TAKE THE STAND - 1934 - THELMA TODD - DVD
Murder in a locked room isn’t unique, but this mystery combines that with the ‘modern cutting-edge’ technology of nationwide radio broadcasting. It also provides a good sub-plot of the grizzled old cop trying to solve a murder the old fashioned way, with a young fellow who wants to use science to help track down the killer. George Gaylord, played by Jack La Rue, is a gossip columnist for a big New York City newspaper who also broadcasts a nationwide radio program. He is famous for dishing dirt on the wealthy and powerful people of New York City . . . Usually involving either conning innocent clients out of money or messing around with women who are not their wives. He tells the world about the illicit affairs that a famous singer is having . . . He threatens a famous stage and screen star with revelations of a love affair that he and his wife know would ruin his career . . . He threatens a wealthy stock broker with telling the world that the stock broker is a cheat and a fraud . . . He threatens to expose the gangster Beer Baron of New York. . . . The build-up to the murder shows us a good handful of powerful people who would like to see the snooping reporter dead. But just let them try . . . Every evening when he is revealing his information to the nation on his radio program, he locks himself into the windowless room where he stands before the big radio microphone and dishes gossip. No one has a key to that room except for the radio station manager several floors away . . . Absolutely no one can enter that room while he is telling the world about the sins of the mighty. On his final broadcast of the year, before going on a vacation over the Christmas holidays, he promises to make his most shocking revelation yet about one of our powerful men . . . And all of those men are outside his broadcast room with his private secretary. All of them are fearful that they will be the subject of his big news . . . All of them would like to stop him from broadcasting that evening . . . But the doors are locked, and there is no way to get to the gossip reporter before he begins his broadcast. Suddenly it is air time, and the reporter tells audience that horses racing around the track come into their money on the last lap . . . Just like the women around town . . . And tonight he will be telling the world about. . . . Before he can continue a shot rings out . . . When the station manager finally arrives with the key to the door, they enter and discover the reporter lying dead on the floor . . . Next to a wet spot . . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Jack La Rue, Thelma Todd, Gail Patrick
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