24 user 3 critic

Murder at Midnight (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Mystery | 1 September 1931 (USA)
A murder during a game of charades at a society party leads the police to begin the hunt through the guest list for a motive and culprit.


Frank R. Strayer (as Frank Strayer)


Scott Darling (story) (as W. Scott Darling), Scott Darling (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Aileen Pringle ... Esme Kennedy
Alice White ... Millie Scripps
Hale Hamilton ... Phillip Montrose
Leslie Fenton ... Walter Grayson
Brandon Hurst ... Lawrence
Kenneth Thomson ... Jim Kennedy
Robert Elliott ... Inspector Taylor
Clara Blandick ... Aunt Julia Gray Kennedy
William Humphrey ... Colton
Tyrell Davis ... The Englishman
Aileen Carlyle Aileen Carlyle ... Ella (as Aileen Carlisle)
Robert Ellis ... Duncan Channing


Wealthy Mr. Kennedy shoots his secretary, Channing, during a parlor game, but it turns out the gun was loaded with real bullets. Luckily, criminologist Phillip Montrose is on hand to help the police. When Kennedy quickly ends up dead as well, the police think it's a tidy murder-suicide, but the family lawyer knows of a letter that voiced Kennedy's suspicions about someone who was out to get him. Soon, the cops are on the trail of a ruthless and clever killer who is one step ahead of even Montrose. Written by D Jensen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A shadowy hand through a veiled door--and doom! A parlor game and death a player! A telephone jingle--and eternity! See more »


Crime | Mystery



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

1 September 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Monster Kills See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tiffany Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA Photophone Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its first telecast Tuesday 21 May 1940 on New York City's pioneer, and still experimental television station W2XBS. See more »


Inspector Taylor: [When new evidence comes out] And nobody knew anything about this murder, eh? I wouldn't be surprised to find another body you've all forgotten about.
See more »


Referenced in Pugwall: Extra-Terrestrials (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Simplistic but a lot of fun
31 October 2006 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is prototypical whodunit. It has atmosphere, interesting characters with personality flying all over the place, hard nut police detectives, most of whom aren't very smart, and that air of snobbery. The film begins with a shooting during a game of charades, where a gun, supposedly holding blanks, proves the undoing of one of the characters, a man who changed his will at the last moment because he sensed danger. A loudmouth detective shows up on the scene and treats everyone like dirt. He shouts in their faces and tries to intimidate. The people at the mansion are upper crust and resent his invasions. Mixed in are a nervous wreck, a cute maid, a stodgy butler, a matriarch, and several other figures who could have participated. There are also some interesting dealings with the telephone (which I won't reveal). The pacing is pretty good and the ending is acceptable. One character who cracked me up was a policeman who spent the whole movie guarding people and eating peanuts in the shell. There's a great scene where the butler brings him a large bowl because he has been tossing the shells on the floor. The cop, puts the peanuts that were in his pocket, into the bowl, then continues to throw the peanut shells on the floor. It's a nice little story and worth watching.

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