The Phantom of Crestwood (1932) Movie Script

How do you do ladies and gentlemen
of the Motion Picture audience.
This is the National Broadcasting
You listened to the final chapter of the
Phantom Of Crestwood radio broadcast.
Which ended with the
mystery still unsolved.
Who killed Jenny Wren?
Who killed Carter? Her companion.
You are invited to submit your
own original ending for the story.
And one hundred prizes.
Totalling $6,000 in cash were
offered for the best ending.
The National Broadcasting
Company and RKO Radio Pictures.
Have received thousands of
original endings for the story.
Of course, as we told you over the air.
The winning ending, need
not necessarily be the same.
As that used in the motion picture.
We have kept the solution of this
mystery a secret for many months.
But now that the contest is closed.
You are about to see
the mystery unravelled.
Before your very eyes on
the motion picture screen.
So that you may compare your ending
with that of the motion picture.
The Phantom Killer.
Of Jenny Wren is still at large.
Who is that killer?
We take pleasure on behalf
of RKO Radio Pictures.
In presenting to you:
'The Phantom Of Crestwood'.
What are you doing in Los Angeles?
I'm here to look over the
Olympic Games, stranger.
I wouldn't get mixed up with anything
too 'gamey' here if I were you.
- You, especially.
It's always more fun for us to
hook a big fish than a little rat.
They fry better.
I used to work in New York.
I thought you might remember me.
Look again.
Are you a short, fat man?
I might be wrong.
What is your name?
How do you spell it?
The same way you pronounce it.
Jenny Wren.
Hello, Miss Wren.
I'm waiting for someone, thanks.
Perhaps you'll let me know
who you are waiting for?
Oh yes, of course. A Mr Farnsbarns.
No. Farnsbarns.
I'm sorry, but I don't recall
anyone by that name.
The Bank Of Southern?
- Oh, no.
This is the Harbor National Bank.
- I'm sorry.
That's alright.
Will you have a peppermint?
- Thank you.
Mr Andes, please.
Mr Andes is busy just now.
Oh, I'm sorry. Will you
tell him Miss Jenny Wren ..
A 'Miss Wren' to see you, Mr Andes.
Miss Wren.
I'll settle with those later.
Alright. Send her in.
You may go in.
Well, Jenny. A pleasure.
A pleasure.
Isn't that a lie?
Can you give me a light please, Priam?
I ..
I thought I read you were in the East.
I was.
Anything the matter?
From the way you're jittering.
Come, come Jenny.
I'm too old for your tricks.
I'm getting on myself.
- Nonsense.
I'm retiring, Priam.
Leaving the country.
Oh, that's too bad.
To lose so colorful a character.
When are you going?
Not that fast.
There are a few people
I want to see first.
Ah, men, Jenny. Men.
Herbert Walcott .. Will Jones.
Eddie Mack .. and you.
Yes, dear.
So do be a sweet and
give me a farewell party.
At the ranch.
They always were such fun,
those parties at Crestwood.
Though you never invited your usual
crowd there when I was around, did you?
I can hardly have you ..
I know.
But you're going to have a few of
that usual crowd there this weekend.
Walcott, Jones and Mack.
They've been there before, haven't they?
And they always accept
your invitations, don't they?
Do you know ..
Those men?
They may not be able to accept ..
- Up to you to see they do accept.
That Walcott brings his wife.
And Jones, that Miss .. whatshername ..?
Ritz .. that he's engaged to.
What for?
I'm depending on you to do exactly
as I say. Do you understand?
You are not to suggest to any
of those men that I'll be there.
That you've even seen me.
That this party is anyone's
idea but your own.
You understand that too?
This is impossible.
I have business tonight.
- So have I.
Shall we say dinner at eight
at Crestwood tonight?
'Ironic' I suppose you think?
That the community considers
you such an efficient saint?
No. That's ignorance.
Priam, I have a little sister being
graduated from finishing school.
She's coming home soon.
It seems she's met that
young nephew of yours.
- Uhuh.
The Andes heir.
And they've fallen in love.
And they're engaged.
That's irony, darling.
Perhaps Mr Andes will see you now.
Oh yes .. thank you.
Hello, Carter.
Uhoh. Cat on the bed: bad luck.
- A little bit.
Anything break?
- A telegram.
Anything break with you?
- Yes. Priam Andes.
Into little pieces. He is
going to invite those men.
Carter darling, why do you always seal
my telegrams after reading them?
Force of habit.
So you won't know I've read them.
It's from your sister.
What did she say?
- Her train gets in at two.
She knows the address.
Are we just about packed for Europe?
- Almost.
Do you think we can afford that space on
A-Deck as we're going alone this time?
We will be able to afford it.
After I see Volante in New York.
And sell him back his love sonnets.
It will amuse me.
Having those particular rooms on that
particular boat all to myself for once.
[ Buzzer ]
It's the manager of the building.
Someone wants to see the apartment.
Oh, alright. Draw my bath, will you.
Ah, Miss Wren.
