Call It Murder; Midnight

2069. CALL IT MURDER (Midnight) (1934-usA). With Humphrey Bogart, Henry HULL, SIDNEY FOX, LYNN OVERMAN. Years before becoming everybody’s favorite private eye and saloon keeper, Humphrey Bogart paid his celluloid dues playing supporting roles as gangsters. He acquits himself nicely in this provocative drama which examines the pros and cons of capital punishÂment. It tells the story of Edward Weldon, foreman of a jury which convicts a woman named Ethel Saxton of killing her husband. Because the murder was a crime of passion, Saxton just might be acquitted. However, Weldon asks her if she took the money the deceased had apparently embezzled after she committed the crime. She answers in the affirmative which establishes that the murder was premeditated and results in her conviction and death sentence. How then will Weldon respond when his emotionally fragile daughter Stella kills her gangster boyfriend (Bogart, who else?) In a fit of jealÂousy? Check out the neat camera pan which opens the film and accompanies Ethel Saxton’s confesÂsion. It memorably establishes BogartÕs presence on screen. Later on, the moment leading to Saxton’s execution are chillingly contrasted to Weldon’s justifying his condemnation and then his daughter’s admitting her own act of violence. Caution: the video quality is marginal. 74 minutes. Crime-Mystery-Suspense