6.0/10
195
7 user 6 critic

Before Dawn (1933)

Sinister forces compete to find the million dollars in gold hidden by recently deceased gangster Joe Valerie in his family's old dark house 15 years earlier,

Director:

Irving Pichel

Writers:

Garrett Fort (screen play), Edgar Wallace (from the story by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stuart Erwin ... Dwight Wilson
Dorothy Wilson ... Patricia
Warner Oland ... Dr. Paul Cornelius
Dudley Digges ... Horace Merrick
Gertrude Hoffman ... Mattie (as Gertrude W. Hoffman)
Oscar Apfel ... O'Hara
Frank Reicher ... Joe Valerie
Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Marble
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Storyline

Joe Valerie stashed a million dollars in gold from a robbery 15 years earlier. Now that he lay dying a painful death, he trades the location of the money to Dr. Cornelius for a shot to end his suffering. When Mrs. Marble reads about the death of Joe, she wants to spend the money, but the ghost of Joe causes her to fall down the stairs ending her life. When the police show up, they are not sure if it is murder of not, so they enlist Dr. Cornelius and clairvoyant Patricia to help solve the case. But everyone, except Mattie and Patricia, is looking for the loot and not the ghost of Joe Valerie. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now she knew the secret of the hidden room. But those who knew too much in this house always died! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

4 August 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Antes del amanecer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hollywood Reporter news items had Gregory Ratoff, Hobart Cavanaugh and Lal Chand Mehra as cast members, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. At one point, several arrested psychics exited a police van, but only the back of their heads were visible. One was wearing a turban, a common costume for Mehra. See more »

Quotes

Police Chief John F. O'Hara: Ah, that Valerie was delirious!
Dr. Paul Cornelius: It wouldn't be the first time a million dollars made a man delirious
See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
In the score at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hidden loot and a real clairvoyant in an old dark house
25 July 2014 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

Detective Stuart Erwin is unimpressed by the sign reading "Mlle. Mystera – Psychic Readings/Vocational Guidance." And when the psychic is unable to contact his deceased Aunt Minnie, he has her hauled in as a fake, along with her manager father.

Still, the young woman insists she's for real: "It's not a racket with me," she says. "I have a gift. I'm really clairvoyant. Sometimes I wish I weren't." –Dorothy Wilson is really quite good as that rare B movie character, the psychic who is neither a phony nor a nut.

Erwin and Wilson are appealing and even believable as they gradually earn each other's respect. The plot takes them both to a spooky old house that may contain hidden robber's loot, and whose elderly resident recently saw a ghost and dropped dead of fright—or was she murdered?

Warner Oland is excellent as a mysterious doctor who knows something about the treasure and whose sinister demeanor may or may not indicate his involvement in these dark doings.

An exciting climax includes a secret passage attached to a dark staircase leading down, down…. This one is lots of fun.


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