Murder! (1930) Script


People ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Kicking up all that racket at this time of night.


What is it?

Is it a fire?

Well, why can't they knock quietly?

Oh, blast it. We never...

It's about 3 doors down.

That's where Diana Baring is staying.

There's a policeman coming over I think.

Well, just coming around the corner.

Well, that's funny. I could've sworn.

No, you're right. Look. There he is.

Coming down the side of the road.

That's Druce knocking.

Looks as though he's tight again.

Here. Here. Where's my shoes?

I better get down.

Aye. I'm on my way.

What, at this time of night?

My wife Edna!

...with Diana Baring.

She's a-- yeah, wait for me. I'm coming.

I gotta go see what's the matter with Druce.

Say, what's the matter, mr. Druce? Anything wrong?

Will you please take this man away?

Come along now, Druce, there's a good fellow.

Druce: No. Stop it.

Open this door, will you?!

Open this door!

Hold on. One second.

Open the door.

Let go. Now, wait a minute now.

I can't wait to see what's going to happen.

Open the door for the love of god!

Open the door, for god's sake.


One of you run down to the station and ask the inspector to come along.

Tell him it's serious.

Is this woman a lodger of yours?

No, but miss Baring is.

And she had mrs. Druce to supper with her tonight.

As a matter of fact, it was about-- well, you see, mr. constable, both these ladies are, I mean were that's playing at the theatre royale this week.

And as I was leaving the theatre, you see I'm the stage manager, and mr. Druce here, he's the general manager.

Well, you see, when I left the theatre tonight, I was invited to join them.

Wait. Wait a minute, wait a minute.

One at a time, please.

They killed you, Edna.

They killed you.

Tell me, darling.

Who, darling? Did she do it?

You always hated Edna.

Thought yourself too good for us...

With your high and mighty ladylike ways.

Now, pull yourself together.

Ohh! Leave me alone.

Is there any brandy in the house?

You'll find some brandy in the flask on the table.

I was just giving some to Edna when...

When...

I can't think.

I can't remember.

Well, there's none there. It's empty.

I'll run back and fetch some.

Perhaps you'd like a cup of tea, dear.

It'll warm you up.

I'll go and make it.

I'll give you a hand, dear.

Shall I light this gas, dear?

Please, dear.

It only wants a drop more in it.

Light the stove, will you, dear?

I, uh...

I suppose mrs. Druce really is dead, you know, uh...

You know, Diana never did get on well with poor Edna Druce, and I know for a fact that they hadn't been on speaking terms for the last 7 weeks.

Miss Diana said nothing to me about it.

Well, it's a fact. You can take it from me.

I don't believe she could have done it, though there's no denying she is headstrong.

I should say so.

Why, she gave in her notice the other day over Edna.

Who, miss Diana?

Yes, but, uh...

Druce didn't want to lose her, so Edna would've been glad enough to see her go.

Then suddenly...

Suddenly, last night, she changed, asked if they could make it up.

Diana was puzzled but asked her home to supper.

Now, I can't help feeling now that she had some reason for getting Diana here alone.

Of course, perhaps it's been...

Hot stuff like she is, she thought one of her men was getting too keen on Diana Baring and wanted her out of the way.

What kind of tea did you use, dear?

Oh, my dear, I've tried so many kinds, I don't really remember which this is.

I'll get the door, right?

Open the door, yes, if you don't mind.

Here. I say, I've just made tea.

That's all right, ma.

We'll get some down at the station.


Third act beginners, please.

Your call, miss Baring.

That's miss Baring's understudy.

There you are, see? Going on now.

You are answering the door?

Answer the door? Of course.

Well, I don't know where we shall go.

Oh, Tom. Tom.

The inspector would like to have a word with you.

This is mr. Tom Druid, inspector.

It's about the murder, mr. Drake.

Now, there are one or two points I suppose you didn't happen to see mrs. Druce and miss Baring leave the theatre together last night.

Yes, I did.

As a matter of fact, I remarked to Fane, our leading man, about it.

He saw them, as well, you know.

Why? Is it very unusual?

Unusual? I should say so.

It's an absolute miracle.

As I was saying to my wife, I said, "Annie, we met--" hold on, old boy. My cue.

Say, which of the 2 women is this?

Mrs. Druid?

Oh. Ha ha ha.

You're unlucky this time, inspector.

This is Handell Fane, 100% he-woman. mr. Fane's our leading man.

I assure you, inspector, I'm not the other woman in the case.

I know that, mr. Fane, but I understand you saw the 2 women together last night.

Yes, just before I left the theatre, then I went straight to my rooms.

Yes. Well, Ion Stewart came with me.

He came and he wanted to borrow some cigarettes.

He'd lost his case or something, and then I went straight to bed.

Say, excuse me, I'm on.

Reginald, darling, has that cat gone yet?

Ooh, it's you, cousin Yettie.

Don't you dare to try to run away from me.

Come here when I speak to you.

No, no, you don't.

That's the bathroom.

Come here, or are you afraid of a poor, weak woman?

He promised to meet, dear.

Say, who's that man?

Oh, that's our heavy lead.

Ion Stewart. Very sound actor.

Is he married?

How did he get on with the prisoner?

Excuse me, inspector.

Say, how did he get on with the prisoner miss Baring?

So-so, you know?

Was he popular with the ladies?

You talking about the jerk?

He's a bit too popular if you ask me.

Please, if you could call her a lady.

Shh. Now, Doucie, remember, she's only just dead.

Oh, all right, all right.

I've never heard yet that telling the truth was a disgrace. Only been one year about Edna and Stewart anyhow.

And the way I take it, mr. Stewart and mrs. Druce...

Excuse me. My line.

Oh! Don't bother to show me through.

I know my way.

This is not the first time, Reginald.

Everything's going splendid.

Well, perhaps I ought not to say Edna and Stewart like that.

