Cast & Crew
At a fancy hotel in San Francisco, house detective Andy McCabe repeatedly is refused dates by women who prefer to flirt with debonaire mystery writer Roger Blackwood. Mac calls Roger's theories on crime "bunk" and states that anyone can solve a crime if they also provide their own answers. After they find a dead man in the room of Dr. Temple, a toxicologist visiting for a medical convention, Dr. Temple reveals that the dead man, Chambers, convinced him to switch rooms. Dr. Temple believes that Chambers, who died of an overdose, was a suicide. After finding binoculars in the room, Roger and Mac learn that a deli deliverer brought drinks and cigarettes the previous night to Elinor Blake, who occupied a room directly across the street, and a male guest, and to a man fitting the dead man's description in the room next to Elinor's. At the hotel's New Year's Eve party, Claude Harvey, a banker who is on the hotel's board of directors, recognizes the inscription on the watch found on Chambers, which Temple has located, and identifies the dead man as J. C. Blake, a Los Angeles banker and Elinor's husband. As the lights go out to bring in the New Year, Mac's bumbling assistant, "Feets" Moore, is knocked out with a champagne bottle. After the police fingerprint expert finds a set of prints on the bottle, Roger surreptitiously collects prints from four suspects. Meanwhile, Feets, who has recovered, and Mac search Dr. Temple's room and find vials of poison, which Temple denies having ever seen. Mac leaves Feets with Dr. Temple and runs into Roger, who suggests that Mac trick Dr. Temple into a confession. When they return to the room, they find Feets and Dr. Temple gone. Roger then sneaks into Elinor's room, and as he looks in a closet, a man locks him in and leaves. Mac trails the man to the railroad station. Roger breaks out of the closet, and after he learns that Mac has bought a ticket to Redmont, he drives there and finds Mac writing him a taunting telegram which states that he has solved the mystery. Mac believes that Blake followed his wife to San Francisco, where he saw her with Dr. Temple through the binoculars. He thinks that Elinor and Dr. Temple are together in their hideout, but Roger says he is wrong. After Roger jumps on the running board of Mac's car as he starts for the hideout, Mac fires his pistol and feigns that a tire has a blown. When Roger gets out, Mac speeds away. He then really does get a flat, and after he fixes it, Feets, who had been hiding nearby, knocks Mac out from behind with a blackjack and ties him up in the bushes. Roger sees the car, and after hearing movement in the bushes, hides in the back seat. Feets drives to the hideout, where Roger takes his gun from him and ties Feets's hands. Roger surmises that Feets saw a man leave Blake's room the night of the murder, and that the man hit Feets over the head with the champagne bottle to keep him from revealing his identity and later paid Feets to cooperate with him and plant the vials in Dr. Temple's room. Inside the house, Roger surprises Elinor and finds Dr. Temple unconscious. Mac then comes in, after having revived and untied himself. Believing that Roger hit him, Mac holds him at bay and tells Feets to get his gun. Feets then pulls the gun on Mac. When a car drives up, Mac hits Feets. After the person in the car, Harvey, calls for Elinor, Roger accuses him of poisoning Blake and says that his fingerprints were on the champagne bottle. Harvey admits hitting Feets with the bottle, but he says that he did it only because Feets tried to blackmail him. He denies killing Blake, but says that they did have a violent argument after Blake saw him with Elinor. Roger then finds a tube of the drug that killed Blake in one of Harvey's cigarettes. Dr. Temple revives, and as attention is focused on him, Harvey turns out the lights. As Mac struggles with Roger in the dark, Harvey escapes to his car, but it goes out of control and over a cliff. Back at the hotel, Mac brags to a woman that he knew the murderer was Harvey all the time. Roger thanks him for saving his life and says he wants to make a suitable reward. Mac replies that a five-cent cigar would do, and they both laugh.
C. Henry Gordon
Charles C. Wilson
Clarence H. Wilson
The working title of this film was Recipe for Murder. Reviewers commented that the ending of the film did not clearly explain the motive and method of the murder. Variety noted that Madge Bellamy, who, they said was making a comeback, was formerly a star on the same lot during the silent film era. Variety also stated that this film was a departure in the Victor McLaglen-Edmund Lowe formula, in that here they were rivals for "glory not girls." In the opinion of the Hollywood Reporter reviewer, the New Year's celebration scene was too long, but he suggested that "any exhibitor with shears could fix this himself."