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Night Club Scandal

Night Club Scandal(1937)

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Dr. Ernest Tindal murders his wife Ruth, who has been having an affair, then goes out for the evening. In the hallway he meets his friend, and they can hear what sounds like his wife playing the piano, thus Tindal has created a perfect alibi. On the night of the murder, Ruth's lover Frank Marlan, who had a rendezvous with Ruth, finds her body lying on the floor of her apartment. At the sound of approaching voices, Frank panics and runs, after leaving his fingerprints on a doorknob. The case is investigated by Captain McKinley and his reporter friend, Russell Kirk, who are always in competition for the same woman. Kirk instantly determines that the murder involves infidelity, and the fingerprints lead them to the Marlan home. Kirk meets Frank's sister Vera, and immediately falls in love with her. She is unable to provide her brother with an alibi when Kirk remembers seeing her leave a nightclub alone the night of the murder. Julia and Jack Reed, notorious gangsters, also try to vouch for Frank, but botch their alibi, after which Frank is convicted and sentenced to execution. Kirk's attraction to Vera leads him to help her try to get an appeal, but the governor refuses. During a fight with McKinley, in which McKinley tries to strangle him, Kirk realizes Frank must be innocent, because Ruth would have grabbed her assailant's wrists, just as he grabbed McKinley's wrists during the struggle. Frank was arrested because his watch charm was found in Ruth's hand and was used as evidence against him, however, watch charms rest on the midriff, not the wrists. They immediately suspect the Reeds, but Tindal tips the Reeds off and they escape. Jack is shot by McKinley, however, and Julia calls Tindal to their hideout to save him. Knowing that Jack is the only witness to the murder because Jack stole the watch charm for him, Tindal kills Jack, then tells Vera that he died from his injury. Distraught, Julia attempts to kill McKinley at headquarters, but fails. A coroner reports that Jack died at the hands of his surgeon, and all realize that Tindal must be guilty. They stop Tindal, who was nonchalantly dressing to attend Frank's execution, and Kirk reveals that his investigation proves that Tindal bought a player piano shortly before his wife's death. He used this to form his alibi that Ruth was alive when he left on the eve of her murder. By attaching a length of paper to the music sheet, the piano had a delay before it began playing. A stay of execution is granted for Frank, and Tindal is arrested. Vera expresses her thanks to Kirk for his assistance, but to his dismay, she is already engaged to someone else.