Midnight Mystery, 1930 Film Critique

Mar 11, 2022

Ivan Lebedeff, Betty Compson and Hugh Trevor in Midnight Mystery, 1930.

Sally Wayne was right about her interest in novels. That certain interest saved Gregory Sloane for a murder he didn't commit. Her detective twist at the end was great, but there are points that are not convincing, not her acting but scenes that could have been added or handled better. When Sally went upstairs crying with Tom following her after finding Mischa's body and seeing Gregory pleading for his innocence, she closed the door and started the Valine/Poison experiment. The scene was not clear enough to show that Sally was well aware that Tom is following her and is certainly coming to her room. It could have been someone else that drinks the mixed alcohol. The most important scene which the entire film is dependent on is Tom's confession. When asked how she knew he was going to confess and she said it was from a novel, that was a relatively weak point because he simply may have not confessed. When Sally took Tom's button from Mischa's hand and while the rescuer, as he said himself at the end, watched her, he didn't say anything at the time though it was alarming. A simple and quick scene could have been added for a smooth sequence and to prepare the viewer that there was a dummy or more in the house that will be later used for Mischa's corpse. It was sudden without any previous reference to see that Gregory had one and dressed it for that purpose.