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Before Morning (1933)

A night of love, intrigue, death and blackmail leaves stage-star Elise Manning's fate at stake in a conflict with the unscrupulous Doctor Gruell. A rejected lover dies in Miss Manning's ... See full summary »


Arthur Hoerl


Arthur Hoerl (adaptation), Edna G. Riley (play) (as Edna Riley) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Leo Carrillo ... Dr. Gruelle
Lora Baxter Lora Baxter ... Elsie Manning
Taylor Holmes ... Leo Bergman
Blaine Cordner Blaine Cordner ... Horace Barker
Louise Prussing Louise Prussing ... Mrs. Nichols
Russell Hicks ... James Nichols
Louis Jean Heydt ... Neil Kennedy
Jules Epailly Jules Epailly ... Ben Ayoub
Constance Bertrand Constance Bertrand ... Diane
Terry Carroll ... Doris


A night of love, intrigue, death and blackmail leaves stage-star Elise Manning's fate at stake in a conflict with the unscrupulous Doctor Gruell. A rejected lover dies in Miss Manning's apartment, and Gurell implies that the death was murder and attempts to blackmail the actress. The climax brings the actress, her fiancé and the dead-man's wife face-to-face in an emotional denouement. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A thrilling picturization of last season's outstanding mystery melodrama.


Crime | Mystery | Romance


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Release Date:

19 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Weiss Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Cineglow System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »

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User Reviews

Not a Heart Attack, But Murder
12 May 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Louis Jean Heydt (in his first movie role) has come from the premiere of his first Broadway show. He drops in on Lora Baxter, and tells her that if it is a success, he wants her to star in his next. She turns him down. She's retiring and getting married. After he leaves, her old lover, Russell Hicks comes in. He doesn't feel too well and lies down. When Miss Baxter checks on him, he is dead.

She makes some phone calls. A dead married man in her apartment is not something she wants bruited about. In comes Doctor Leo Carillo. He says it was not a heart attack, but nicotine poisoning, that he found Hicks' will in his breast pocket -- where people always keep them -- and it leaves $200,000 to Miss Baxter. He suggests that he can take the corpse to his sanitarium and report the death as a heart attack for $200,000 in cash by the next day.

This interesting written murder mystery suffers a common issue for Poverty Row dramas of the era: very stagy line readings. However, the excellence of the story and Leo Carillo makes it very worthwhile. Although Carillo is probably best remembered as Pancho on TV's CISCO KID, and frequently played with a Mexican accent, in truth he came from a wealthy Los Angeles family who could trace themselves back to the Conquistadors. His grandfather had been the first provisional governor of California, and his father the first mayor of Santa Monica. Carillo himself was a trained engineer and cartoonist. In the 1930s he excelled at playing threatening villains, although his career turned into one of more standard accent parts in the 1940s. He died in 1961 at the age of 80.

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