Mr. Wong attempts to solve the mysterious murder of shipping magnate Cyrus B. Wentworth.
1019. A SHRIEK IN THE NIGHT (1933-usa). With Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, Louise Beavers. A shrill scream disrupts the night, and a man plummets from a penthouse balcony to his death, setting in motion this clever, absorbing mystery. The deceased was a respected philanthropist, but exactly what was his connection to the underworld? Was his demise an accident, suicide, or murder? A sharp, wisecracking reporter (Ginger Rogers, shortly before her first film with Fred Astaire) is determined to uncover the truthÑand to get into as many dangerous situations as possible. Among the assortment of familiar ’30s characters: another wisecracking reporter (Lyle TalbotÑ yes, he once actually played leading roles), who’s after both Ginger and the scoop of the century; a police inspector and his perpetually befuddled assistant: and two-count ’em- comical maids. Several dozen wisecracks later, the plot thickens with three additional violent deaths; more shrieks in the night horrible hissing sounds; mysterious cards delivered to each victim, inscribed with a picture of a serpent and containing an enigmatic message, “You Will Hear It!”; a terrifying threat from a nefarious type called “The Juice;” and a strange, sullen janitor who lurks more than he works. This so-called “B” picture was tow in budget, but very high in neat script construction, witty dialogue, brisk pacing, atmospheric visuals, and memorable characters. As for Ginger, she doesn’t dance, but every move she makes indicates that she was destined for major stardom. A buried treasure from Hollywood’s Golden Age! 68 minutes. Crime-Mystery-Suspense
2809. I’LL SELL MY LIFE (1941-usA). With MICHAEL WHALEN, ROSE HOBART, STANLEY FIELDS, JOAN WOODBURY, ROSCOE ATES. Two seemingly unrelated incidents open this thoroughly unique and fascinating murder mystery/thriller. First, a woman named Ruth Parmalee exits a car in front of the Club Sirocco, a posh nightspot. She is approached by another woman, who pumps four bullets into her. Next, a classified ad is placed in a newspaper called “The Friend In Need.” It is the oddest ad, and it reads: “I’ll buy your life. If you are interested apply Thursday, Alhambra Arms. Ask for A. Darnell.” Mordecai Breen is the good- hearted editor and publisher of the sheet, and he takes a personal inierest in the ad. He quickly learns that it was meant for female applicants only. One of them is a damsel-in-distress who calls herself Mary Jones. She is willing to sell her life for $20,000, explaining that she wants the money for her brother. He is a man with an unusual predicament-an artist who has lost his eyesight! She is “hired” for the job, and is summarily told that she is practically dead! By now several questions are begging to be answered. Who is “A. Darnell?” Who is “Mary Jones” and why is she so eager to be hired? Why was the ad placed? Will the successful applicant really be selling away her earthly existence? How will Breen fit into the scenario? Finally, how will the murder which opened the story relate to all of the above? 5ome of the answers are fairly simple and quickly revealed, others take more time in being explained. They are a bit more complex, and very shocking! 72 minutes. Crime Mystery Suspense