Pre Code Hollywood Season: FD Cinematheque
Before Morning (1933)
Director: Arthur Hoerl
Cast: Leo Carillo, Lora Baxter, Taylor Holmes, Blaine Cordner, Louise Prussing, Russell Hicks, Louis Jean Heydt, Jules Epailly
Before Morning is a 1933 American Pre-Code crime drama directed by Arthur Hoerl, and starring Leo Carrillo, Lora Baxter, and Taylor Holmes. The film was adapted for the screen by Arthur Hoerl, from the 1933 Broadway play of the same name by Edward and Edna Riley.
Actress Elsie Manning (Lora Baxter) is engaged to Horace Baker (Blaine Cordner), but has also been in a romantic relationship with James Nichols (Russell Hicks) who has named her as the beneficiary in his will. Not knowing about her engagement, Nichols asks his wife for a divorce and is refused. Nichols dies in Manning’s apartment after she tells him she’s engaged to Baker. When Baker arrives on the scene, he agrees to help her dispose of the body by having Nichols moved to a sanitarium. The owner, Dr. Gruelle (Leo Carrillo), tells them Nichols was murdered by poison and attempts to extort money from Manning for his statement that the death was of natural causes. Gruell tries the same scam on the widow of Nichols (Louise Prussing), who eventually agrees when the poison is found in her purse. It is revealed that Gruell is really a corrupt police inspector named Mr. Maitland.
- Leo Carrillo – Dr. Gruelle/Mr. Maitland
- Lora Baxter as Elsie Manning
- Taylor Holmes as Leo Bergman
- Blaine Cordner as Horace Baker
- Louise Prussing as Mrs. Nichols
- Russell Hicks as James Nichols
- Louis Jean Heydt as Neil Kennedy
- Jules Epailly as Ben Ayoub
- Constance Bertrand as Diane
- Terry Carroll as Doris
- Victor Kilian as House Detective (uncredited)
- Before Morning at the Internet Broadway Database
- “Before Morning”. AFI Catalog of Feature Films. AFI. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
Film Collectors Corner
Watch Before Morning Now – Instant Video on You Tube
Not released on Blu Ray
Not released on DVD