Rather delightful weather, isn't it?
I was just telling ..
Did you want to see the apartment?
This is Mister ..
- Why ..
If the rest of this apartment is
as charming as this living-room.
I'm sure it will be more than suitable.
Miss Wren's furnishings
included as I told you.
Even to the view.
Yes .. of a lot of oil-wells.
Would you like to look in here?
He told me you were going abroad.
If I decide to take it,
when can I move in?
Sometime next week.
Then I'll let you know
tomorrow or the next day.
I won't be here.
That's too bad.
If I should decide to take it I'd
like to show it to my mother first.
Well, if you're not going to be here.
Aren't there some papers
to sign .. or something?
If necessary, you can contact
me at the Andes ranch.
Above Crestwood, up the coast.
Carter .. Mister ..?
Mr Farnsbarns and his mother.
Will return. Will you show
them around please?
Yes, Miss.
- Thank you.
No thanks.
Oh, Carter.
Just pack an overnight bag.
I think you'd better come to
the ranch when you finish.
Those four unsuspecting
chisellers, including my host.
Are going to be desperate
when they hear the bad news.
I may need you.
You may at that.
Whether they like it or not.
- They won't.
I'm dealing this hand.
With stacked cards.
Won't the gentlemen
be inclined to shoot?
An old Western custom.
That's baloney, Carter.
Like the weather.
[ Buzzer ]
Give me one.
Just one more before I meet the family.
It will steady me.
Hello, Carter.
- How do you do, Miss Esther?
I'm so glad to see you, Carter.
- Thank you.
Will you go in the living room, please?
I'll tell your sister you are here.
Getting home after a year always
makes you laugh, doesn't it.
You are so happy at having
your family meet the train.
They cheer when they
see you .. and all that.
I hate cold things.
Come here, then.
Warm now?
I shouldn't have said that.
Jenny has been swell to me.
Welcome home.
Hello, Jenny.
Hello infant.
This is Frank, Jenny.
I wrote to you about him.
Frank Andes, isn't it?
- Right.
Andes is a grand old name in California.
Oh, I don't pay much attention to that.
You've a nice smile.
I would use that smile on
your uncle if I were you.
When you tell him you're
marrying a sister of mine.
It's not my uncle I've got to sell.
It's my aunt Faith.
She brought me up and I'm mad about her.
Aunt Faith is a little insistent
about the family and all that.
You know, the old 'Andes' stuff.
As if I were a mountain.
She sounds tough enough.
Wait until you meet her.
She may drive down tonight
when she gets my wire.
I'll bring her up if
you're going to be in.
Your uncle has been kind enough to ask
me up to his ranch over the weekend.
Great. We'll go up.
A graduation party for you.
We'll have a swell time.
You might at that.
Well, children. I've got to dress.
Oh, I can't go to the ranch. My trunks
haven't come and I've nothing to wear.
You can wear some of my things.
I don't like those black
things you wear.
What a shame.
A lot of other people have.
The house is beautiful, I must say.
- Yes.
I've never seen so many
beautiful women in all my life.
The people bore me to tears.
By the way, I want to
ask you. Where did ..?
It's so old and picturesque.
I'll say so: 1804.
Oh, really?
One can fairly breathe the
aroma of old Spain, can't one?
Tell me, haven't you one
or two old ghosts about?
Sure. They live in our
secret passageways.
Secret passageways? Go on.
No, really. The place is full of them.
The ancestors had to have them for
the revolutions in the early days.
Esther, will you throw one?
- Yes.
Come this way Mrs Walcott. Will you try?
- I'll think about it.
I'll try. Come on.
I think it will be fun.
Look here.
Hasn't it struck you as peculiar that so
few of us were asked here this time?
And on such short notice too.
What's more peculiar, is why we came.
One obeys his banker
these days, n'est pas?
Yes .. if one is still lucky
enough to have a banker.
That reminds me,
like Abe Lincoln, of a story.
Herbert. Come on. Throw one.
You too, Will. It will help your
aim after we're married.
Humorous people.
A bullseye this time.
You're good.
- Marvellous.
The unblinking eye. The steady hand.
My aunt taught me these
things when I was a kid.
And fencing, riding and shooting.
Things like that.
Gee, that was close.
One could be killed
by one of these things.
'Dead men tell no tales'.
Ladies and gentlemen.
This is my very good
friend, Mr Vayne of Boston.
How do you do?
His first visit to our great State.
I want you all to meet him.
This is Miss Mears.
- Good evening.
Come down, Miss Wren.
Hello, Jenny.
Jenny Wren?
- Evidently.
This is Mrs Walcott - Miss Wren.
Miss Mears.
- How do you do?
And Mr Walcott.
Oh, the Senator, isn't it?
Not yet. Not yet. After the
election perhaps .. Miss ..
'Wren', was it?
Frank, you know.
This is my friend, Mr Vayne.
I have wanted so much to meet you.
And .. this is Mr Jones.
How do you do?
- This is Eddie Mack.
