5.7/10
452
28 user 4 critic

Shadows on the Stairs (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 1 March 1941 (USA)
Occupants of a London boarding house become suspects as a string of murders are discovered.

Director:

D. Ross Lederman

Writers:

Anthony Coldeway (screen play), Frank Vosper (from the play by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frieda Inescort ... Mrs. Stella Armitage
Paul Cavanagh ... Joseph Reynolds
Heather Angel ... Sylvia
Bruce Lester ... Hugh Bromilow
Miles Mander ... Tom Armitage
Lumsden Hare ... Inspector
Turhan Bey ... Ram Singh
Charles Irwin Charles Irwin ... Constable
Phyllis Barry ... Lucy
Mary Field ... Miss Snell
Paul Renay Paul Renay ... Hindu Sailor
Sidney Bracey ... Watchman (scenes deleted) (as Sidney Bracy)
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Storyline

Occupants of a London boarding house become suspects as a string of murders are discovered.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder on the Second Floor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on Frank Vosper's play "Murder on the Second Floor," which opened on Broadway at the Eltinge Theatre on September 11, 1929, running for 45 performances. The play marked Laurence Olivier's New York stage debut in the role of Hugh Bromilow, portrayed by Bruce Lester in the film version. See more »

Goofs

(at around 37 mins) A constable has a notepad and pencil in his hands writing down details as he questions two ladies and a gentlemen. As the ladies go downstairs, the constable tucks the notepad in his belt as he briefly turns his back to the camera, watching the ladies leave. He immediately turns back to the camera to question the gentleman and now has the notepad and pencil in his hands as before, without reaching for it in his belt. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LONDON 1937 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pretty Little Liars: Now You See Me, Now You Don't (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Comin' Thro' the Rye
(uncredited)
Music Traditional
Words by Robert Burns
Sung a cappella by Charles Irwin at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lighthearted whodunit with tight script, good performances
19 January 2012 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

Nearly everyone has something to hide in the London lodging house that is the setting of this enjoyable thriller. Even the young writer (Bruce Lester) who is a central character is not what he seems—posing as aspiring but not yet successful, he is in fact (we learn early on) an already popular playwright living incognito in a setting that he thinks will provide him with material for his next work….a thriller.

The other lodgers are embroiled in various political intrigues, secret relationships, and hidden resentments and jealousies. Plot elements include a knife hidden inside a bedpost; a heavy box of something mysterious; figures coming and going at odd hours, including one whose face is hidden beneath a shawl; and a portable chess board and pieces. Also worth noting: the characters all seem familiar with the play "Charley's Aunt" when it is mentioned.

The one character who has no secrets, no suspicions, is the young woman (Heather Angel) who naturally takes a special interest in the young writer; to her, the house is just a home and "A mouse in the pantry's the most exciting thing that's happened around here since I can remember."

Mary Field is excellent as Phoebe St. John Snell, the chatty single lady who has a vivid imagination.

Mystery purists may not like the cute ending scene; personally, I found it rather charming. Overall, it's a fun little picture—plenty of plot (but not too much) packed into 61 minutes.


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