Arline Judge is fun to watch as a college student investigating murder on campus. She doesn’t play it headstrong or ditzy and that’s why it works. One determent to the movie is filler about a rehearsal for a college variety show. If that had been cut out and more of the main mystery added this would have been a solid B picture. It’s still good but it could have been better.
Dan Courtridge is the editor of the school paper. He’s getting the dirt column ready with an item about a teacher and student. No names but it’s obvious it’s about chemistry professor Seth Dunlap (Kent “Boston Blackie” Taylor) and student Julie Fresnel (Wendy Barrie).
Seth’s sister Sally (Arline Judge) is a reporter for the paper and is in the office when Dan shows her a letter he got from out of town. It asked for his autograph after a woman was impressed with an article of his that was in a college anthology. He writes a response and Sally agrees to mail it for him.
That night there’s a rehearsal for a variety show directed by student Penny Parker (William “Billy” Benedict). He’s an overbearing jerk used for comedic purposes and is a waste of time. His target is the dim bulb Cuffy (Benny Baker). Later in the newspaper office Dan is found dead.
At the inquest the verdict is suicide by poison. Sally wasn’t the last person to see him alive. She passed Julie on her way out after having tea with Dan. Seth tells her to keep quiet about it. Vying for Julie’s attention are long time friends and students Paul Gedney and Jake Lansing (Edward Nugent). They were school friends with Dan back in Prep school. Later across the street from Julie’s house where she lives with her stepfather, chemistry professor Dr.Henri Fresnel, her mother (Mary Nash) and servant girl Posey, Paul is found strangled in the frat house. He had been singing a song he wrote over the phone to the students at the rehearsal.
Sally discovers that Henri and Julie don’t have alibis for the night. Later she gets a typewritten threatening note. Investigating the case is Chief of Police Magoun (William “Fred Mertz” Frawley). Despite the warning Sally and her roommate Toby go to the newspaper office to check out rumors that someone has been searching it. Sally finds the letter Dan wrote to his fan on the floor. It was returned because there was no such address. She gets suspicious and has Seth test the envelope flap for poison. It tests positive. Dan was killed when he sealed the envelope.
Jake says he’ll keep an eye on Julie’s mother since she can’t walk following an accident. Later Jake is found with a rope around his neck and Julie’s mother on the floor. She says she crawled downstairs when she heard some noise. Jake is okay but didn’t see who tried to strangle him. Sally continues to investigate. It all comes to a suspenseful ending.
It’s a good cast that also includes character actor Samuel S.Hinds as detective Cummings. This is worth searching out even if the variety show bits are unnecessary.