Hi, Jenny.
Miss Wren.
A lovely evening.
Yes, isn't it.
- Is it?
Come on, Jenny. We're going to gamble.
Isn't this a bit indiscreet, Priam?
I beg your pardon, Mr Andes.
Your sister, Miss Faith has just
arrived. She is in the living-room.
Pardon me.
- Surprised?
I thought you were in Santa Barbara.
- I was.
Until I got Frank's telegram.
Yes. He is here.
I suppose you are upset over
this girl he intends to marry?
I am too.
Are you staying over, Faith?
I want to meet .. this girl.
No. Don't worry, Priam.
I won't interfere with your guests.
Isn't it a pity that as
brother and sister ..
We have so few things in common?
Yes, Miss Andes?
- My usual place at dinner.
But it's grand being with you, darling.
I wanted you to meet Esther.
That's why I came.
So personally, when I return
to California, I say with the poet:
'Is there a man with soul so dead'?
And so on. You know.
'This is my old, my native land'.
What a widely-read young
man you are, Mr Mack.
But Mr Walcott.
Surely you enjoyed at least one stay in
other parts of the country, haven't you?
But Palm Beach can't touch ..
- Palm Beach?
When were you in Palm Beach, Herbert?
You never told me.
But I did told .. tell ..
That is ..
Don't you remember?
No. We don't.
But you remember all the places
you've been, don't you, Mr Mack?
Even .. Honolulu.
I may see you more after
the marriage, Mack.
Pittsburgh, isn't it?
Oh, I don't envy you.
The drawing rooms on trains
are furnaces in September.
Oh, but Will always travels by plane.
Does he?
Ever since one hot September, yes.
Mr Vayne.
You've cut yourself.
How stupid of me.
Shall we go in?
Thunder and lightning.
Enter three witches.
Seems to me everything you've quoted
comes from Shakespeare. Doesn't it?
Everything I quote does.
Be in the library in ten minutes.
Walcott, Jones, Mack and you.
Make some excuse.
Didn't they teach you kiddies about
Shakespeare in school now and then?
A helluva writer, that fellow.
Steven Di Fango. An Andes.
Very brave in his brave dress.
Fights and battles ..
And shoes and sealing-wax
and cabbages and kings.
I know, aunt.
Doctor Fido Di Van Andes.
Grand inquisitor of the inquisition.
Died in 1497.
Don Diego.
Of California when it was ours.
My grandfather, Frank.
He was killed ..
Fighting for family.
We think of ourselves
so little nowadays.
I don't, my dear.
I think of you.
And your son.
What if I have daughters?
Even you, you know, can't issue
proclamations deciding that.
If the bloods that are mingled
are right, there will be sons.
What were you darling, an accident?
My grandfather said I
should have been a man.
And raised me as one.
You, Priam, most of all, are wondering
what this little party of mine is about.
Well, I'll tell you.
I'm retiring.
I'm quitting early, gentlemen.
Before I'm on the rummage counter.
I'm sailing out at high tide.
And I'm taking enough
cold cash with me ..
To ensure me of a comfortable old age.
You didn't know you'd all been
gambling on the same green, did you?
Will Jones, I want $50,000 from you.
I don't think that's too much
to ask in the 'lover' business.
My business is on the
verge of bankruptcy.
I haven't got $50,000.
- You'll get it.
Priam will lend it to you.
You, Priam.
With your bank in such good condition.
You can afford to double that ante.
$100,000 from you.
I can't afford that.
- Yes, you can.
Mack, you're broke, aren't you?
- Yes, ma'am.
That's alright if I can raise the money.
- We're hooked, aren't we?
My dear young woman ..
- $250,000 from you.
One quarter of a million dollars, Herb.
You sanctimonious old hypocrite.
How the mighty are fallen.
- Be quiet.
What if we refuse this ..?
- This blackmail?
Yes, blackmail.
Do you realize ..
I realize I can stop your
marriage to Miss Mears.
She's the only thing in the world
you've ever really wanted, isn't she?
And your marriage too, Mack.
That girl in Pittsburgh.
Who is buying your page
in the social register.
I'm not arguing with you, Jenny.
But I'd like to ring your neck.
Why can't men stay home nights?
Impossible. You're out of your mind.
- Don't you quibble, Priam.
Your letters would look
fine in the newspapers.
And yours, Senator.
It would be patriotic to publish them.
This country could
use a laugh right now.
Has it occurred to you that publicity of
this sort lands you in the gutter too?
Or in jail.
It will never get the chance.
If I can't live in the luxury that
you men have accustomed me to.
That's all, gentlemen.
No. No, wait.
If it's money you want.
There's a man here tonight
who would gladly give you ..
More than all of us put together.
I refer to Mr Vayne.
He saw you in the bank and
became infatuated with you.
That's why he's here tonight.
He asked me to invite him
here solely to meet you.
You are all he wants.
He would give you all you asked for.
- I'm through with that.
But Jenny, if this man is willing to ..
