Crime by Night (Warner Bros.) (1944)

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“CRIME BY NIGHT” (Your Mat 201 — 30c Jane Wyman and Jerome Cowan are seen in Warner Bros.’ new murder-mystery thriller, “Crime By Night,” opening Friday at the Strand Theatre. Murder-Mystery Movie, ‘Crime By Night,’ at Strand The historic ‘‘secret poison” known only to a savage tribe of Indians on the upper Amazon, has a successor. It’s the “Secret Chemical Formula.” Mystery story writers have nonchalantly exterminated thousands of luckless victims through the medium of the allegedly undetectable product of the Amazonians’ cunning. But now the product of primitive minds has given way to the fruits of scientific research. With war on, the detective fiction writers have turned to the secret chemical formula; not as a means of terminating the lives of victims, but as a reason for the slaying. Chemical formulae play important parts in the manufacture of equally secret new and potent explosives and weapons and thus are assiduously sought after by nefarious enemy agents. It’s just such a secret chem ical formula that provides the motive for some particularly brutal killings in Warner Bros. “Crime By Night,” which opens Friday at the Strand Theatre. The owner of a factory at work on munitions, and a guard, are slain by a killer wielding an axe. Jerome Cowan and Jane Wyman, who have leading roles in the picture, discover themselves deeply involved in plot and counter-plot as they launch their investigation. Only when they learn of the secret chemical formula do they uncover the true motive for the killings and thus the means of tracking down the criminal. “Crime By Night” was directed by William Clemens from the screen play by Richard Weil and Joel Malone. Others in the cast include Faye Emerson, Eleanor Parker, Charles Lang, Charles Wilson and Juanita Stark. ‘Crime By Night’ At Strand Friday Some of the nicest people and three brutal axe-slayings are the tantilizingly combined ingredients of “Crime By Night,” the new Warner Bros. picture which starts its engagement Friday at the Strand Theatre. With Jane Wyman starring as his comely and clever secretary, Jerome Cowan is featured as Sam Campbell, the detective who must pick the murderer from among such suave and civilized people as Faye Emerson, Eleanor Parker and Charles Lang can portray. The gay banter of polite society by day and crime by night are manipulated to deal out thrills and chills in fastmoving succession. This study in contrasts was concocted for the screen by Richard Weil and Joel Malone, from the murder-mystery story, “Forty Whacks,” by Geoffrey Homes, and. put before the cameras by Director William Clemens. Murder-Mystery Film Starts Run Today Not just one but two of the loveliest villains ever presented by Hollywood have featured roles in “Crime By Night,” the Warner. Bros. mystery drama which opens today at the Strand Theatre Friday. Faye Emerson, a_ striking brunette, who has been getting increasingly important parts in Warner Bros. pictures recently, is the villainess-in-chief. As the head of a spy and saboteur ring, the comely Miss Emerson plays a wily game of hide-andseek with the Law, as represented by Jerome Cowan and his smart secretary Jane Wyman. Just as lovely is Eleanor Parker, who is presented here as a tool of the enemy agents. Beauty in such roles has a startling effect that lends to intensify the dramatic quality of “Crime By Night,” which was. directed by William Clemens from the novel by Goeffrey Homes. Warner Bros. Pressbook ) Guide For Beauty: Perfect Legs Have 4-7 Dimension Ratio Jane Wyman’s ankle measures eight-and-a-half inches, her calf twelve and a half inches, and her thigh nineteenand-a-half inches. Do _ statistics bore you? Well, those dimensions are the dimensions of the “perfect leg,’’ as decreed by the old master himself, Flo Ziegfeld. A few other possessors of “perfect legs” are Ann Sheridan, Dolores Moran, Betty Grable, Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth. Miss Wyman’s _perfections will be seen in the new Warner Bros. attraction, “Crime By Night’? which has its premiere Friday at the Strand Theatre. But if your girl friend’s legs do not measure exactly like Jane’s, don’t worry about it. A girl may have beautiful legs and not follow that formula at all — except in this particular: the ratio of 4 to 7 is the key to pretty legs. Four is to seven as eight-and-ahalf is to twelve-and-a-half, and twelve-and-a-half is to nineteen-and-a-half as four is to seven. But very few persons have to resort to mathematical formula to know a pretty leg when they see it. Jane plays a secretary in “Crime By Night’ — and you know what nice legs some secretaries have. Jerome Cowan Could Be Happy But Isn't — He’s a Worrier By the tenets of his own exressed philosophy, Jerome Cowan should be the happiest actor in Hollywood. By the perversity of human nature, he isn’t. When Cowan arrived in the picture city in 1936 after a down and up career on the New York stage, he said he wanted only one thing — to be kept busy. Hollywood has kept him busy. He has gone from picture to picture without a break. He’s played heavies, heros and character types — with and without beards. Now he’s a private detective in ‘Crime By Night,” currently at the Strand Theatre. With all his activity — and a very new attractive contract from Warner Bros. — Cowan isn’t the happy individual he said he’d be. He’s a worrier. The