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Star of Midnight

(1935 b 89')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from Arthur Somers Roche's novel, a lawyer, asked to find a disappeared actress, solves the murder caused by her reappearance.

Tim Winthrop (Leslie Fenton) asks lawyer Clay Dalzell (William Powell) to find actress Alice Markham, who disappeared a year ago. Donna Martin (Ginger Rogers) hopes to marry Dalzell and asks him to get her letters back from Jim Kinland (Paul Kelly). Dalzell tells Jim he has a check proving his extra income, and Jim gives him the letters. Tim tells Dalzell that Alice appeared as Mary Smith but disappeared again. Writer Tommy Tenant (Russell Hopton) tells Dalzell he knows the story; but he is shot, and Dalzell is wounded. Sergeant Cleary (Robert Emmett O'Connor) accuses Dalzell of killing Tennant, but Inspector Doremus (J. Farrell MacDonald) is more reserved. Tim calls Dalzell and says two men knocked him out. Dalzell gives the letters to Donna, who calls her friend Anita that she got them. Donna stays to take care of Dalzell.

Tim calls on Dalzell and denies he killed Tennant. Dalzell sends his butler Swayne (Gene Lockhart) and Donna out to get information. At a bar Dalzell talks to the producer who hired Mary Smith. Dalzell is abducted on the street and taken to Jim, who warns him. Mrs. Jerry Classen (Vivien Oakland) calls on Dalzell; but Donna comes in as his outraged wife to get rid of her. She leaves, and Dalzell thanks Donna. Roger Classen (Ralph Morgan) tells Dalzell he needs to find Alice Markham for his friend Moroni's alibi in a Chicago murder case. Swayne found a witness of the man who left the theater; but he is afraid because the man he saw was Dalzell. Dalzell finds a microphone in his apartment. Dalzell has Jim's men find Tim, who says they beat him up to find Alice. Tim asks Dalzell to find Alice. Jim explains to Dalzell how Alice got revenge on Moroni by disappearing. Donna tells Dalzell that Mrs. Classen knew Moroni. They hear a shot. Tim says he fired at a woman with a gun at the window.

Dalzell and Donna rent an apartment, and he plays a record of Alice. Dalzell calls the Inspector to come and calls the suspects that Mary Smith is there. Inspector Doremus says they caught the murderer and leaves. A woman comes in with a gun. A man grabs Donna, and Dalzell knocks out the lights. Under the woman's mask is Roger Classen, and he is arrested by Doremus. Tim comes, and Dalzell tells him to go with the Inspector. In the final scene Dalzell and Donna toast as newly weds and go to bed.

This story offers escape entertainment for those who like a complicated mystery relieved with romantic comedy, as Dalzell finds the killer, and Donna gets her man.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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