[ Door knocks ]
Come in.
This was delivered after
you left, Miss Wren.
I thought it might be important.
- Thank you.
My room is at the head
of the stairs as usual.
You can go up and unpack.
You must have been born
without a conscience.
Oh, a fraternity pin.
She's gone through some college too.
You wanted to know why I was through.
You wondered why I didn't
care about Vayne's millions.
I'll tell you why.
Three weeks ago,
I was in the Adirondacks.
Will you wear this for me?
You know, a fraternity pin really means
much more than an engagement ring.
I've never given that to anybody before.
Oh, you do love me, don't you?
I think I'd just stop
breathing if you didn't.
Of course I do.
Of course father won't give us a
nickel, but we'll have each other.
Besides, I've got a hundred a
week from my mother's estate.
We'll get along alright until I
knock them over in the streets.
You mean .. you don't get any money
from your father if you marry me?
Not if I marry anyone
until I'm twenty-five.
But think what fun we'll have
making a go of it together.
I'm afraid that ..
Wouldn't be much fun.
Bye-bye, Goldilocks.
What is it?
You stay away from hungry
mama-bears after this.
I may as well give you the needle
quickly. It won't hurt so much.
I like you. You're sweet.
But I love the idea of
your family's millions.
That's my type.
But ..
Didn't you mean anything that you said?
Now come on back to the house.
I'll leave and ..
You just forget all about me.
Come on.
Oh, don't be tragic, youngster.
It's experience.
Come now. Don't be silly.
That's why I'm quitting.
So, get that cash, every one of you.
Or I'll say it with headlines.
It would give me great
pleasure to kill you.
You haven't the nerve.
Any of you.
If anything ever kills
me except disgust ..
It will be the memory
of that boy's face.
Not you.
You imagine we fell for that sob-story?
The Adirondacks, eh?
Carter said the package was delivered.
From the grave, I suppose?
Miss Wren.
Is anything the matter?
I .. I think I saw a ghost.
Come now. Let me dispel it for you.
A hundred thousand dollars.
There must be something we can do.
There is only one thing.
- Sure. Pay up.
[ Girl's scream! ]
That face.
Come down at once. Come down.
What's the matter?
What's the matter?
What's happened?
Look at that dart.
- It's in her head.
She's dead.
Faith, where you going?
I'm going to phone the State Police in
the village. That girl's been murdered.
The Crestwood Police, please.
Highway Patrol, Crestwood.
Hello. This is the Andes ranch.
A murder has been committed.
I wouldn't report that if I were you.
Take your hands out of your pockets.
The storm must have cut the wires.
Get up to the Andes ranch.
Take some men with you.
Somebody started to report a murder.
The line's dead.
So is Miss Wren.
- Who are you?
If you please, Priam.
How do you know Miss Wren's name?
I picked up a lot of interesting
things waiting round here tonight.
Who are you?
My name is Gary Curtis.
It is not.
He was in Miss Wren's
apartment this afternoon.
He's been in many apartments.
Alright, Officer. Take him in.
Trying to pull a fast one, eh?
That's alright, lady.
There's nothing to worry about.
What is all this?
- Help, help!
Stick where you are, lady.
Mr Harris and his men, perhaps.
But I'm of the old school.
- Will, do something.
Are you men or what?
You cut the phone wires?
Yes, chief. Now let's scram.
We can't.
The road is flooded and there's a
thousand foot drop down the cliff.
None of us can get away.
I came up here for some
letters I was hired to get.
I brought along an old school chum
of mine and some of his boys.
Yeah. And walked us right into a murder.
I didn't want you to phone the police as
I was seen in Los Angeles this morning.
If I'm even seen around trouble ..
They'll save themselves a lot of
exercise by simply tagging me.
Seat me in the electric
chair and watch me fry.
Excuse me, chief.
It's hanging in this State.
worthwhile city in this country.
Not to mention London, Paris and Rome.
Sit by, sigh gratefully and
cable for ringside seats.
What a party huh, Pete? With you
and your men in the ring cooking.
Excuse me, I mean choking.
What are we going to do, chief?
Grab the murderer and turn him over
to the cops before the cops grab us.
How can we?
We don't know who killed her.
That's what I'm going to find out.
If you and your men want
to take the rap .. alright.
It's not going to be my neck.
Not ours either.
You give the orders.
What a brain that baby's got.
One time when ..
- Don't talk so much.
Now, inside all of you.
- This is ridiculous.
A crook plays detective.
Ordering decent people about.
Can we know you didn't kill Miss Wren?
- One minute.
By saving my own neck I'll save
the innocent among you too.
But I'm going to do it my own way.
I'm too young to die.
Now, is everyone here?
Answer me. Are all of you here?
All but Esther Wren. Jenny's sister.
Where is she?
Asleep, I suppose.
I thought it better to tell her
about this in the morning.
A pretty sound sleeper, isn't she?
Find the servants and see
what they're up to. Hurry up.
Now, all you in there.
Inside. All of you.
You stay over there.