more he worries, however, the better performances he gives. And as his worrying capacities seem to be limitless, Warners is expecting him to blossom out as a full-fledged star. Cowan was born in New York City but started his acting career in Hartford, Conn. He served a hitch in the U. S. Navy during World War I. He made his Broadway debut in “We’ve Got Money” and subsequently played leads opposite such well known actresses as Alice’ Brady, Peggy Wood and Mary Boland. Samuel Goldwyn brought him to Hollywood after he had scored in “Boy Meets Girl.” (Prepared Review) ‘Crime By Night’ Opens At Strand Theatre In the crisply entertaining murder-mystery film, ‘Crime By Night,’ which opened at the Strand Theatre yesterday, Warner Bros. introduces the new and thoroughly likeable starring team of Jane Wyman and Jerome Cowan. As Robbie Vance, Miss Wyman is the perfect mystery-story secretary — beautiful but brainy — to Cowan’s Sam Campbell, wily and hardboiled private detective. They make up an adept, intelligent and believable pair of sleuths in a smooth and swiftly paced story. Campbell is retained by Larry Borden (Stuart Crawford) in a squabble with Irene (Eleanor Parker), his estranged wife. Arriving in Brookmere, a summer resort town, Campbell finds the case turned hot by the axe-slaying of Irene’s father. Borden, who lost his hand because of an axe injury inflicted by the victim, is a prime suspect. Campbell weaves his way through the complications of local politics, wangles fees from __ practically everyone concerned, while, with Robbie’s help, he plows steadily to the surprising but well-reasoned solution. Featured with the WymanCowan team is Faye Emerson as the ruthless and beautiful Ann Marlowe, concert manager for Borden, Eleanor Parker as his estranged wife, and Charles Lang as the hap Mat 101 — 15¢ JANE WYMAN less Paul Goff. Director William Clemens has employed a_ well-chosen cast in sharply defined characterizations, to tell a rousing story in the crisp, gusty fashion that mystery story lovers crave. “Crime By Night” is based upon the novel “Forty Whacks” b, Geoffrey Homes, popular mystery-story writer. Beard Launched Starlet on Career Faye Emerson lays no claims to having ever been a bearded lady in a circus sideshow, but it was just a hirsuit adornment of that type that got her into pictures. The delectable Miss Emerson, currently being seen in Warner Bros. “Crime By Night,” now at the Strand Theatre, actually wore a beard in her first public appearance. And the enthusiastic audience response launched her on her acting career. It was, it must be confessed, a church play and Faye was only twelve. She played the part of an aged — and bearded — shepherd. But the idea of becoming an actress was then firmly implanted in the pretty THE CAST Robbie Vance Sam Campbell Jane Wyman Jerome Cowan Faye Emerson Ann Marlow Irene Carr Paul Goff Larry Borden Sheriff Ambers Dist. Atty. Hyatt Telephone Operator Eleanor Parker Charles Lang Stuart Crawford Cy Kendall Charles Wilson Juanita Stark Creighton Hale George Guhl Hank Mann Bill Kennedy Dick Rich Grayson Dick Blake Desk Clerk Attendant PRODUCTION Director of Photography, Sharpe, A.S.C.; Film Editor, Gould; Sound by Robert B. Lee; Dialogue Director, Harry Seymour; Art Director, Charles Novi; Set Decorations by Julia Heron; Special Effects by Lawrence Butler, Director, and Edwin Linden, A.S.C.; Gowns by Leah Rhodes; Makeup Artist, Perc Westmore; Asst. Director, Don Page. Doug Country of origin U.S.A. Copyright 1943 Vitagraph, Inc. All rights reserved, Copyright is waived to magazines and newspapers. Henry Miss Emerson head. She hasn’t stopped since. Faye was born in Elizabeth, La., and attended schools in such highly separated points as Chicago, Texas and San Diego, Calif. She played stock with the St. James Repertory company at Carmel, Calif., for the magnificent sum of $15 weekly, and was with the San Diego Community Theatre. It was there that a Warner Bros. talent scout clapped eyes on her — and signed her to a contract. Miss Emerson tempers ambition with caution and firmly believes that the increasing importance of the parts she has been playing will lead her to eventual stardom. She isn’t a nice character in “Crime By Night” but she’s mighty effective. Even without a beard. SYNOPSIS (Not for Publication) Sam Campbell (Jerome Cowan) private detective, is retained by Larry Borden (Stuart Crawford) a musician, to combat the efforts of Borden’s divorced wife Irene (Eleanor Parker) to get custody of their child. Sam and his secretary, Robbie Vance (Jane Wyman) arrive in Brookmere to find Borden in a highly nervous state. His #ather-inlaw, Harvey Carr, and his caretaker had been murdered brutally with an axe. Borden was a suspect because his own hand had been injured by an axe in a squabble with his father-in-law some time ago. Campbell’s invesiigation brings him in contact with Ann Marlow (Faye Emerson) a guest at the local hotel, presumably a concert manager. He learns that the dead Carr had developed a chemical formula of great value in connection with war work. He learns, too, that Borden’s ex-wife has been trying to get the formula to turn ever to Goff (Charles Lang) her boy friend. Shortly afterwards Goff, too, is found murdered. Then Campbell begins to close in. He proves that Ann Marlow actually is head of a spy-saboteur ring and committed the murders in order to get the secret formula. (Running Time: 72 minutes )