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A SHRIEK IN THE NIGHT

This 66 minute 1933 movie starring the 22 year old Ginger Rogers and Lyle Talbot is an excellent representation of pre-film noire of its era. This was Rogers\' 20+ film, but the wise cracking/endearing personality that she eventually developed for the Astaire movies had not yet appeared. She comes off stiff and unsure. Leading man Lyle Talbot, a veteran of almost 200 movies plays as Ginger\'s rival reporter, and a romance that started before this movie began blossoms despite some back-stabbing by each of the other. Talbot is excellent and carries the show. Notable performances are given by Pernell Pratt as the police detective and Harvey Clark as the janitor. Actress Louise Beavers who went on to make more than 160 films, many notable, plays the stereotypical \"negro\". The roll can be excused as it is a benchmark of the Hollywood problems of the times. The story, an excellent whodunnit written by Francis Hyland and Kurt Kempler, is good but gets muddled at the end. Even so it does not interfere with the understanding of the plot. There is a scene at the end that has gruesome implications but is not gratuitous and therefore adds to the depth of the story. One gaff I noticed: about 5 minutes into the picture Rogers is talking to the detective. She is smoking a cigarette (there\'s a lot of smoking going on through out the film) and he is smoking a cigar. While holding the smoking butt she leaves the room only to enter another room sans cigarette. It is very interesting to see the styles of dress and automobiles of the times. Many of the shots were outdoors. The camera work is some what stilted and has only a few pans. It is almost like a theater play. I saw this film from the 50 Movie Pack Horror Classics box. Well worth buying and this film is not-to-be-missed.
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