Cast & Crew
After a year of marriage, Navy Lt. Peter Duluth is granted a thirty-six hour pass in Los Angeles to celebrate his first wedding anniversary. He takes his wife Iris to the Sherwood Hotel, but the couple is told that there are no rooms available. When a kindly hotel patron, Mrs. Rose, overhears the couple's plight, she offers them her suite, saying that she will be eloping that evening. To ward off a head cold, Peter visits the Turkish bath downstairs, while Iris goes upstairs to the room. There the telephone rings, and when a man with a strange voice asks Iris if she is Mona Crawford, she answers that she looks very much like Mona, who is her cousin. Peter then returns and is accompanied by a private detective named Joe Hatch. Peter explains that he met Hatch in the bath locker room after someone stole his uniform. After Hatch leaves to meet his partner, Bill Daggett, Peter and Iris return downstairs for a drink at the bar. Suddenly, a drunken man approaches them and begins babbling incoherently to Iris about, "blood and roses," and informs her that her picture was recently published in the Los Angeles Sun . After Iris finds the photograph, which is of Mona, the couple goes to her apartment building. When Peter gives his name, the doorman welcomes him back, and later, Peter guesses that the thief has already visited Mona wearing his uniform and name tag. Receiving no answer, Iris and Peter break in to find Mona's corpse on the floor near a bouquet of roses. They then return to the hotel, where the drunk tells them that a woman named Rita Brown will become the killer's next victim. Peter finds Rita and warns her about the impostor, but, believing that Peter is the impostor, Rita locks him in the bedroom. Peter hears the doorbell ring, but by the time he has broken down the door, Rita is already dead. Next to her body, Peter finds another bouquet of roses. Later, the drunk names, "Colette, the bird," as the next target, but they all collapse from exhaustion before tracking her down. When they awake the next morning, Hatch notices that the drunk has left and decides to leave himself. Finally alone, the couple embraces, but Iris is quickly distracted by a photograph of Mrs. Rose on the table signed, "Madam Colette." Immediately, the couple rushes to the circus, where Mrs. Rose is a performer, and enters her dressing room to await her return. Suddenly, two undercover policemen working as clowns grab them and lock them inside the generator room with the now-sober drunk. He politely introduces himself as criminologist Emmanuel Catt and explains that he has been sending roses to the victims to warn them that the killers, Colette's brothers, Bruno and Ludwig Rose, have been released from prison. The brothers, Emmanuel explains, have returned for revenge against the witnesses who sent them to prison. To summon help, Peter decides to turn off the generator, and soon several uniformed police officers rush in and rescue them. Peter and Iris arrive at the police station, and are surprised to see that the Rose brothers, otherwise known as "Hatch" and "Daggett," are already in custody.
Earle S. Dewey
Earl Crain Sr.
John Mccarthy Jr.
The working title of this film was Whispers in the Dark. The novel on which the film was based, Puzzle for Puppets, was written by Hugh Callingham Wheeler and Richard Wilson Webb, who published jointly under the names "Patrick Quentin" and "Q. Patrick." In December 1941, part of the novel was published in American Magazine under the title "Murder with Flowers."