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Shadow of Doubt

(1935 b 74')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A rich aunt helps a couple suspected of murder by discovering who committed three murders.

Aunt Melissa Pilson (Constance Collier) complains to Simeon Sturdevant (Ricardo Cortez) about his liaison with actress Trenna Plaice (Virginia Bruce). Sim gives Trenna a lucrative contract singing and wants to marry her. She says Len Haworth (Bradley Page) will give her a million for three pictures and will marry her. She calls Haworth and accepts his proposal. Lisa Bellwood (Betty Furness) calls Trenna and says she is marrying Haworth. In a nightclub Inez Johnson (Isabel Jewell) sings. Haworth comes in with Lisa. Sim offers Inez the singing contract. Drunk Haworth tells jealous reporter Reed Ryan (Regis Toomey) that Trenna rejected Sim, and Sim knocks down Haworth. Sim gives Reed $200 to squelch the story.

Trenna waits for Haworth and sees Lisa bring him home drunk. Butler Ehrhardt (Bernard Siegel) calls police that Haworth has been killed. Reed calls Sim to warn him to get an alibi, and Sim asks Reed to call his lawyer. Lt. Fred Wilcox (Edward Brophy) comes in and asks Sim why he killed Haworth. Trenna is also suspected. Sim goes cheerfully and is questioned at Trenna's. Reed brings in Sim's lawyer Tom Granby (Samuel S. Hinds), who offers to represent Trenna. She is questioned, but Granby says they can't hold her without evidence.

Morgan Bellwood (Arthur Byron) offers Reed $10,000 for evidence to convict anyone but his daughter Lisa; but Reed refuses. Trenna tells Sim that she will marry him. Reed comes in and asks Trenna about her luger. Butler Ehrhardt calls Trenna to meet her, saying he knows who did it. Trenna loses the man following her and waits for Ehrhardt, who is shot as he arrives. Aunt Melissa finds the luger in Trenna's room but hides it from the police and leaves with it. Sim and Reed go to Aunt Melissa, and Reed asks her for a story about going outside after twenty years. Aunt Melissa learns from her butler Morse (Ivan S. Simpson) that a butler was at Bellwood's. Aunt Melissa goes out with Reed to meet Lisa, who denies she shot Haworth. Aunt Melissa tells Bellwood that Lisa did it but that she has the gun. Aunt Melissa acts drunk and tells Sim to get Lt. Wilcox and Reed. Aunt Melissa tells Wilcox that Bellwood or Lisa will come for the gun. A shot is heard, and Sim finds Bellwood dead. Sim chases Reed, who falls to his death. Aunt Melissa tells Wilcox that Reed was jealous of Haworth, and Sim explains how Reed did the murders.

Humor lightens this murder mystery that is cleverly solved by a reclusive aunt and her nephew, whose spirited relationship with each other and attitudes to others lift the tone of the film.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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