Night of Mystery (1937)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Run Time - 66 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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A remake of 1929's The Greene Murder Case, Paramount's Night of Mystery was the first "Philo Vance" thriller not to use the words "Murder Case" in the title. The story is set in the Greene Mansion in midtown New York, where a passel of greedy relatives attend the wealthy and reclusive Mrs. Tobias Greene (Elizabeth Patterson). When murder inevitably rears its ugly head, dilettante sleuth Philo Vance (Grant Richards) shows up to investigate, condescendingly second-guessing DA Markham (Purnell Pratt) and Sgt. Heath (Roscoe Karns). Among the clues is a revolver which keeps appearing and disappearing, seemingly at will. Part of the appeal of the original Greene Murder Case was the offbeat casting of then-ingenue Jean Arthur. In Night of Mystery, the Arthur role is filled by Ruth Coleman, who is almost as ill-suited for the part as is the colorless Grant Richards as Philo Vance. Strange that director E. A. Dupont, one of the giants of the German silent cinema, couldn't inject any more excitement into this weary yarn.



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