But, Ted, you know what Edna was like, anyone she liked had to be wrote in.

I can't wait any longer.

Quick! In here!

Excuse me a minute, inspector.

Shan't be long. There's a quick change.

How do you do?

No, I'm sorry. He's not here.

What have they done with her?

Why, she's down at the station, I expect.

Did she say anything, do you know?

Is there anything I can do?

Markham, you don't really think she's done it, do you?

Why have they arrested her?

Saw it with me own eyes.

She was with the poker in her hand just by her side anyway. Blood. Covered with blood.

Why, what's the matter with you?

Blood always makes me feel sick, even the mention of it.

Well, that's all right. Here's your helmet.

Ready?

Yeah. Hurry up, Markham.

There you are.

Ok?

Yeah.

Yeah. Why not?


Members of the jury, Diana Baring is indicted and stands charge with the willful murder of Edna Druce.

For this indictment, she has pleaded not guilty.

It is your duty to inquire whether she is guilty or not.

I need not remind you that in the eyes of the law, men and women are equal.

The crime of murder in England, at least, is judged dispassionately.

Neither beauty nor youth nor provocation can mitigate...

She gave me the strangest look.

Half-surprised...

And half-angry.

And she said:

"How dare you!"

And I don't remember anymore.

I just don't remember.

Must have happened when I was not conscious of myself.

That's all I can say.

Our defense is a complete denial of all responsibility.

You've been able to observe the behavior of the prisoner in the dock...

And in the witness box.

My learned friend has referred to her behavior as hardened.

Gentlemen and ladies of the jury, is there anything so hardy as the behavior of sheer innocence?

If you're convinced that the story of the defense represents the facts it is your duty to discharge the accused.

I shall like to remind you that truth is often stranger than fiction.

If, on the other hand, you are convinced that the evidence is indeed fiction, then I must tell you in the words of the counsel of the prosecution that neither youth nor beauty nor provocation can be held to mitigate the crime of murder.

Go and consider the facts for yourselves.

Well, uh, ladies and gentlemen, we can't talk standing.

Would you ladies like to sit together?

Anyway...

Why, I say, may we smoke?

Yes. I don't see why not.

That is, if the ladies haven't any objection.

No. Not at all.

Now, I think the best thing to do... if you agree, is to allow me to go over the broad facts of the case.

Because after all, I think it's pretty clear and I really don't think it'll be necessary for us to examine all the evidence again in detail.

Now, in the first place, the prosecution.

They say that the girl and the dead woman were on bad terms.

They make it up.

Edna Druce comes to supper, they both have a drop too much and begin quarreling about some man.

For instance, you heard how the landlady said that she heard raised voices.

And the girl admits as much but won't give the name of the man.

Now that in itself is fishy.

The girl gets hold of the poker, loses her temper, and there's the end of Edna Druce.

The prosecution argues that it has proofs.

Practically caught red-handed.

Girl's dress all over blood, the poker at her feet, brandy flask empty, and the girl half-silly.

And in addition to that, no other person was known to have entered the house.

I think that's pretty clear.

I think you ought to mention that the girl comes of a good family.

Yes, but it's those so-called well-bred people who are able to remain so brazen in the face of a thing like this.

Well, look at the way she behaved in the box.

Half a minute, ladies.

Let's get on.

Now, take the defense.

They don't deny she did it but argue that their case is that the thing happened when...

She was in a fit or something.

Surely it is clear to you that in the evidence for the defense the doctor put forWard a theory that it was due to the independent activity of the suppressed experience.

In other words, disassociation, which in this particular form is called a fugue. So that a person displaying the strangest behavior for a considerable period of time would be quite unaware of this when he or she regained normality.

Well, I think the best thing for us all to do is to write down our opinions and then we can see how we stand.

Whichever in the minority...

Can then give their individual reasons and the thing can be worked out that way.


That makes 7 guilty...

And 3 not guilty.

There are 2 not in.

I take it you haven't come to any decision at all.

I think the whole business is hateful.

There's too much responsibility put on our shoulders.

Either we've got to let her go free-- that's not fair to the rest of the world if she's guilty-- or we got to hang her But if we recommend her to mercy.

Mercy? Is that what you call it?

20 years cut out of life.

The best years and to spend them in hell.

Have you ever been inside a prison?

It takes a civilized community to think out a punishment like that.

I think you exaggerate.

It's no use confusing the issue like this.

People who do wrong have got to be punished somehow.

You can't run the world on sentiment.

No, but that's what we've tried to do.

Save the unfit. Get more children and make glorious wars to be rid of.

The whole world's a reeking pit of sentiment.

Your verdict, mr. Shackleton.

Guilty, I suppose.

Who's the other one?

You, mr. Matthews?

Is there anything special troubling you so that you can't make a decision?

What is it prevents you from making a decision?

Well, nothing really.

Uh, well, uh...

Have you made up your mind at all what it's going to be?

You heard the case for the prosecution.

That's pretty clear, isn't it?

And you know what the defense is, don't you?

Yes, but I, uh...

Don't quite understand what the lady meant when she said no.

When, uh... When she spoke.

My dear man, mrs. Ward was only trying to tell you that the defense was that murder was committed in a fit of daytime sleep walking.

Yes. But, uh...

The murder took place at nighttime.

Can you write?

Well, will you please write down whether you think the prisoner guilty or not?


Now that leaves only 3 for not guilty.

I'll give you my reasons for not guilty.

The evidence for the defense by the doctor is to my mind conclusive.

Anyone who's followed the modern trend of pscyhological investigations must be aware that any person suffering from severe mental strain, such as the prisoner may have been following on so many rehearsals and things, may bring about a sudden condition in which the patient is no longer either conscious of or responsible for their actions.

We've already had evidence that the prisoner's mind is a delicately balanced one and quite liable through some hidden flaw in that mind to become deprived of all consciousness and readily enter into a state wherein the body is still functioning, though no longer under the control of the will.

