24 January 2014 | MartinHafer
Not one of the great films of the 1930s, that's for sure.
If you want to see "Her Mad Night" (also known as "Held for Murder"), then you might be forced to see the DVD from Alpha Video. Usually their prints for old films are rather poor but this film is much worse--with poor sound and a horrible picture. It's fuzzy, choppy and dirty and just plain ugly.
The film is from a small studio and won't be mistaken for a product from MGM or Warner Brothers! It stars Irene Rich and Conway Tearle--two actors who very few folks would recognize today.
It begins on an ocean cruise. Steven Kennedy (Tearle) has met a woman aboard the ship, Joan (Rich), and impulsively asks her to marry him before the trip is complete. What he doesn't know is that Joan has been a kept woman and definitely has a past. When his 'friend' Schuyler tells him this, he tosses Schuyler out. Soon after this, Steven's sister, Connie, meets Joan and tells her that she is Schulyer's lover--wow, BOTH women have been involved with the same guy! And, both women become fast friends! There's another secret about these two women--but you'll have to see the film for yourself to find this out for yourself. Such things ARE possible in the world of Pre-code films (before the censors put a stop to such goings on in mid-1934).
When Connie learns that Schuyler has information he can use to blackmail Joan, she goes to his apartment and pretends to be interested in him. She really is just looking for the incriminating evidence. But, the creep tries to rape Connie--and she shoots him! Joan arrives and tells Connie to run. When the police arrive, they accuse Joan and, oddly, Joan doesn't tell them the truth. Instead she takes the rap--because she has a secret!!! In many ways, this film seems like an odd reworking of the old film "Madame X". However, it suffers from poor acting from Tearle as well as a twist that seemed ridiculously impossible. Not a terrible film but it could have been better and lacked originality.