Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
In the first of Columbia Pictures' "Inspector Trent" whodunits, the inspector (Ralph Bellamy) is called in to investigate the death of Edward Arnold (William Jeffrey). Although the young doctor in charge, David Marsh (Arthur Pierson), maintains that Arnold died of natural causes, a family curse causes Trent to become suspicious. The good inspector becomes even more alarmed when the victim, who has indeed been poisoned, proves to be one John Fry, the real Arnold (Claude Gillingwater) having changed places with an old friend in order to defeat the curse. But who killed Fry? Was it the Japanese houseboy, Kono (Otto Yamaoka)? Or the family attorney (Bradley Page)? Suspicion also centers on Arnold's beautiful ward, Janet (June Collyer); Fry's widow, Mavis (Betty Blythe); and sundry other more or less sinister characters lurking about the family's cavernous Forest Lake estate. Before Midnight was followed by three additional "Inspector Trent" mysteries: One Is Guilty, The Crime of Helen Stanley, and Girl in Danger, all released in 1934 and starring the affable Ralph Bellamy.
curse, family-secrets, mansion, murder, poisoning, police-inspector