And it is on these grounds, that I feel that Diana Baring must have been the victim of circumstance.

I have no doubt that mrs. Ward is right.

That being the case, it is quite liable to recur, possibly with the same results.

Well, that's a point I hadn't considered.

Well, it's really important.

Because with this poor gal, you have to consider not only this one tragedy but others that may follow it.

There may be other crimes lying ...

You mean, there's a sort of dual personality in her.

One of these persons is violent and cruel and the other, just an ordinary woman.

If we set this bad personality free, we must be prepared to show her the responsibility.

If we let her go and anything should happen...

The blood would be on our hands.

Do you wish to alter your verdict, mrs. Ward?

Now, mr. Daniels... After all you've heard, does your opinion still remain the same?

Well, you know, I find it very difficult to believe that a girl of that sort should do such a thing.

After all, she looks perfectly riveting, you know.

Well, you know what I mean?

A sort of girl one would like for a daughter.

I presume, sir, that an ugly woman would stand very little chance at your hand.

The thing you've got to decide, mr. Daniels, has nothing to do with the qualities of the young lady as they appeal to you.

Yes, of course. I know that.

But, that's all, well, you know what I mean.

It's...It's pretty awful and all that sort of thing.

Besides the thing you're thinking of, what's your verdict?

Well...

Well...

Oh...

Guilty, I suppose.

Well, now we're practically complete.

There's just sir John.

Well, don't dismiss me as easily at that, mr. foreman.

Yes? We mustn't be long.

Time is money, you know?

Time in this case, may I remind you, is life.

If I'm delaying you all, I apologize.

I admit that I am not...

A man of business.

I'm a poor actor.

Oh, come now, dear sir John.

I repeat...

The poorest of poor players.

And my time on the stage will be shortened had I not for years trained myself to...

How shall I put it...

To apply the technique of life... to the problems of my art.

But today, ladies and gentlemen, that process is reversed.

I find myself applying the technique of my art to a problem of real life.

And my art is not satisfied.

In the first place, I am fairly convinced that Diana Baring was telling the thruth when she said she remembered nothing.

In fact, I have been impressed by her behavior all through the trial.

But my dear sir!

Oh, I say, sir John.

Oh, please don't think I'm taking the same line as our friend mr. Daniels here.

He made a very gallant attempt, but I assure you my reasoning goes a little deeper.

I am convinced further that she was again telling the truth when she said she had drunk no brandy.

Buy you've forgotten the evidence of the police sergeant.

He said she smelled of drink and appeared dazed on arrest.

How do you know that was not the wine she had at dinner?

What about the evidence of Markham, the stage manager?

He found the empty brandy flask right on the spot. Yes, but--

What about the evidence of the actor, Stewart?

He said the women had been enemies for some time.

Ah, he was the one who said prisoner was rough to mrs. Druce on the stage once.

All pointing to her violent nature, sir John.

Yes, but that was not altogether borne out by Fane.

You know, the, um...

Well, the female impersonator man.

But his evidence was of little use.

He was so obviously in love with the prisoner.

In any case, everything was perfectly clear when the body was discovered.

Why, the woman was actually caught in the room red-handed.

And found with a poker by her side.

And her dress all over blood.

And quarrelling over a man.

That's right.

Any answer to that, sir John?

Think of her personality.

She's not the kind of girl to get drunk.

Brandy in the flask, was there?

She doesn't deny it.

That's right.

Any answer to that, sir John?

Not at the moment.

Was there anyone entered the house that night?

Landlady says not.

Girl says not.

They were alone.

Any answer to that, sir John?

Not at the moment.

But have we taken it too much for granted that no one else could've done the murder?

They were alone.

Says they quarelled.

Admits it.

Any answer to that, sir John?

She does not admit it.

She says she doesn't remember.

Is that a guilty woman's answer?

And her dress all over blood.

Make an exhibition of yourself.

Waste of time, waste of money.

Quarelling.

Hands all over blood.

Any answer? Any answer?

Any answer to that, sir John?


Well, now that we've all agreed on our verdict, I can inform the judge that we're ready.


Stand up.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you agreed upon your verdict?

And do you find the prisoner guilty or not guilty?

Guilty.

Diana Baring, have you anything to say?

My sentence of death should now be passed upon you according to law.

It's absurd, I tell you.

It's absolutely absurd. oh, yes, oh, yes, oh, yes Praise silence, all of you, on the pain of imprisonment while sentence of death is passed upon the prisoner at the bar.


Adjourned until tomorrow.

The Baring murder trial came to a conclusion today with a verdict of guilty, and sentence of death was passed on Diana Baring.

And that is all the news.

But here is an S.O.S., which has just been brought into the studio.

We've been asked by the commissioner of police to broadcast the following--

The brandy cocktail you ordered, sir.

Right.

Ring up mr. Bennett, will you?

And ask him to bring me the details of the receipts for the last 3 nights.

Also,...booking...

With New Scotland Yard to telephone Victoria 7000 or with any police station.

This is the national program.

Our concert tonight is an orchestral one, given by the radio symphony orchestra.

They start by playing the overture to Tristan und Isolde by Wagner.

Funny that S.O.S.

Coming on top of that other.

Save her soul.

Save her.

If I'd stood up longer, I might have worn them down.

Why couldn't they see the girl as I did...

The rest of the fellows on the jury.

But anyone standing in the dark on a charge like that...

Probably looks different from the same person somewhere else.

Ah, amusing the way she stood up to everybody.

There's no doubt that did her a lot of harm.

Yet, it was that manner of hers that...

Very attractive I thought.

And I wonder what her feelings are now.

Who drank that brandy?!

Why didn't I force that point home to them?

Easy to figure these things out afterwards.

The girl said she didn't drink it.

Yet she admits she might have killed Edna Druce.

That's queer.

