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Tomorrow At Seven

A murderer, known as "The Black Ace", menaces a number of people staying in an old dark mansion. This 1933 picture features matinee idol Chester Morris as an author intent on writing a book about the notorious criminal. He visits criminal expert Thornton Drake to get more information about the case. When someone receives the killer's calling card (the "ace of spades") the mystery begins. This is a wonderfully entertaining old fashioned mystery movie with all the hallmarks - an old house, servants, guests, a dashing hero, some bumbling detectives and a murderer among them.


Tomorrow at Seven is a 1933 American film directed by Ray Enright, by M&A Alexander Productions, Inc.

Plot

A man unveils a valuable painting he picked up for $50,000 and is killed. A car with a large black ace (of spades) is put on his chest. Another “Black Ace” victim. The killer sends his victims a Black Ace card, warning them they are to die and then kills them, his way of taunting the police. Neil Broderick, an author, intends writing a book about him and is on his way to see Thornton Drake to get more information about him. Austin Winters is his secretary and Neil met his daughter Martha on the train, on the way to Chicago.
Drake has just received a Black Ace, with the words: “At seven tomorrow night”, the time he is to be killed. Two plainclothes cops arrive from police headquarters, having had a call, Clancy and Dugan (both incompetents). Martha suggests that they leave for Drake’s Louisiana plantation tomorrow morning and be far away from there at seven tomorrow night. Drake agrees and suggests they all go. On the flight, the lights go off for some seconds and when they come on again, Austin Winters is dead without a mark on him.
At the plantation, Clancy ineptly questions the suspects till Neil points out that they are now in another state, so out of their jurisdiction. Neil goes to another room and makes a phone call, then signals to someone outside. After he finishes his call, the line is cut. Meanwhile one of the pilots has taken off in the plane, leaving the other pilot, Henderson, behind who claims he does not know anything though he was out of the cockpit when Winters was killed.
The coroner finds a letter on the dead man which is to be read if Winters dies. It will reveal the identity of the Black Ace. Clancy starts reading it aloud and unsurprisingly the lights go off and the letter has vanished when the lights are turned on again. People locked in their rooms that night and Neil has a hidden car outside signal to him.
Later that night, the coroner turns up, the real one. Neil goes to Martha’s room and asks her what she did with the letter, guessing that she had taken it because was afraid her father might implicate himself with the Black Ace. The letter is gone from where she hid it and all there is, is two sheets of plain paper and a Black Ace card. Clancy and Dugan appear and blame Neil. Clancy and Neil at gunpoint go to Drake’s room and while Clancy is hurling accusations, there is a groan from next door and they find a dead man there (Henderson). A search of Neil reveals he has a skeleton key so might have been able to enter the dead man’s room.
Downstairs, Dugan has been talking to Martha with his back to her, turns and sees she has gone (a mysterious hand reached out for her only moments before). The housekeeper (Mrs Quincy) is seen leading the fake coroner (Jerry Simons) who is carrying Martha. Drake left with Neil threatens him with a gun, demanding Winters’ confession but Neil has signalled Simons (of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations) who disarms Drake who has Winters’ confession implicating him. However, the gardener (Pompey) comes into the room with a gun in his hand and now the villains have the upper hand till there is a knock at just the right moment. Two fights ensue. In trying to kill Simons, Pompey kills Drake with the hidden spike in the walking stick. Pompey is subdued and the two cops arrive to take the credit.

Cast

  • Chester Morris as Neil Broderick
  • Vivienne Osborne as Martha Winters
  • Frank McHugh as Clancy
  • Allen Jenkins as Dugan
  • Henry Stephenson as Thornton Drake
  • Grant Mitchell (actor) as Austin Winters
  • Charles B. Middleton as Jerry Simons
  • Oscar Apfel as Asa Marsden
  • Virginia Howell as Mrs. Quincy
  • Cornelius Keefe as Henderson
  • Edward LeSaint as Coroner
  • Gus Robinson as Pompey


Category:1933 films
Category:American films
Category:American mystery films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
4.00

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