Murder in the Night (1940)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama  |   Release Date - Feb 1, 1939 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Originally released in England in 1938 as Murder in Soho, this moody melodrama was advertised in America as "The rapid-fire story of an underworld mobster with a social bee in his bonnet and a rod on his hip"(Whew!) The mobster in question is Steve Marco, played with appropriate sneering menace by Jack LaRue. Booted out of Chicago by the feds, Marco sets up a respectable nightclub in London as a front for his many criminal activities. When a murder is committed in the club and the body deposited in the street, Scotland Yard inspector Hammond (Martin Walker) suspects that Marco is responsible. With Hammond's unofficial blessing, nightclub hostess Ruby Lane (Sandra Storme), the dead man's widow, and inquiring reporter Roy Barnes (played by Bernard Lee, later to gain worldwide fame as "M" in the James Bond series) go undercover to get the goods on the social-climbing mobster. Though Murder in the Night could have gotten by on its own merits, the bravura performance of Jack LaRue truly "makes" the film.

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Keywords

gangster, murder, nightclub, police-inspector, reporter, undercover, widow/widower