Not a bad time passer. Don’t take it seriously and you’ll have a good time for an hour. Based on a story by mystery writer Stuart Palmer. A man is giving away five million dollars….unless his granddaughter shows up.
One dark and stormy night Jasper Whyte invites his niece Laura (Hedda Hopper), her husband Arthur, his nephew Tom (Regis Toomey), his doctor and his attorney to his home. His maid Elvira is also invited to join the crowd. The state inheritance tax is due to go into effect at midnight and Jasper wants to dispose of his estate before the deadline.
Laura, Tom, Dr.Denham, lawyer Mister Felix and housekeeper Elvira are all getting checks for a million dollars. Twenty years ago his daughter ran off to marry an actor. Jasper locked up her room and never spoke to her again. Now he wants to make amends to his granddaughter Doris. If she shows up, she’ll get the whole five million. Now arriving is Mr.Felix. With him is Doris. She got in touch with him in answer to an ad he put in the paper. There goes everyone’s million.
A little while later a girl comes through the door. Tom sees her at the fireplace. She says her name is….Doris. Her magician partner in vaudeville, Joe Luvalle (Wallace Ford) will be right in. Their car broke down.
Upstairs, Doris number one takes a sip of tea. Never do that in a 30′s mystery movie. Jasper is taking Doris number two up to meet her. The door’s locked. Tom gets help in breaking it down. On the floor is a dead Doris. She’s been poisoned.
The sheriff is called in and he brings his dimwitted deputy along. All they have to do now is figure out which one is the real Doris. Could the murderer be Arthur? His accounts at the bank leave a lot to be desired. He could have used that million.
It’s not a bad ending and keeps you guesing along the way. Ford is a bit hammy but then again that’s what the part called for. It’s a good thing Hedda Hopper went into writing a gossip column.
Stuart Palmer wrote the screenplays for the Bulldog Drummond movies. He also wrote a successful mystery series about an eldery school marm, Hildegarde Withers.