Shriek In The Night, A

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