Will .. Will.
You see .. we're quite serious.
Cat. No-one's to leave
this room. Get it?
Come on. Where is this Esther's room?
Something must have happened to her.
If she wasn't asleep she would
have heard Jenny scream.
Everyone else did.
Where is Jenny's room?
It's me, dear. Frank.
Are you alright?
Who's he?
- Never mind, sweet.
What happened?
I don't know.
Where's Jenny?
- What happened in here?
It's alright, dear. Tell us.
Try to remember.
I was in your aunt's room.
She wanted to talk to me about us.
I have no objection to
you personally, child.
But Andes never mate their thoroughbreds
with anything but thoroughbreds.
I'm sure when your background, and
your sister's, is made clear to Frank.
He'll be an Andes enough to
see that to carry on the line ..
He must marry a thoroughbred himself.
But we love each other.
Isn't that enough?
That's not important.
A woman is important only to bear sons.
Do you think Frank will listen to this?
It's out of the middle ages. It's cruel.
I'm not responsible for my
sister Jenny or what she's done.
Our mother was just as fine as you are.
Frank is about the only person who
ever loved me. Even a little bit.
And I will marry him.
Who is it?
- It's me, Esther.
Come on in. The door isn't locked.
I must say you don't look too
stunning in my black thing.
What's the matter?
Sit down and tell mother all about it.
Jenny, you've got to help me.
Frank's aunt doesn't want him
to marry me because you ..
We are ..
I realized something
was at the back of me.
I started to turn but ..
Something hit me over the head.
That's all I remember.
Here, dear. Put this
over your shoulders.
Where is Jenny?
Cat. Upstairs and watch that girl.
Whoever killed Jenny Wren
tried to kill her sister too.
With this.
Pete, keep your eye on this.
Someone may try to
wipe his fingerprints off.
What is this?
I told you I'd been around
for some time tonight.
Out there, waiting. I heard things.
That each of you had a definite
reason to kill Jenny Wren.
What's yours?
I'm the one who had
no reason to kill her.
You did, as most of you did.
And if necessary.
I am going to wrap up one of you for
delivery in circumstantial evidence.
Juries don't understand any other kind.
Your name?
- Carter.
Let's stop this horseplay
and do something.
You were very anxious
to do something earlier.
I wanted to kill her.
Darling, it's got to come out now.
I'll take my medicine.
I used to know Miss Wren.
But you didn't do this.
- No.
Maybe not.
When did you last see Miss Wren alive?
When she dismissed me for the night.
- Was she alone?
Mr Walcott came in.
Mr Walcott.
Well, where were you
when I started for bed?
Not in our room.
Alright, Walcott.
You first in the library.
I've grilled the servants.
They had no clues so I locked them up.
Have them round up the
darts in the playroom.
Jenny .. Jenny.
Esther, please.
Mr Curtis.
You say you heard things tonight?
So .. I throw myself
upon your discretion.
I have to.
Yes, yes, Senator. Let's go.
You called on Miss Wren?
- Yes.
I knocked on her door.
She sent Carter away.
I pleaded with her ..
About this money she wanted.
Wait until after my campaign ends.
Then I will be able to
help you handsomely.
This publicity. It would ruin me.
I have no money.
- You're a liar.
You and your friends made millions
on the street this last year.
Selling to suckers.
That is a fiction.
- No it isn't.
I let your broker take
me to dinner last night.
You've been selling short.
Selling America short.
While at the same time issuing political
statements about a return of prosperity.
Urging John Jones and his wife to buy.
How do you think it will look on your
opponent's billboard in this campaign?
You can't do this to me. A quarter of
a million dollars? That's a fortune.
Are you crazy?
Oh .. forgive me.
No. Forgive me.
I ..
Goodnight. Goodnight.
And so I left.
Now, I mean to cast no unfair suspicion.
But it had been suggested.
That Mr Vayne was interested
and infatuated with Jenny.
Miss Wren.
So Vayne stayed?
- Yes.
And you went to bed?
- Naturally.
Alone, naturally?
Alright. Out.
Mr Vayne.
- Here are the darts.
Seven of them.
Who were the experts at
throwing darts tonight?
What's that to do with it?
Anyone can use one in his hand.
Then the hand would have
crushed the feathers like this.
The dart in that neck was thrown.
But using a thing like that?
Taking a chance for it to kill.
Which indicates the murder
was not premeditated.
The murderer used this because
he had no other weapon.
How many darts were used
when you were playing?
Why ask me? I don't know.
Then there's no telling how many may
be still in the hands of the murderer.
Yes .. to be used as he sees fit.
Don't say 'he'.
Anyone of us may have done it, you said.
I would have myself if I knew
the things Will just told me.
'She' then. Anything to save time.
Which, believe me, is scarce.
The police are working on the road
right now. We must step on it.
Yeah, wrap the rope around ..
Mr Vayne.
I ..
I have a confession to make.
- Here it comes.
Come on.
That isn't my name.
I'm Henry T. Hesketh.
