Grief Street (1931)

John Holland-Barbara Kent

A locked room mystery. Who killed the egotistical actor? An early B worth seeing despite some stiff acting.  James P.Burtis is a lot of fun to watch as Police Sgt.Jardine. Walter Brennan has a blink and you’ll miss him part as a reporter named Art.

John catches his wife with another man. The man leaves after saying he and his wife will be married right after a divorce. John can’t handle it and shoots her. He calls the cops and has a drink. And then……the curtain comes down. It’s just a play.

Afterwards actor Alvin Merle lets his ego out with stage doorman Michael. Michael gives it right back to him. Merle goes into his dressing room. Jean Royce (Barbara Kent) comes in and Michael tells her Merle doesn’t want to be disturbed. She leaves.

In comes stage manager Frank Murray. Merle was supposed to meet him and a couple dames. He came back to see why he didn’t show up. The dressing room door is locked. Murray has a key and goes in. There’s Merle with a cord around his neck. He won’t be meeting anyone ever again.

Reporter Jim Ryan (John Holland) gets to the theater along with the cops.  Sgt.Jardine (James P.Burtis) braces Michael.  Jean is still outside. She tells Ryan she’ll see him later. When Ryan gets home there’s Jean. She used to be in the company but was fired due to her infatuation with the womanizing Merle. She wanted to see him that night because someone slipped a note under her door saying it was Merle’s last night. She wanted to warn him.

Later on the cops are looking for her and can’t find her. Ryan tracks her down to a penthouse. She has a rich daddy. Later on she gets a note saying Ryan is writing his last story. She tries to warn him.

It all ends with everyone gathered at the theater as Ryan solves the case. Also of interest is watching actors trying to make the move from silents to talkies.

John Holland only made two more movies. The last an uncredited role in 1932’a “The Silver Lining.”

James P.Burtis showed up in a lot of 30’s movies as a cop.

James P.Burtis

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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