Richard Grant is a lawyer who believes that murder under certain circumstances is justifiable. Richard’s daughter, Barbara, takes her dad to a dinner party hosted by Richard’s old friend, wealthy playboy, Gordon Rich. Gordon tells Richard that he and Barbara plan to marry. Richard threatens Gordon’s life if he marries Barbara. Richard is unaware that Barbara has no plans to marry Gordon, and she’s in love with Tommy Osgood. Richard enraged of the thought of Barbara marrying Gordon goes into Gordon’s room, undetected, and kills him…Has Richard committed the perfect crime? —IMDb
W. S. \“Woody\” Van Dyke II inaugurated his career at age three as a stage actor, in the company of his widowed actress-mother. When acting jobs were scarce, young Van Dyke worked as a miner, electrician and (allegedly) a soldier-for-hire in Mexico during the ‘teens. In 1916, he was hired as one of several assistants to director D.W. Griffith, working in this capacity on Griffith’s mammoth Intolerance. After assisting director James Young at Paramount, Van Dyke was allowed to direct his first solo film in 1917. He spent most of the 1920s laboring on quickie Westerns, earning a reputation for speed and efficiency. In 1928, he was brought into MGM’s troubled production White Shadows on the South Seas, which, under the snail’s-pace direction of Robert J. Flaherty (a brilliant documentary maker whose skills at fictional filmmaking was slight), was running way behind schedule. When White Shadows opened to critical and audience approval, Van Dyke was elevated to Hollywood’s A-list of directors… read more
Like his younger brother John, American actor Lionel Barrymore wanted more than anything to be an artist. But a member of the celebrated Barrymore family was expected to enter the family trade, so Lionel reluctantly launched an acting career. Not as attractive as John or sister Ethel, he was most effectively cast in character roles – villains, military officers, fathers – even in his youth. Unable to save what he earned, Barrymore was “reduced” to appearing in films for the Biograph Company in 1911, where he was directed by the great D.W. Griffith and where he was permitted to write a few film stories himself, which to Lionel was far more satisfying than playacting. His stage career was boosted when cast in 1917 as Colonel Ibbetson in Peter Ibbetson, which led to his most celebrated role, Milt Shanks in The Copperhead; even late in life, he could always count on being asked to recite his climactic Copperhead soliloquy, which never failed to bring down the house. Moving on to film… read more
3 1/2. Lionel threatens to kill his best pal after the pal declares his intentions to marry Lionel's daughter. Lionel lives up to his word and yet it somehow becomes a whodunit. It's a wild pre-code film with a wonderful performance by Lionel and the ending is something that has to be seen to be believed. A real hoot!