Movie Review: A Shriek in the Night (1933)

Synopsis: When a wealthy philanthropist falls to his death, police believe it is an accident. However, when another body is found in the same apartment building, murder is suspected. A female reporter, Pat Morgan, already working undercover in an attempt to learn more about the philanthropist's connections to organized crime, attempts to uncover the truth. However, she also has to contend with an unscrupulous rival and love interest, Ted Rand.

Who's in it? The movie stars Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, Purnell Pratt, Arthur Hoyt and Louise Beavers.

Review: I started watching this movie some time ago but was interrupted after the first few minutes. I finally had an opportunity to watch the film in its entirety and was much more impressed with it than I was expecting.

There were a couple things I found I really liked about this movie. One of the main ones was the fact this had a halfway decent murder mystery. There were quite a few seedy looking characters in the apartment building, giving the movie plenty of potential suspects. And, while there was a hint of a motive, it wasn't immediately clear how the multiple murders were connected to each other, especially when one of the primary suspects winds up dead as well.

Another thing I liked about this movie was the way it kept things reasonably upbeat with a good mix of comedy. Pat (Rogers) and Ted (Talbot) were a fun couple to watch, with a good mix of sexual tension and a general mistrust created by the pair trying to beat each other to a scoop. They were also helped by a strong supporting cast of characters, especially the well-meaning but slightly dimwitted housekeeper, Augusta (Lillian Harmer), who inspired some surprisingly funny jokes, including one about whether or not "drawers" referred to wooden drawers or someone's underwear.

The film's ending wasn't as predictable as I was expecting it to be and included a bit of suspense and a big save from someone unexpected. I have to admit, I was on the edge of my seat, something I can't say about a lot of similar movies.

Final Opinion: I truthfully wasn't expecting too much from this film when I started watching it, but Rogers and Talbot have some great chemistry and the overall movie proved to be entertaining. It's worth taking the time to watch it at least once if you get a chance.

My Grade: A


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