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Journal of a Crime (1934)

TV-PG | | Drama | 10 March 1934 (USA)
A wife shoots her husband's mistress. Afterwards, she is tormented by guilt when someone else is blamed for the crime.


William Keighley


F. Hugh Herbert (screen play), Charles Kenyon (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Ruth Chatterton ... Francoise Moliet
Adolphe Menjou ... Paul Moliet
Claire Dodd ... Odette Florey
George Barbier ... Chautard
Douglass Dumbrille ... Germaine Cartier (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Noel Madison ... Costelli
Henry O'Neill ... Doctor
Phillip Reed ... Young Man at Party
Henry Kolker ... Henri Marcher
Frank Reicher ... Herr Winterstein
Edward McWade ... Rigaud
Walter Pidgeon ... Florestan
Frank Darien Frank Darien ... Stage Manager
Clay Clement Clay Clement ... Inspector
Elsa Janssen ... Frau Winterstein (as Elsa Jansen)


A wife shoots her husband's mistress. Afterwards, she is tormented by guilt when someone else is blamed for the crime.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When another woman steps in and takes the man you love...right out of your arms.....-would you kill? (Print Ad-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 1 March 1934)




TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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English | German

Release Date:

10 March 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diário de um Crime See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The source is credited to a play onscreen, but it is actually a remake of the French film Une vie perdue (1933), written by the same author. Perhaps "screen play" was meant, because "screenplay" in the 1930s was two separate words. See more »


Douglass Dumbrille is credited as "Douglas Dumbrille" in the titles. See more »


Chautard: She'll slide down the bannisters if I say so.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on the pages of a book, a reference to the "journal" in the title. See more »


Remake of Une vie perdue (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

Far fetched Journal does offer interesting Chatterton performance.
7 August 2011 | by st-shotSee all my reviews

A case of first degree murder is handled different than most in this code enforced era film that tries to find a loophole around it by way of a most understanding husband along with a deus ex machina or two to right things. Journal of a Crime may be an implausible read but it does allow an almost comatose Ruth Chatterton as the culprit to have some powerful emotional moments in the face of some overwhelming odds.

Francoise Mollet (Chatterton) gets wind her husband, Paul (Adolph Menjou) is having a serious dalliance with a stage actress that threatens her marriage. When she fails to reverse his course she heads to the theatre and blows the thespian mid rehearsal away. By the oddest coincidence though a bank robber who has just murdered a teller takes refuge at the playhouse is captured and charged with her murder as well. Paul knows better however and decides to let his "fiend" wife stew in her own juices before confessing.

The preposterous scenario is too far fetched to give Journal of a Crime a passing grade but Ms. Chatterton is every bit as effective as she was in the classic Dodsworth living out the same self absorbed, petty existence of delusion and humiliation but with more dire consequence. Menjou displays some interesting restraint as Paul who in his own way and with less explanation does some unorthodox enabling that not only keeps Ruth from being fried but also buys enough time to have another misfortune benefit her. The turn of events that may save Francoise however only builds the case against the incredulous plot that dooms this film.

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