Murder Goes to College


1h 17m 1937

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 5, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Murder Goes to College by Kurt Steel (Indianapolis, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

While at a college football game, unemployed private detective Henry "Hank" Hyer flirts with Greta Barry, wife of a mathematics professor and former showgirl. His reporter friend Sim Perkins, an alcoholic, warns him against associating with Greta because her husband Tom is involved in running a numbers racket with notorious racketeer Strike Belno. Hank persists in her acquaintance, however, and follows her to the Ringside Cafe, owned by her lover Strike. Strike leaves the cafe, and after Greta has an obligatory dance with Hank, she follows Strike. Hank and Sim follow them to the college, where after hearing a shot fired, they see Strike run away. Inside the college, Tom has been killed and the most obvious suspect is Strike. Hank interviews all the college professors, one of whom is involved with Nora, Tom's sister, and another, Paul Broderick, who is in love with Greta. Hank does not suspect Strike, and agrees to work for the gangster for $12,000. He makes a similar deal with the college, promising them that he will prove the killer is not from the college, thereby saving them from a scandal. Despite being followed by two unshakeable police detectives, Hank and Sim gather evidence. Finally, the murder weapon is found in the trash bin at the college, and Hank gathers all the suspects. He proves that Greta, who hated her husband, framed Strike by taking his gun from the club to the college, where Broderick, who wanted to take over the numbers racket, shot her husband. The police, who have been listening from the next room, arrest Greta and Broderick, and Strike for running a numbers racket, leaving Hank unpaid for all his work. His only consolation is that the beautiful Nora asks him to escort her home, choosing his company over Sim's.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 5, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Murder Goes to College by Kurt Steel (Indianapolis, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Letters and memos in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS library indicate that Joseph I. Breen, Director of the PCA, had two specific reservations about the film, namely the suggestion of an illicit affair between the characters Greta and Broderick, and "the constant drinking by Sim." Although in January 1937 Breen felt that the script was satisfactory, a viewing of the final print in February 1937 led Breen to reject the picture from the standpoint of the Production Code "on the grounds that it contains scenes showing unnecessary, excessive, and offensive drinking." A February 1937 memo indicates that the PCA came to an agreement with Paramount to delete several scenes involving liquor and drinking. John Indrisano, Mae West's bodyguard and a one-time boxer, made his screen debut as Belno's bodyguard. A scene in which Larry Crabbe shoots out his character's name in bullets was actually performed by the actor after director Charles Riesner bet him he could not do it, according to the pressbook. All references to the ending in the pressbook note that Sim, Roscoe Karns's character, gets the date with Nora, not Hank, Lynne Overman's character. Clayton W. Hopkins, a hearing impaired person, sat in with the director during filming in an effort to make this film understandable to hearing impaired people. The actors were required to speak distinctly enough to be understood by lip readers. A pre-release article in the Los Angeles Examiner notes that George Raft was originally intended for a role in this film, however, Raft left Paramount at this time, and Lloyd Nolan was expected to take his place in this film.