Of Boston?
- Yes.
And you killed her?
Then what kind of a bum
confession is that?
Very well. I'll listen to
the rest of it in there.
Please .. you can't go on like this.
Sit down.
Something else happened.
If I could only remember.
But don't try.
Something is trying
to get through to me.
It's connecting up with something.
I can't remember.
I went to Miss Wren's room.
When I saw her for the
first time in Andes' office.
I became infatuated with her.
Try to understand that.
Being a banker of importance,
you couldn't use your own name.
So Andes played along with you.
What went on in that room upstairs?
Ah ..
I explained to Miss Wren.
I ..
Well, goodnight.
You will excuse me?
I stepped out on the porch for a walk.
But my door out there must have
locked after me as I pulled it to.
Well, this one is not locked.
Has Mr Andes explained?
That you're on the make? Yes.
Aren't you just a little
ashamed at your age?
Love, Miss Wren ..
Does fantastic things to all of us.
Yes. I've read about that.
And love ..
Makes us do fantastic things too.
And have those same things done to us.
Goodnight, Mr Vayne.
Will you please get out of here?
Naturally, I left.
I suppose it was foolish at my age.
- To have loved her?
No. Not at your age.
Did you see anyone in the hall?
- Yes.
When I started from my
room .. a door opened.
Someone came into the hall.
When he saw me ..
- Who?
Frank Andes.
He stepped back into his room.
I went on.
After a moment, I opened my door again.
The young man came from his room.
Went to Miss Wren's door. And knocked.
What made you open your door again?
Curiosity, I suppose.
What time was it?
It was striking two.
And then?
I picked up a book and read.
I ..
I was too disturbed to sleep.
[ Whispering ]
Listen, you two. Quit that whispering.
Get back to where you belong.
Get over there.
Mr Andes.
No .. you.
Do you mean to say that
man suggested that my ..
Your nephew was the most
expert at that darts game.
This is a fine graduation party.
I graduated alright.
All at once.
- Don't, dear.
I know what you came for.
- Quiet.
I don't care. Whoever did
this tried to kill Esther too.
You think I'll stand by
if it's tried again?
Where's your backbones?
Allowing a common thief ..
I demand that Mrs Walcott and
I be permitted to go at once.
I ought to pin one right in your button.
Go where, Walcott?
We're all trapped here until
the police get past the road.
He can't get far.
Alright, kid.
I'll go too. Frank.
You are determined to toss just
anyone to the wolves, aren't you?
Anyone that the wolves
will go for, instead of me.
It's alright, General.
I'd rather you wouldn't listen to this.
- I am going to.
She is guilty.
The innocent little girls
in stories always are.
Take it easy, Bright-Eyes.
You are taxing your brain.
You said you knew what
Mr Vayne came here for.
To meet Jenny Wren.
My uncle told me he ..
- I know that.
Is that all you meant?
- Yes. It's the truth.
Why did you go to Jenny's room?
You .. you didn't?
Yes I did.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I .. I don't know what I'm doing.
It's simply that you mustn't think ..
- She wouldn't even let you alone.
Oh, it wasn't that.
You don't know what's happened here.
- Never mind that.
Why did you go to see her
and what happened?
I .. I had to talk to her about Esther.
Don't laugh.
As long as I'm marrying your sister.
Our family becomes yours. Don't you see?
You can't do this to us.
Uncle Priam is terribly upset.
He told me all about it.
Oh, I know he's weak.
And you ..
You're not weak?
Uncle Priam doesn't dare tell
aunt Faith he's in such a jam.
So I thought I'd talk to you.
I'll get his $100,000 for you some way.
Oh, tell it to me.
Doing business for the kindergarten.
I knew the guards would make
a monkey out of me someday.
You must promise that whether or not
the rest come through, you won't talk.
The publicity.
- Oh?
Esther, eh?
- Yes.
The mud you throw would
stick to her all her life.
It's going to be hard to get my aunt to
welcome your sister as my wife as it is.
I like you, youngster.
You've got stuff.
But I've never promised anything
before, and I'm not going to now.
If the rest of those
fools, as you say ..
Don't come through.
There is going to be more dirt
than you've ever heard of.
Oh, Esther can stand it.
It might harden her up.
The child is too soft for this ..
Civilization, anyway.
I might kill you if you hurt her.
- But why?
It would have something to do with ..
Honor, I suppose.
A word you wouldn't understand.
- Don't be a silly little boy.
It was no use arguing with her. I left.
Then came downstairs for some darts.
- No.
You know you were ..
- Wait.
There's somebody you haven't thought of.
If you'd give me a chance to remember.
What's happened to those lights?
- Frank.
Here, dear.
Don't move, any of you.
- Yeah?
How'd the lights go out?
- Dunno.
Where's the light switch?
- Here.
Put it on.
- One moment.
It won't work.
- Cat.
Get my flashlight, quick.
Get in there.
[ Girl's scream! ]
[ Gunshot! ]
Cat, get the guests out of here.
