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Shadow of Doubt

Shadow of Doubt(1935)

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Shadow of Doubt (1935)

Having solved the mysteries of The Maltese Falcon (1931) and The Phantom of Crestwood (1932), popular pre-Code leading man Ricardo Cortez leaves the sleuthing to dowager aunt Constance Collier (making her sound film debut) in Shadow of Doubt (1935), a feature film adaptation of the Colliers serial by Arthur Somers Roche. MGM production values elevate this twisty whodunit, set against the backdrop of the Manhattan nightclub scene, whose supporting cast is rich in familiar faces. Virginia Bruce (The Invisible Woman), Arthur Byron (20,000 Years in Sing-Sing), Regis Toomey (Guys and Dolls), Samuel S. Hinds (Young Dr. Kildare), Isabel Jewell (The Seventh Victim), and future Westinghouse Electric mouthpiece Betty Furness are suspects in the murder of a shady film producer, while Paul Hurst (Island of Lost Souls), Bert Roach (Murders in the Rue Morgue), and Ed Brophy (the voice of Timothy Mouse in Disney's Dumbo) represent the forces of law and order. Director George Seitz got his start in Hollywood writing chapters for the silent serial The Perils of Pauline (1914) and capped his career helming entries of MGM's Andy Hardy franchise. Star Cortez would later inherit from Warren William the role of Erle Stanley Gardner's crusading defense attorney Perry Mason in Warner Brothers' long-running series.

By Richard Harland Smith

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