A Shriek in the Night (1933)

shriek in the night poster 1933 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Nice visuals in some scenes

Mostly bad transfers

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Shriek in the Night

Studio:  M.H. Hoffman Inc.

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  July 21, 1933

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

shriek in the night murdered man

Murder most foul!!!

The murder of a socialite philanthropist named Harker has police questioning if he fell to his death or if he was murdered.  Imbedded reporter Pat Morgan (Ginger Rogers) has the inside scoop on Harker, but her competition at the paper Ted Rand (Lyle Talbot) has gotten her fired from the job.  Pat is out to solve the crime and get her job back…but as more murders occur and the mystery deepens, the real murderer will be revealed!

Directed by Albert Ray, A Shriek in the Night is a mystery thriller.  The pre-code film is in the public domain and readily available.

A Shriek in the Night is one of those thrillers that is quick and to the point.  With movies that are early sound movies, they often feel like a combination of stage play and almost a (later) TV mystery.  The movie is a pretty good example of that style of filmmaking.

shriek in the night ginger rogers maid

Ever think of dancing?

The story is simple…a man has fallen to his death, but it appears to be murder.  You have a bunch of potential murderers and a detective trying to figure out who is responsible.  In addition to the detective, you have a pair of newspaper reporters doing almost parallel work to uncover the killer…but of course, they end up in danger before the end.

Ginger Rogers is different in this “non-dancing” title.  She really made her name as a film dancer, and in this movie, she’s generally playing a His Girl Friday type character as a female reporter competing in a man’s world…and of course against her love interest.  The cast is loaded with character actors at the time which does enrich the rather slim story.

shriek in the night ginger rogers ending murderer

Taking out the trash

Visually, the movie often is pretty rough simply due to the fact it has so many cheap copies floating around.  The movie (like the story) feels a bit like a stage play and is pretty limited on sets…and most of the sets are rather basic, but the furnace scene is pretty good and the whole movie has a bit of a gritty noir style.

A Shriek in the Night is one of those early movies you can watch and enjoy, but you also get what you kind of expect.  The mystery is there, but it feels a bit underdone and could have been played up more (aka the death of a man in a locked room type of story).  If you are looking for someone old but “new”, check out the movie for a quick little mystery.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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