Why admit a big thing like that and yet be sure she didn't do a small thing such as drink a drop of brandy?

All that came to light to me today.

I'm sure I was right when I raised that.

Quite frankly, more certain now.

How do we know that someone else didn't drink the brandy?

Perhaps there was someone else, that's the whole thing.

Whoever drank that brandy!

Mr. Bennett has come up to see you, sir John.

Bennett.

Glad you're back, sir John.

Been reading about it all.

Plenty of publicity.

Been awful for you, though.

You having met days before.

Well, she wanted to become a star, a year ago that was.

I suppose you can say in a sense that she has.

A star in a murder--

Bennett, please.

Look here.

Get hold of my understudy.

Tell him he has to go on again tonight.

Pray god that I give him a better role.

Get on the telephone straight away to my lawyer, mr. Vice senior.

Oh, I can give it to you.

Temple bar.

5-9-9-3.

Yes.

I want you, as well, to get hold of as many as you can of the members of that company.

You know, the touring company at the time of the murder.

In particular, the, um... funny little man, the stage manager.

I forget his name.

I'll see him at the office in the morning.

Temple bar, 5, double 9, 3.

But I thought the trial was over, sir John.

No, my dear, Bennett, the trial is not over, by a hell of a long way.

Well...Is it conscience, sir John?

Conscience. A lying man's conscience.

Oh, they're-- they're engaged, sir.

Ok. I'll try later. Don't wait.

I am.

No, don't wait. Go.

Diana Baring...

Why did I send her away?

Told her it'd be good for her to gain experience ...

Good for her.

And now she's come back.


Uh...

I think, uh...

Boiling it all down, dear, I think perhaps we better, uh...

Accept sir John's offer after all, don't you?

Oh, yes. Either that one or one of the other 2. It's all the same to me.

That would be sir John himself.

I don't think.

Seems she won't let us stay on here any longer.

That means Lucy will have to go back to her aunt's-- oh, I mean, uh--

Sophie will have to go back to her aunt Lucy.

I don't want to go back to aunt Lucy.

I want to go on tour with you.

I can't let you go back to sir John's.

I really thought you were kidding me, I really did.

What is this?

Ooh. It's from sir John himself.

If we could be in his office at 12:00.

Do you think we could get there in time today?

If we try.

I'll turn the kettle off.

This just needs a little benzine.

Dear, I don't think...

Petrol will get the shine out of this suit.

I'll say! There's a job for you!

Look sharper.

I think it must be an ankie.

Yeah. I think so somewhere. ted? Yes, dear?

What have you done with me nail polish?

I haven't seen it.

Here.

Hope this...Hope this smell of petrol goes off.

Oh, well, you can blame it onto the car.

I think we shall just about do it.

Actually, my dear, it won't be.

Oh, that's all right, missus.

I promise you your bill shall be paid the first.

I'm not referring to bills.

It's Druce I'm after.

Two seats...

All right. We'll see.

How do you do, mr. Markham?

Nice. Thanks, sir John.

Ohh. How do you do, sir John?

Won't you sit down?

Thank you.

You know, it seems to me, mr. Markham, that we as artists have a double function.

We use life to create art and we use art to, how shall I put it... to criticize life.

Oh, certain, mr. John.

Uhh!

Yes. I knew you would.

Now, mr. Markham, between artists...

Do we always fulfill our double function?

Are we not so much occupied in using life to create art that we forget our other function?

I foresee your objection.

You're going to say, what opportunities does the round of daily life offer?

I wonder if...

If you ever saw a problem play I once did.

Pistols for two.

Oh, yes.

What the critics describe as a high-brow shocker.

When a high-brow shocker occurs in real life, does the public call in the actor?

No.

Uh... mr. Markham, I read your thoughts.

You know, you're saying to yourself, this man is, um, talking to his hat.

Oh, no.

Oh, of course you are.

Otherwise, you wouldn't be the practical man I take you for.

You're also wondering to yourself, why on earth I've brought you here.

Well...

That brings me at last...

To my object.

Now...

Yesterday and the day before, I was on the jury at the Baring trial.

You impressed me both as an artist and as a man.

By the way you gave your evidence.

Now, I want from you, if I'm not being too indiscrete-- the inner history of that case.

Oh, what is it that, uh...

See, now, of course, um...

Bennett talked over with you the question of that engagement?

You see, we'd rather, uh...

Rather hoped that you'd be free to take on the stage management when I send off this tour at christmas of The Green Eye.

I also thought of working out some arrangement on a yearly bases but we could easily talk that over later Oh. Thank you very much indeed, sir John.

I, uh...

Well, I am free at the moment.

And I've had a lot of experience that I'm sure will come in very handy.

Then that's settled, huh?

Uh, yes.

What? What is it, mr. Markham?

Well, it's my wife, sir John.

You see, we've always been joint, as you may say and, uh...

Well, would it be asking too much, sir John, if a part, I mean, any part that you-- ohh. I see. mrs. Markham acts.

Acts, sir John?

Heh. Well, uh...

Perhaps it's not for me to say, but...

Well, you may say I'm prejudiced, sir John, but I've been stage manager now for 10 years, and it is a fact that a wife, even a good one, is not always the right thing to have in a company, if you understand what I'm getting at, My Doucie, my wife--well, professionally, she's been my right hand.

And there's no one she can't play 24 hours' notice.

From a Gladys Cooper to a Molly Lloyd part.

Has she ever-- she has her--

I was going to say she has her off days, of course.

Well, who hasn't?

Yes. I mean, only last summer I had to speak to her seriously about it.

She had a quick change-over from a barmaid to a Salvation Army lass.

And it told on her, there's no doubt about it, after about a week, I said to her straight out:

"Now look here, my dear, this can't go on if you can't pull yourself together, we shall have to go into Shakespeare."

Well, she didn't say much.

Not one that was reasonable.

But she thought it over.