- Wait.
What are you doing?
- Wait a minute.
That's the death-mask of my son.
It belongs to me. I had it made.
Because of her .. he killed himself.
The story Jenny told us.
He died in my arms .. three weeks ago.
He was all I had.
He told me about Miss Wren.
I determined to make her
suffer as she made me.
I determined .. to kill her.
But first.
To torture her with that death-mask.
I .. pretended to be in love with her.
Got Andes to invite me.
I put on the mask.
Went out on the porch.
Opened her door.
I expected to find her alone. Asleep.
But she was awake. She screamed.
Her sister who was
with her, started to turn.
I picked up the candlestick
and struck her.
Jenny got out of bed.
She backed towards
the door, into the hall.
I heard a peculiar knock.
Her face.
Twisted with pain.
She staggered to the stairs.
I closed her door.
Got back on the porch. Went to my room.
Took off the mask.
And joined the others here.
I wanted to kill her.
I wish I had.
His heart's gone.
He's better off.
I couldn't find a thing upstairs, chief.
Wait. I remember now.
[ Female scream! ]
Another dart.
- This is horrible.
It just missed her neck.
She's fainted.
Alright, carry her upstairs.
Bright-Eyes. Go up with them
and watch both of them.
The minute she comes to, call me.
She was stabbed because she was
going to say who killed Jenny Wren.
So, whoever is guilty
will have to kill her now.
Can't we get out of here?
Not one of us is safe.
I'll have you run off of every
committee in town for this.
By heaven, I'll have your bank examined.
- Shut up.
You filthy representative of the cancer
choking the life out of the country.
A gangster.
- Be quiet, please.
Haven't you bungled enough? Or will
you blunder on until we're all killed?
This dart wasn't thrown.
Its feathers are crushed.
The girl was stabbed by
somebody in this room.
When I find which of you
left this room in the dark.
And appeared with the mask on ..
- Carter.
She went up those stairs long
before the lights went out.
Why did she go upstairs?
She had to.
We've got to find her.
Alright, all of you upstairs.
Cat, lock everybody in their rooms.
What are you going to do now?
I'm going to turn this place inside
out and find Carter for the police.
Come along.
Come on. Get up there.
Come on, come on. Open up.
Is she still out?
- Yes.
This dame will relieve you.
The poor child should have a doctor.
When the police get here,
you men will suffer for this.
Maybe we will.
Come on.
Lock the door, then lock
her up again in her room.
Listen, chief. My boys
are getting nervous.
We don't want to get 'hung', chief.
No kidding.
What say we pin this on somebody
and take it on the lam, chief?
We might be able to get
down that cliff, chief.
Nobody can get down the cliff.
And stop calling me 'chief'.
They can't just pin it on
anybody without proof.
Okay, chief.
Think we can find her before the
cops break through that road?
I don't suppose you ever
heard of aeroplanes?
The Los Angeles police
are in on this by now.
We've got to step on it.
If I could figure out what caused that
knock before the dart struck Jenny Wren.
Vayne, or whatever his
name is, heard it too.
Can Esther Wren talk yet?
- No.
If only the kid had been
murdered it'd be a cinch.
There's a perfect reason to
want to kill Esther Wren.
- The aunt.
To keep her from marrying Frank.
But she had no reason
to kill Jenny Wren.
Say, I've been all over this joint and
there ain't no sign of that maid Carter.
Who sat by that lamp
before the lights went out?
How do I know? I'm no dick. Why?
Because whoever was sitting here ..
Scraped the insulation off the wires,
made a short circuit and blew the fuse.
That's why the lights went out.
Where was Carter when
she asked to go upstairs?
There, whispering to old Andes.
What were they whispering
about that time?
Oh, I know that.
I got it out of Andes upstairs.
She tried to blackmail him for
some letters of his that Jenny had.
What a bunch of
mangy pillars-of-society.
What I can't figure out is.
If Carter left this room
before the lights went out.
Who made that short-circuit?
Who was sitting in that chair?
Where was the dart that
was used on Esther hidden?
Who used it?
What was Esther trying to tell me?
Oh how do I know? I'm only an
amateur at this detective business.
Sneak out and see how the cops
are getting along with that road.
Come on. Let's have a look outside.
If Carter was desperate, maybe
she did try to get down that cliff.
The woman couldn't just have evaporated.
I got the motive .. insurance.
You know.
Didn't you ever read one
of those murder mysteries?
Ah, sit down.
Say, it might have
been insurance at that.
If Carter knew she was in Jenny's will.
There wouldn't be ..
I never noticed that shale.
That stuff could sweep you over
the cliff before you'd realize it.
What about that insurance motive?
How could the woman kill
all those people without ..?
It's a passageway, Pete.
- See any faces down there?
You don't believe in ghosts, do you?
- No. But I'm afraid of them.
This must be hundreds of years old.
Built to get from the
house down to the sea.
I guess there used to be a way down
that cliff to the boats. Come on.
What's that?
- It's only a bat. Come on.
