A Tragedy at Midnight Film Details
Overview: This Republic murder mystery starts with a radio broadcast by Greg Sherman who solves cases on the air that the local police cannot solve. As he names the perpetrator of a recent murder we …
Review: In the best of circumstances, meaning complete and uncut, “A Tragedy at Midnight” still could not be called a good movie. The writing is awful, the direction slipshod–shots rarely match, and in some scenes the actors don’t seem to realize they’re on camera; they stare down until their cue comes, at which time they suddenly leap into character–and the acting in many cases is pure burlesque. Most Abbott and Costello movies are more realistic. The goal was obviously to do a screwball mystery, ala “The Thin Man,” with a little “Ghost Breakers” thrown in, but the characters here act like imbeciles. Having said that, the version of this film that is readily available on Netflix makes matters even worse by having had about one-quarter of its original running time chopped out, so as to fit into an hour time slot for television. This 53 minute version makes no sense–none–since the eliminated footage was apparently all exposition. What’s left of the film involves a radio sleuth who makes the cops look like idiots (no big task here), and wakes up one hungover morning next to the corpse of a woman, not his wife. Can he solve the mystery, clear himself, elude the police, appease his wife, and still make his Wednesday broadcast? John Howard and Margaret Lindsay have very little chemistry, and Keye Luke’s servant role makes the work of Mantan Moreland look dignified. There is also a huge cast of solid solid character actors, mostly wasted in virtual extra roles. Republic should have stuck to serials.
Duration: 68 min
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Also known as: Ao Bater da Meia-Noite,Tragedia de media noche,A Tragedy at Midnight