And for the rest of that tour I'll give you my word, sir John, she was tallulah.

Pure tallulah.

Where is mrs. Markham now?

She's downstairs waiting in the--

Oh. One minute then.

Let's send for her to come up.

What, is that you, Bennett?

Oh, no, no. I'm sorry. No.

Wait.

Hello, Bennett, mrs. Markham is somewhere downstairs.

Would you have her sent up, please?

Yes. Yes, of course. Up to my room.

Now, mr. Markham...

About this trial...

I confess to feeling very uneasy about it.

You see, I played a part in the thing, the part of a juryman.

And it was not until the curtain was rung down on the death sentence, that I said to myself...

This is not a play, this is life.

Life can be less kind than your dramatists, mr. Markham.

Life permits a beautiful and unfortunate girl to go to the gallows. Unless-- art for once can bring its technique to bear.

Good lord, do you mean to say she is innocent, my dear Markham, yes.

It was assumed she was guilty because she couldn't deny it.

Yes, but I saw the--

Diana Baring sitting beside the dead body.

She was dazed you say.

What was the cause? Drink?

She hardly ever touched anything.

And who did? Think it over, mr. Markham.

Then there was the pain in her head.

Was she examined by a doctor?

Might he not have found traces of a blow if he'd examined her?

But no, he didn't.

He assumed like everyone else that she was guilty because she didn't deny it.

And there was no private investigation, no inquiry, think it over, mr. Markham.

I feel the most terrible responsibility.

I was one of the 12 people who decided the fate of this poor girl.

I found myself caught up with the machine that-- that makes these things...

Ah, mrs. Markham, so good of you to come with your husband this morning.

Oh, I was quite glad, glad as a breath of fresh air.

Oh. What a charming place you have up here, sir John.

And Piccadilly, with all the shops so near.

You'll, um...

You'll stay to lunch, of course.

I find it difficult sometimes to wait to a reasonable hour for my luncheon.

I feel the same way myself.

That I can do without my little tidbits in the morning...

Oh, Javier, a cocktail at once, please, and serve lunch.

He's engaged us to see him.

Joint. No.

Yes. I find mr. Markham is free to join me.

So...Please.

So I thought he could, um...

Oh, we can settle all that later, can't we? Yes, please.

Thank you.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, one moment, please.

In the meantime, success to our researches.

Your husband and I have been discussing the Baring case.

And we feel that if the murder were approached from another angle, it--oh, sorry. We shall be able to arrive at a different result.

What? And get Diana off you mean?

But she can't get away from that poker.

If you don't share our convictions that miss Baring is not guilty--

well, I mean to say Diana Baring was such a nice girl.

I never thought for one moment she could've done a thing like that.

Didn't I always say, Ted, never could've thought it for one moment?

Oh, sir John, have you found anything out?

Are you going to take it up yourself?

Oh, we would be so glad to help, wouldn't we, Ted?

Shall we now?

I really don't know where to begin this thing, do you, Markham?

Well, uh... Well, yes, sir John.

Oh, I see. Uh...

Yes. I wish I knew where to begin.

Here.

Yes, can I help you there?

Sir John didn't know where to begin, Ted.

No, no. Let's hear it, mrs. Markham.

See, I'm completely in the dark.

If your husband could show the way, I shall be more than grateful.

Go on. What is it, Markham?

Well, sir John...

I should say the best place would be the back of the town where the murder was committed.

Yes. Do you think you could spare me a day or two of your time?

Why, yes, of course we could, sir.

See, if I might suggest that we could go over the ground and you could show me one or two places connected with the murder.

But, you mean, it might have been someone else altogether, who killed Edna Druce?

It might've been somebody from outside.

How do you make that out?

Well, I don't know.

Miss Mitcham didn't do it.

And miss Diana didn't.

So it must've been somebody from outside.

If it was, they'd have to get in.

And they'd have to get out again.

Heh. That's clever.

Well, all I can say is...

The first thing we got to do is to find out who saw somebody, apart from Druce, anywhere near there at half-past one that morning.

Well, Ted, for start, there's that chap we thought was the policeman coming around the corner.

Oh, that was nothing.

I shall like to hear something about this policeman.

Well, you see, sir John, it was like this...

Only after the murder, when the knocking woke us up, I was over by the window and I popped my head out of the window to see who it was making all that noise.

And I saw the policeman coming around the corner.

So I said to Ted, I said, hey, it's the police.

And then I took my eyes off him to tell Ted here...

And when I looked again, there was no one in sight.

And then Ted said, yes, you're right. Here he comes.

And when I looked again, it was a different policeman altogether.

What had become of the first one?

He must have turned the corner and come back.

Is that the corner down there?

Yes, that's it, sir.

You're sure it wasn't the same man?

We only took our eyes off of him about 2 seconds.

Uh...Is there anymore here do you think, sir?

I shouldn't think so.

My god, that's Druce.

He must be crazy.

Yeah, we better get down.

You are not going in my house.

Take him away, please.

He's done this before.

Please, promise to stop it.

Yes, that's all right.

Now come along, Druce.

My wife's...

But you're much better at home.

Come on. Come on now.

Oh, this is terrible for me this business is.

I shall have to move. I'm sure I shall.

Yes. Well, uh... mrs. Mitcham, we'd like to show this gentleman around.

That is, if you don't mind.

May I?

Oh. Yes, sir. Of course.

Yes. Certainly. Will you come in?

Well, sir John, that's where they found the body.

Right in front of the hearth there.

And, uh...

Miss Baring was sitting just about there.

Oh, by the way, did you ever get your poker back, miss-- oh, I can't bear to talk about it, especially with poor miss Baring being where she is.

Why, you might as well convict Cleopatra.

You think anybody could've got in from the back of the house?

You see just beyond the backyard there's an alleyway, and just beyond there there's the theatre.

And look, sir, the dressing rooms are at the back.

