The Crosby Case (1934)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Detective Film  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Although it is included in TV's "Shock Theater" passage, there's nothing overtly frightening about the heavily plotted Universal melodrama The Crosby Case. Even while the opening credits are rolling, the audience is introduced to the five main suspects in the murder of a certain Mr. Crosby. Police inspector Thomas (Alan Dinehart) believes that Lynn Ashton (Wynne Gibson), an ex-lover of the victim, is the most likely suspect, though the audience is encouraged not to discount the elderly, seemingly frail Lubeck (Edward Van Sloan), oafish thief Collins (Warren Hymer), heavily-in-debt gambler Willie (John Wray), or even avuncular nightclub doorman Costello (J. Farrell McDonald). The story is a mosaic of flashbacks and flat cuts, the sort that would be hailed as "new" and "innovational" when Citizen Kane was released seven years later. Like RKO Radio's unrelated Ann Vickers, The Crosby Case has gained latter-day fame (or notoriety) with its subtle allusions to an illegal abortion. And yes, that is Walter Brennan in the ship's-stateroom scene.

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Keywords

false-accusation, murder, killing