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Murder by the Clock (1931)

An elderly woman installs a horn in her crypt in case she's buried alive.

Director:

Edward Sloman

Writers:

Charles Beahan (play), Rufus King (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
William 'Stage' Boyd ... Lt. Valcour (as William Boyd)
Lilyan Tashman ... Laura Endicott
Irving Pichel ... Philip Endicott
Regis Toomey ... Officer Cassidy
Sally O'Neil ... Jane, a Maid
Blanche Friderici ... Julia Endicott
Walter McGrail ... Herbert Endicott
Lester Vail ... Thomas Hollander
Martha Mattox ... Miss Roberts
Frank Sheridan ... Chief of Police
Guy Oliver ... Watchman
Frederick Sullivan ... Medical Examiner
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Storyline

An elderly woman installs a horn in her crypt in case she's buried alive.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three Murders Done-But Only Two Persons Die! (Print ad-Citizen Advertiser ((Auburn N.Y.)) 29 September 1931)

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime à Hora Certa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One 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 Universal ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Roaring Hokum with a Magnificent Villainess
10 March 2017 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

Curiously enough, none of the previous reviewers have picked up on this film's title, which has negligible bearing upon anything that actually happens; of which there is plenty. What 'Murder by the Clock' sorely lacks is decent direction, editing and a music score; what it has is a jaunty plot, a magnificent (though underused) churchyard and crypt set, atmospheric photography by Karl Struss, an entertaining cast of wierdos and weaklings. And the breathtaking Lilyan Tashman.

Blanche Friderici is Julia Endicott, matriarch of the Endicott clan, plainly nearing the end of its thinning bloodline; her only heirs being Philip (Irving Pichel), a hulking simpleton capable of breaking a man's neck with his bare hands but little else, and Herbert (Walter McGrail) a drunken weakling completely under the thumb of his gold digging wife Laura, who Julia sums up as "a malicious designing creature, ought to be hung for a witch." The late Lilyan Tashman is an absolute blast as this platinum blonde Lady Macbeth smirking evilly one minute, shedding crocodile tears the next while flirting like mad with every man in sight with a pulse ("I could be awfully fond of you"), her curvaceous, Amazonian chassis seductively on display in a clinging satin number that would probably have caused censorship problems a few years later.

The unfunny comic relief provided by Irish cop Regis Toomey and maid Sally O'Neil is rendered wholly superfluous by Tashman's rollicking performance, which gets plenty of appreciative laughs. She meets her match, however, in Lt. Valcour (William 'Stage' Boyd), who engages her in a final battle of wills, "one artist to another".


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