Yes, it would take quite an athlete to get in that way.

I don't see how anyone could get in here with this aspidistra filling up the window.

Anyway, without upsetting it, and look at the size of it.

Yes. It's a fine plant.

Unless, of course, it was somebody who knew the room.

But miss Baring did not have any visitors, only mrs. Markham every now and again, and mr. Fane and mr. Stewart to tea and mister-- what's his name-- the little man with the squeaky voice.

Oh, Tom Druid.

Yes. Yes, that's him.

Squeaky voice, that reminds me.

In your evidence, miss Mitcham, you said you had heard angry women's voices.

Yes, sir, I did. Will you swear to that?

Oh, yes, sir. You can't mistake a woman's voice.

You know, I had known a contralto-- oh, yes, but this was high, quite high.

Miss Mitcham. Miss Mitcham.

Oh, my god, miss Mitcham. Where are you?

The kitchen chimney's on fire, miss Mitcham!

That's alice.

One moment, miss Mitcham.

Excuse me, sir. I can't stop just now.

That Alice of mine has set the kitchen chimney on fire.

Didn't you hear her calling?

No, no, no. That was me.

Or did I...

You know, Markham, I never know.

I played a trick on you, miss Mitcham.

Now, the high voice you heard that night may not have been a woman's. You've just admitted it.

No. I have not admitted anything.

And I don't hold to playing such tricks.

And I'd like to ask you, sir, what you mean by it.

And you, too, mr. Markham.

Standing there, grinning.

You realize that your evidence as it stands may hang miss Baring?

Now, I'm not blaming you.

Not blaming you, miss Mitcham.

But you swore that you heard women's voices calling.

And I have to prove to them that it might have been a man's voice, especially a high-pitched man's voice-- just like mr. Druid's.

Ohh! I'd do anything for miss Baring.

Oh, can't something be done now?

Yes, yes. Now you're going to help us further.

First of all, could you show us some more of the house?

Miss Baring's bedroom, for example?

Yes. Certainly, sir.

This way, please.

I don't think you'll find much in here, sir.

There's a few of her things over there on the windowsill.

I didn't like to send them to where she is now.

Oh, I think she'd like them.

Well, let me have them and I'll send them on.

Why, it's one of you, sir.

Uh...Lot more places to go to, sir John.

Thank you.

Thank you very much indeed.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Yes. Lot more places, sir John.

And then we'll go round to Stewart's lodgings and then we might go along to the police station, have a chat with the inspector.

He knows me. And then, um...

Well, then we can go across the Red Lion, have a sandwich while we're talking to Joe the proprietor.

And then--ooh, and then there's Stevens, if the policeman's still on his beat.

Yes, I think that's about all we can do.

Oh, yes, we'll find out something if it takes us all night.

I thought perhaps, um...

A little dinner...

Oh. Oh, that's all right, sir John.

Don't you worry about Doucie and me.

We've had to go without before, didn't we, dear?

Well, shall we begin, sir John? This way.

I've come to see if any of my people left anything behind.

No, nothing, except that there broken basin in number 4 dressing room.

Of your chaps after they left.

They never paid for it neither.

Uh, Fane's and Stewart's, I believe, sir.

No, none of our people broke that, mate.

Oh, there is something for you.

This cigarette case left behind in number 4.

You'll know who it belong to.

Oh, righto. When I find out who it is, I'll forward it.

Can we see that dressing room?

Uh, I'd like to see that broken basin.

I'll take you long.


Where does that window look out to?

The private houses round the corner.

I wish I knew who broke that basin.

Lot more places to go to, sir John.

Thank you, mate.

Good day.

Did you find anything?

No, nothing much.

Oh, honestly.

Well, here we are, sir John.

And, uh, I hope you sleep well.

She's left something cold out for you.

I'll be along first thing in the morning.

I'm awfully sorry but... Get to bed myself.

I must say, this street gives me the creeps.

Well, good night, sir John.

Come along, dear.

I say, Markham.

Markham...

You don't think that I'd better eat at the Red Lion after all, do you?

Well, that's, uh...

Just as you like, of course, sir John, but, uh...

I thought you wanted to sleep I mean, that's why I made the arrangements.

Considering we haven't found out very much today, I think that...

It'd be better if you did, sir.

Perhaps you're right.

Good night, mrs. Markham.

Oh, good night, sir John.

Excuse me, sir.


Be quiet. You, too, children.

Take it.

Ohh.

We mustn't play on the bed.

Sir, shall I pull over the table?

Leave them things be!

Oh, please, don't trouble.

Just put the plate on somewhere.

I'll see to it. I'll dress first.

Oh, don't say that, sir.

I know what you gents like.

"A nice cup of tea and a kipper before I get up.

And I'm a new man."

That's what my last lodger used to say.

Stop playing on that bed!

Damn children.

They follow me about.

Ma this and ma that.

On my word, I don't have a moment's peace morning or night.

What do you two be doing?

That's quite all right, really.

He's got my bootsy!

Well, I never did.

Wait till i get you downstairs.

And don't you bring it up here again.

If you could put this plate on the table and bring up some hot water at once, just as you like, sir, but...

Now, go downstairs and get the water on. Go on.

Now, why can't you leave him be?

I've told them not to mess with the lodger's luggage.

I'll have your father take you to the police station if you can't stop touching.

They do keep on touching.

Some lodgers don't like it.

Princeton, I had a couple a little while back and one of them give them a good clip for doing that.

You know the Baring case?

Well, they was in it.

It was my husband what found the body.

He was part of the Baring case.

Ohh. Well, I never.

Ha ha! She's taken a fancy to you.

There ain't many she takes to.

You're not coming around now, I suppose.

Yes, oh, yes.

You were saying...

About hopping on the luggage...

Oh, yes. Well, Arthur was messing about with one of them's luggage when he come across what he thought was his father's helmet and uniform.

Afterwards, I went up.

