Philandering actor Richard Hardell is murdered at a movie studio. His jealous wife Blanche, his director Rupert Borka, and a girl he mistreated, Helen MacDonald, all have substantial ...
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When he runs short of money, a newspaper reporter pawns a police revolver he was given after he helped the police solve a case. Later on the gun is used in a murder, and the reporter is suspected of committing the crime.
Eight strangers are invited to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. After being wined and dined, a voice on the radio informs them that they will be murdered unless they manage to outwit the ninth guest: Death.
Roy William Neill
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Louis J. Gasnier
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Philandering actor Richard Hardell is murdered at a movie studio. His jealous wife Blanche, his director Rupert Borka, and a girl he mistreated, Helen MacDonald, all have substantial reasons for having wanted him dead.Written by
One of the earliest of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. See more »
No, no, no. That is terrible. Get up.
Well, what's the matter?
Matter? Well you cannot act. That is all. You do not feel it; you do not think it. Bah!
Want me to try again?
What for? I told you all week that you cannot act. Then I thought maybe if we came here and rehearsed here alone tonight... but it is useless. Why that dummy has more feeling than you.
[throws dummy out of chair and onto floor]
Now look here, Borka. Why don't you play ball? You agreed to give this part to the winner of ...
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"The Studio Murder Mystery" from Paramount Pictures in 1929 stars Warner Oland, Frederic March, Neil Hamilton, Eugene Palette, and Doris Hill.
Actor Richard Hardell (March) has several enemies. One is his director (Warner Oland), another is his girlfriend (Hill) who finds out he's not going to divorce his wife (Florence Eldridge) and Hardell's wife herself.
When Helen is accused of the murder, gag writer Tony White (Hamilton) is determined to solve the case.
Many people don't realize that "sound" was different in each studio, as Warners had the license for the Vitaphone. Whatever Paramount owned was nowhere near as good, as the sound here is mushy, and when people speak too quickly, you lose what they are saying.
This film differs from the era's talkies in that it moves at a good pace. With people not in the rhythm of sound yet, there are often big pauses between sentences, but not here. And people were still learning how to act in front of a camera. Many actors came from the stage, where performances are much bigger.
One reviewer here didn't like Neil Hamilton, but I did. He's handsome and enthusiastic and if he seems maybe TOO enthusiastic, I think it was more the style of the era. Hamilton, who died at 85, played Commissioner Gordon on Batman. Interesting to see some of these people so young!
You can get a look at Paramount sound stages on this film, too, which is fascinating, and there is a silent film being shot during one of the scenes.
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