25 October 2015 | AlsExGal
Enjoyable in spite of the plot holes
This is a relatively interesting movie about writing a play that could have been a play itself - it is somewhat stage-bound. Three authors - Lew Ayres, Eugene Palette, Benny Baker) are trying to write a murder mystery for a producer that has already given them a 500 dollar advance to do so. The problem is, that the three have already spent the advance, their time is up, and they can't even get an idea off of page one.
They're facing jail if they don't get an idea, arguing among themselves, when in walks their neighbor from across the hall, Mr. Duvall. He is very drunk staggers around their apartment and passes out cold on their couch. The three find that he has a little black book on him, and that the book contains the names, phone numbers, and addresses of people who he is blackmailing.
Suddenly our trio arrive at a brilliant idea. They'll call the people in the black book, while impersonating the police, tell them that Duvall is dying, and that he wants to make a statement but insists they be present. They figure they can sweat a confession out of one of them, and whatever confession they get, that will be their play, already written by the murderer.
I'll let you watch and see how this all turns out, but there are some big plot holes here. The biggest one is that at this point, there IS no murder. Duvall was just drunk. They KNEW that. So why would an innocent person confess to a murder if they didn't commit one? Plus, nobody ever asks for these guy's police badges, or says "If I'm not under arrest I'm not staying", or even says that they are not coming over in the first place for that matter.
It turns out that Hattie McDaniel plays a big role in this, not as a criminal, but as somebody who has information about Duvall that the trio of authors don't originally have.
This one turns out to have quite a few interesting plot twists and I enjoyed it in spite of the plot holes, thus I'd recommend it. Plus watching Lew Ayres with a bowler hat on his head a few sizes too large while chomping on a cigar trying to act like a "tough copper" is worth the price of admission.