And I said I don't like the idea of having this in my home.

Just because he had a uniform in the bag it was his father's outfit.

I felt a bit of a fool when I finished because he simply turned around and he said I didn't know what I was talking about.

Well, I said if it wasn't you, it must have been the other one who was here-- mr. Stewart.

I spoke to mr. Stewart afterWards but in the excitement of the murder I forgot all about it.

Come in, my dear Markham.

I thought I'd drop by, miss.

I'll send the water up, sir.

Don't encourage her too much, sir. That's right.

Here, Arthur. Just come on, come on.

Now go in the street and play.

Don't you get run over. Go on.

That's right, go on.

Doucie and me found out something, sir John.

Won't you sit down?

Thanks.

You know that cigarette case you found in the theatre?

Well, last night I went to smoke in bed just before I went off, you see?

So I took out that case.

Doucie saw it wasn't mine.

Said, I've seen it before somewhere.

I said, whose is it? She said Stewart's.

She noticed what I thought was a beer stain on it...

She says, wait a minute. That's blood on it.

And sure enough. Well, look, see for yourself, sir John. Look.

I believe you're right.

Stewart.

Who wore a policeman's uniform in the past who lived here?

Fane and Stewart, sir.

Stewart had a quick change-over but Fane had a special uniform made to fit him so we had 2 uniforms in the company, sir John.

You're an important factor in this case, Markham.

In fact, most important at the moment.

Well, uh...

Well, if it helps, sir John.

No, the most important factor seems to be a policeman whom you did not see on the night of the murder.

You remember your wife saw a policeman you went to the window and you couldn't see one.

Then suddenly there was a policeman.

Now, Markham...

That policeman was 2 different people.

And for all we know...

The first one was not a member of the county constabulary.

You mean, the first one was a fake, sir?

A chap in policeman's clothes?

Our next job is to find out the name of the man was he a member of the company?

Did he wear a policeman's uniform?

If she still refuses to give the name...

Perhaps the cigarette case will help her to remember.

They were calling about on the night of the murder?


This end, please.

Won't you sit down?

Oh.

Thank you.

It's very good of you to have come.

But I can't help saying...

I'm extremely surprised.

Well, you see, I...

I've taken a very great interest in your case.

Don't let's talk about it.

How's your play going?

Oh...Pretty fair.

Of course you know I was away from it some time because I was on the jury of your trial.

I know.

My countryhouse is in that district.

As you know, I can't discuss with you what happened on the jury...

Is Muriel Heatherly still playing the lead with you?

I do think she's such a good actress.

Don't you?

Miss Baring...

You remember our meeting?

Oh, yes.

You do remember.

Of course.

Very well.

If I hadn't sent you away on tour to get experience...

You wouldn't be in this position now.

That's, in a way, why I feel...

Sort of...

Responsibility.

That's why I've come.

There must be some grounds for an appeal.

I knew that would happen.

I knew someone would try and get me off and think they were doing me a kindness.

Imprisonment for life.

Why, a week of it's nearly driven me crazy.

If they want to do the other thing...

They can.

I thought it and got over it.

It'll be no worse than the dentist.

And if I have done this thing, as they say I have, I'm better out of the way.

As for the other thing, if you're a friend to me, you couldn't do it.

Lock yourself up in your own room...

For one day.

Only for one day and see.

Tell me what I want to know, I'll have you out of here altogether.

What is that?

I can tell you.

Tell me the name of the man discussed by you and Edna Druce.

I've said so many times before.

He has no connection with the case.

Besides, I didn't quarrel.

Edna Druce tried to say poisonous things about him.

And I just put my fingers in my ears and kept them there.

So that you actually couldn't hear a sound.

You couldn't have heard of any other person that had come into the room.

No. I suppose I couldn't.

Why wouldn't you listen to her?

Because...

I knew what Edna was trying to tell me.

What was she trying to tell you?

I can't answer that.

It involved...

Somebody else.

Plenty of other people have been involved in this case.

Markham, Stewart, Druce...Fane.

Why shouldn't this one man's name be known?

There was something...

Something he daren't have known.

But which you knew.

Yes.

What was it?

You realize what you're admitting by your silence?

Because you know you're in love with him.

Oh, but that's impossible.

Impossible? Why should it be impossible?

I see no reason why it should be impossible.

Why, the man's a half-caste.

What's that?

What did you say?

A half-caste? Black blood!

Why haven't you said so much?

Tell me the rest.

What was his name?

I won't tell you that.

Will this help you to remember the name of the man you were quarelling about?

Stewart's cigarette case?

That's not one of Stewart's things.

You mustn't give the prisoner anything here, sir.

And the time for the interview has nearly ended, sir.

Oh, sir John.

For these last few moments, let's talk about something else.

Yes.

There was a photograph of me in your room.

How did you know?

I went there to make inquiries.

How did you come to get it?

I've always been keen on the stage ever since I was a little girl.

One has one's heroes.

That's why I came to you for a job.

And I sent you away.

Oh, let's talk some more quickly.

Diana, I...

Miss Mitcham sent me some of my things.

Your photograph with them.

I've got it in my cell now.

They let us keep some-- come. Time's up please.

Good-bye.

I'm going to find Fane.

Handell Fane. Handell Fane.

What's become of Handell Fane?

Any news of Fane yet, Markham?

Not yet, sir John.

I'm trying some more of the agents though.

Haven't you found Fane yet, Ted?

I can't bear the suspense.

We shall be up all night, you know.

Oh, for god's sake.

Hello? Hello?

Hello? Is that lambersee agents?

Yes. You found Fane yet?

He's wanted for an important job, you know.

Yes, at once. What's that?

Gone back to his old job?

What? Trapeeze artist?

Under what name?

Where?

No, can't stop now.

Got him at last.

Yes, that's him all right.

Dressed up as a woman, eh?

Always was good at that.

