The Night of the Party

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out says

'The script was a stinker,' was Powell's justifiable comment in his autobiography. A whodunit in the most antiquated sub-Agatha Christie mode, it has a lecherous newspaper baron (Keen) try to blackmail an indiscreet girl (Keats), daughter of the Commissioner of Police (Banks), into submitting to his unwelcome attentions. During a game of 'Murder' at a society party, the lecher, unsurprisingly, is murdered. The routine expository labour of setting everybody up with a motive (there's even a sinister butler) is leavened by Powell's willingness to give the actors time and space; he makes a mini bravura triumph of the party sequence by shooting the 'Murder' game in darkness, with intermittent illumination by firelight and a flickering neon sign; and the final court scene, after the usual routine of police interrogation and politic confessions, is enlivened by a magnificently dotty performance from Ernest Thesiger at his most malignantly epicene. The end result is much more fun than it has any right to be.
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Release details

UK release:

1934

Duration:

61 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Michael Powell

Cast:

Viola Keats, Ernest Thesiger, Ian Hunter, Jane Baxter, Malcolm Keen, Leslie Banks, Muriel Aked

Art Director:

Alfred Junge

Cinematography:

Glen MacWilliams

Screenwriter:

Ralph Smart

Producer:

Jerome Jackson

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