out of the park, as well as H.B. Warner's performance in the pivotal scene. Another exceptional component of this movie is its editing. Not only does the story flow between the two set pieces nicely, the scene in which Frances Starr (Nancy Vorhees) is trying to talk to Robinson's character on the phone is delightful. The film is spliced so that Starr takes up the middle of the screen while Robinson and Oscar Apfel's character, the owner of the newspaper, take up the margins of the screen whenever they pick up the phone to speak to her. It is not impressive at all to today's standards, but it is great to see editing like that in a 1931 movie.
Although the movie did seem to flow nicely between the sets, certain scenes did seem to drag on. I sometimes got bored when the murderess' daughter and her soon to be husband acted so romantic on screen. I understand the role of this to the story, but some instances were a but much. It also took a little too much time to get into the meat of the Vorhees story arc of the picture. I write this often, but I wish there was a score involved as well. It really felt like a dry play without any music whatsoever.
This movie makes it difficult to pick out many negative aspects. The acting is great, the story flows well, and the editing is great. However, nothing stands out too much. This is far from a masterpiece, but still very serviceable.
My Score: 7/10