11 January 2007 | msladysoul
Watch this movie; it'll be the best 63 minutes you ever spent!
A Little Spoiler - Every pre-code fan should catch this movie, "By Whose Hand?". It was a very entertaining and rare 65 minute classic movie that was shown on Turner Classic Movies. This movie is another example of pre-code greatness. Crime, Love, Betrayal, and Murder all takes place on a train ride. Slick and Smooth Ben Lyon plays Jimmy Hawley, a newspaper reporter who is always got his eye out for a story. He gets kissed accidentally by pretty Alice (Barbara Weeks) and because of that he follows her to California on a train where a big story evolves right before his eyes. The train ride has plenty of suspects with a shady past, a jewelry distributor (Kenneth Thomson), a gorgeous moll named Eileen (Ethel Kenyon), a criminal, a bitter man, and the wife of a criminal who's going to help her husband get even with the man who framed him who's on the train. The jewelry man is killed and the beautiful moll is suspected because of her being seen with him and because of her past, the bitter guy who the jewelry man fired is suspected of killing out of revenge. The convict and his wife are suspects too even Alice (Barbara Weeks). Ben Lyon plays detective and points out the guilty and innocent. I won't give all all the details in case some of you haven't seen it.
There is mention of dope cigarettes - weed - which was given to the man to fall asleep so he could be killed. There is also plenty of sexual innuendos that pre-code movies were known for. The newlywed couple was cute, especially, the blonde, little cutie. During the drama, the funny part is when the detective tells everyone to come out of their sleepers and he ask the newlywed couple what they were doing during the murder and the newlywed couple starts to blush and look guilty and giggles because they were having sex during the murder - they didn't say that but their face told it. That's what I like about pre-code, pre-code didn't have to be filthy and vulgar to be entertaining and sexy like movies today. Movies today should learn something from pre-code movies. This movie has everything and it's jam-packed for being just a 65 minute movie. That's what I love about pre-code, pre-code proved a movie doesn't have to be 2 hours long to be entertaining or to tell the story fully. There was a beginning, middle, and end, the pre-code movies get to the point without a lot of unnecessary parts which is good for an impatient person like me. Pre-code is entertaining all the way through. Please see this movie, I personally recommend it!