The Longest Night


51m 1936
The Longest Night

Brief Synopsis

A department-store head tries to stop a gangland plot.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Whispering Window
Genre
Drama
Mystery
Release Date
Oct 2, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Whispering Window by Cortland Fitzsimmons (New York, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
51m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Film Length
5 reels

Synopsis

Eve Sutton helps her boyfriend, Carl Briggs, rob the department store for which they work. The next day, her sister Joan realizes that one of the missing pieces, a watch, is similar to one which Carl gave Eve. She then tells Carl's mother about it because Mrs. Briggs is her boss. In addition to the robbery, employees are worried when they hear that the store is being sold by the old owner's son, Charles Phelps, whom Joan accidentally meets in the cane department, shortly after the store closes. A few minutes later, going to use an abandoned elevator, Joan and Charley find the strangled body of Mrs. Briggs. During the course of the murder investigation, a customer, Mrs. Wilson G. Wilson, says that she had seen a suspicious man running out of the store, wearing spats. Worried about her sister, whom she suspects is involved in Mrs. Briggs' murder, Joan resists the friendly overtures of Charley. As Carl is being questioned, he says that he knows who killed his mother, but just as he is about to reveal "the man's" name, he is killed by a bullet shot from above. Charley then reveals that his father, who loved the store, wanted to keep an eye on everything and had numerous "whispering windows" throughout the store, from which he could see and hear everything. Eve reveals to Joan most of the story about the robberies, but she refuses to identify the murderer because she fears for her own life. Eve and Mr. Grover, another employee, disappear, then the watch and a tack from the furniture department come to them in the pneumatic tubes and Joan realizes that they are messages from Eve, who is sending them from the furniture department. She then tells Charley, but no one else. Soon the lights go out in the store, and in the chaos, Joan and Grover's voices are heard over the intercom, both screaming for help. Everyone goes to the sixth floor, but they can't find any bodies until Mrs. Wilson's son Albert finds Eve in a box on the seventh floor. Soon more police arrive and turn on the master switches to the lights, but employee Hardy grabs the Captain's gun while Joan and Charley sneak away. When they find Eve, she is alive and reveals that Grover is the killer and head of the gang, which includes Hardy and the other men dressed as police on the sixth floor. Joan overhears what is happening downstairs and hides, pursued by other members of the gang. She hides in an office and starts a small fire to activate the sprinklers and summon the fire department while she sneaks away in a private elevator. As Grover and Watson tie up some of the people and take Charley and the real police hostage, Joan lets the tied up cleaning ladies out and the police and fire departments come. The cleaning ladies capture the gang using mops and buckets and Charley apprehends Grover, holding him until the police arrive to stop the melee. Charley announces that he will not sell the store and proposes to Joan.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Whispering Window
Genre
Drama
Mystery
Release Date
Oct 2, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Whispering Window by Cortland Fitzsimmons (New York, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
51m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Film Length
5 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Thought to be the shortest feature ever produced by MGM (the title notwithstanding!).

Notes

A Hollywood Reporter production chart includes Bert Roach in the cast, but his participation in the completed film has not been verified. According to modern sources, this film was the shortest feature ever made at M-G-M.