The Dark Hour

Today’s “Quick Review”: This Chesterfield poverty row quickie whodunit is a fun and complicated little mystery…
irene ware

with no shortage of suspects, probably because it seems everyone actually had a hand in the murder(s).Berton Churchill plays retired detective and next door neighbor to two nasty old millionaire uncles who spend their time trying to control their niece’s life, peering out from behind curtains and seemingly involved in all kinds of no-good scams. The uncles are played by silent film veterans and filmmaking hyphenates, William Mong andHobart Bosworth. Bosworth especially was accomplished, starting his own production company which became a major player in the silent era, then merged with Paramount. Playing the sweet innocent niece is the beautiful Irene Ware who was Miss USA 1926, started out on a high note in the fun campy Chandu the Magician but never quite made it big. Hedda Hopper plays the auntie who’s come to Ware’s aid, E.E. Clive as a butler, two maids, a Chinese servant, a face at the widow possibly seeking revenge, and a chemist neighbor boarding at Churchill’s house who’s apparently arranged with the uncles to be the niece’s suitor, which won’t work because she’s in love with detective Ray Walker, veteran of so many B movies, also Joe who runs the luggage shop in It’s a Wonderful Life. After uncle Mong has a blowup at Walker, warning him off any romantic pursuit of Ware, that uncle is found murdered. The movie manages to pack an amazing amount of clues, twists and detailed investigation into a little more than an hour, but at the end there are so many people assuming they know who did it and then hiding evidence or confessing to cover for each other that the mystery almost devolves into comedy, especially when you consider how easily Detective Walker not only overlooks a confession, but laughs it off. Overall low budget fun.

more on Irene Ware here and here

you can watch the whole movie via IMDB