I was worried about you.
I guess we're getting near the house.
Just as I thought. There's a stairway.
There's Carter, Pete.
And the third dart.
It didn't miss the neck this time.
She was stabbed too.
And dragged here.
It's only the death-mask.
Whoever killed Carter must have been
the one on the balcony with this face.
Look, chief. A door. Let's try it.
What did I tell you?
Vayne. He came down through that.
We're all wet.
- Why?
How can he be here looking
up at the balcony ..
And be up there with the
mask on at the same time?
Please get him, will you?
We must frame someone for this. Quick.
I suppose he was in Jenny's room and
out in the hall at the same time too?
Was he?
He told us he was in Jenny's
room with the mask on.
When she screamed and backed out,
he heard the knock just before she fell.
Maybe he was lying.
- He wasn't.
Because just before Jenny fell into
my arms, she cried out: 'That face'.
In your arms?
So, you were in here then?
If we don't get anyone else for this ..
What's to stop me from handing
you over to the police?
So now I killed her, huh?
Carter seemed to have met you before.
You seem kinda shady
about why you came here.
It kinda adds up.
- You bet it does, you ape.
You think if the tide wasn't rising over
my nose I'd be here imitating a dick?
I'll show you what I came up here for.
Miss Jenny was after some big dough.
Another boyfriend of hers,
G.K. Volante of New York.
Hired me to get his letters back.
Well, I did.
While you were upstairs talking
to these people and getting this.
Okay, chief.
How did you know she'd
have the letters here?
She recovered them yesterday morning.
I saw them in her travelling
bag in her apartment later.
What a brain.
It won't be long now.
The cops have a steam
shovel on that road.
I give both you guys ten minutes.
Then I do a little framing myself.
Shut up.
- Yeah?
I mean, don't be funny.
That corpse ain't.
This dart didn't go in at an angle.
Whoever threw it was
directly behind her.
Hey. You going dippy too?
The knock before the dart hit her.
Pete, quick. The magnifying
glass from the library.
Here you are, chief.
I always thought Sherlock Holmes
used this glass for a gag.
It's a chip of ruby from a finger ring.
They struck the wall and cracked it.
When Frank Andes pulled back
his arm to throw the dart, his hand ..
But this is the old lady's room.
The aunt?
Was she wearing a ring?
- I don't know.
I've got it, Pete.
If she wears that ring now,
it's evidence the police can understand.
Where is she?
- Taking care of the girl.
Unlock the door, quick.
They've gone?
We must find them.
She took the kid out to kill her.
She tried to do it before.
There must be a way to
that passage from here.
It's how they got out.
- Trying to kill Esther?
It's as plain as day.
The aunt saw Esther enter Jenny's room.
When Jenny backed out of the room,
the old lady thought it was Esther.
Jenny Wren wasn't
meant to be killed at all.
Bright-Eyes. Get the boy, Frank.
He'll know where this opening is.
We'll need him?
Oh .. my shoulder.
Oh I know, dear. You should be in bed.
But it's so nerve-racking in the
house with those men there.
You see .. this is the only
way we can get out.
Go on, in there.
The sea air will do you good.
I want to talk to you.
To try to know you better.
Perhaps I have been a little harsh.
Don't be a fool. Show me how to get in
that passageway. Why would I lie to you?
I don't know.
You can't convince me my
aunt killed that maid Carter.
I tell you she did.
- Why?
Because Carter tried to blackmail your
uncle for the affair he had with Jenny.
I don't believe that and I don't
believe she tried to kill Esther.
You've got to.
It was Esther she meant to kill last
night when Jenny backed out of the room.
If you love that girl ..
You imagine I believe you about my aunt?
That I'd help you do anything to her?
Will you believe your eyes?
This room was locked.
Why did she take Esther through
these walls? I'll tell you.
To finish what she started.
To keep Esther from marrying you
and protect the Andes name.
The woman is insane with family pride.
Carter lies dead in the muck down there.
Do you want your girl beside her?
Because that's what your aunt's
trying to do. Kill her, now.
Can't you see I'm telling the truth?
My father used to joke about my having
sand in my veins instead of blood.
The sand in my hourglass is running low.
So it doesn't matter about me.
But it does matter about Frank.
This way.
In my girlhood, this cliff was
called 'The leap of the lovers'.
When two sweethearts of
different classes could not marry.
They would let themselves
slip to their deaths.
Down to those rocks.
When you left me last night,
to go to your sister's room.
You hated me, didn't you.
I rather felt you hated me.
That's what I was trying to remember.
That you might have
thought .. Jenny was me.
You are threatening our name, my dear.
Sorry, Frank.
Was it scraping the insulation
off the wire that broke this nail?
You witnessed this.
It wasn't very well planned, was it?
I never have been one to think
much of consequences, Mister ..
Curtis, is it?
Thank you.
That mask. How did you know about that?
I saw the old gentleman frighten
Miss Wren with it early in the evening.
Thank you.
Police planes.
Thank you.