An extremely clever way of hiding.

Markham?

Yes, sir?

I've an idea.

You know your Hamlet?

Every line of it, sir.

Then let me suggest for your consideration the series of events embodied in act 3, scene 2.

That's the play scene, isn't it, sir?

Yes. The play scene.

Do you remember the title...

The mousetrap?

Yes.

Well, when he comes to my theatre to read a part I shall offer him, there'll be 3 of us.

2 cats to one mouse.

Yes, but what about the cheese, sir?

The cheese, yes.

The cheese will be a fat part, Markham.

A villain's part in the blood and thunder in a play that I'm going to write especially for him.

A play based on a recent well-known murder case.

I imagine he will play his part, as I hope we shall convince him...

To the life.


Come in.

Can you give me a minute?

Certainly.

Oh. Who is that you have with you?

Of course, I remember.

This is the gentleman you suggested.

Yes, sir John. mr. Handell Fane.

Oh, yes. Do come in?

How do you do?

How do you do?

Sit down.

Here you are.

Oh, thank you.

Oh.

Thank you.

No, Bennett, don't go.

I may need you.

You see, I always conduct these interviews so badly, I'm just as likely as not to leave out the really important points.

Now, I suppose I better begin by an explanation.

I dare say mr. Bennett has told you the author of the play?

No, sir John. I understand you wish that to be kept a secret for the time being.

Well, I wrote the play.

That was a simple matter, but it's proving astonishingly difficult to find the right person for one particular part.

Might I ask you to stand up for one moment?

Of course.

You know, Bennett, he looks it.

He looks it quite perfectly.

Exactly what I've been thinking, sir John.

Would you mind-- oh, sit down, do.

Would you mind reading one or 2 lines?

You know, just to give me some idea?

Tell--what's his name-- Baldwin to bring me a clean copy of act 3.

Thank you.

Sir John?

Might I ask you...

What kind of play is this exactly?

Well, you may question my taste, but as an artist, you'll understand my temptation.

My subject, mr. Fane, is the inner history of the Baring case.

Ohh. Thank you.

Really? Your...

Your indifference astonishes me.

Aren't I right in thinking that you were a member of the Druce company at the time?

Then you knew both women concerned.

Yes, I knew them both quite well.

Now, let's begin.

Oh, by the way, mr. Fane, I understand you're appearing at present at the circus. Would that interfere?

No, it was my old job, and I've gone back to it because times have been a little difficult and-- however, I understand you wouldn't be starting for 2 or 3 weeks.

No, I don't suppose so, no.

Let me give you...

Some idea of the scene.

Here is a table in front of a fireplace, more or less a ....

On the table there's the remains of a meal.

And, of course, the brandy flask.

You know, mr. Fane, of course, you know all the details of the case.

I can't help wondering, why nothing spectacular developed in connection with the brandy.

Thinking as a dramatist, I can't help feeling that the brandy was not exploited with sufficient imagination.

Then, of course, the law has no sense of drama, has it?

No.

No.

Then again, let me see.

I thought it best to begin from a point just before the actual murder.

There's a short scene between the 2 women...

Which turns into a quarrel.

In the middle of it, you make your entrance, on the words--I got this from the evidence--

"friends? I can tell you things about your friends that you don't know."

Just carry on from that point, would you?

Now, how on earth did you know the entrance was from the window?

That's highly clever.

And look, mr. Fane, you've forgotten your script.

The script.

Now, where are we?

"Friends? I can tell you things..."

Wouldn't it be better if I were to pick up the poker before I made the entrance to the room?

Excellent idea. I'll put that in.

Thank you.

May I have the poker?

No, I'm terribly sorry.

We only have electric fires here.

Would this pencil do?

Very well.

We must get on without the poker.

You can use your imagination, eh?

Now then...

Through the window, into the room.

You creep through the double doors.

The 2 women are facing each other.

You come slowly around, taking care not to be heard and gradually you approach the one whose back is to you.

Now, you raise the poker that is in your hand as the other woman says...

"You fool! Don't you know that he's a half--"


what a pity, sir John.

The scene isn't finished.

I was getting quite worked up to it.

I thought perhaps...

You might be able to collaborate with us.


I'm so sorry, sir John.

I'm afraid I understand so little about playwriting.

Perhaps later on...

When the script is finished...

You'll allow me to give you another reading.


Find out what time Fane comes on tonight.


I shan't be...

How do you do, sir John?

Who'd have thought of seeing you here?

Well, you see, I'm, uh...

I'm working for sir John now.

Yes. mr. Markham is helping me with my new play.

I suppose you find brandy steadying for the nerves?

Mine's very nerving work, you see, sir John?

You never know what may happen.

Hurry up. You're next.

I presume you've come to talk to me about...

That part again, sir John.

You know perfectly well what I've come here for.

Hurry up, Fane.

There'll be a wait if you're not careful.

If it isn't....

How are you, sir John?

Come to see the show?

No, not exactly.

I've really come to see mr. Fane.

Sir John, if you wouldn't mind coming down to see me after my act, I shall only be too pleased to talk over that little matter we were discussing.


For god's sakes, play something!

Fane says he has decided to colloborate in my play after all.

He says...

"The 2 women are standing

"facing each other in dead silence.

"They are so lost in the tension of the moment

"that they do not hear the murderer creep through

"the double doors into the room.

"The murdered woman is at that instant going to speak.

"The murderer springs forward.

"He hurls the first woman aside.

"She is stunned by the fall, "but he doesn't notice it.

"Infuriated, "he strikes out at the other woman

"with the poker.

"She falls by the fireplace, "she's dead.

"He nearly faints at the sight of the blood.

"He drinks the brandy, "then he sees the other woman beginning to stir.

"He must get away...

"Through the back window. A leap or two.

Finally, a climb into the theatre dressing room."

That accounts for the broken basin.

"But how to get home undetected from the theatre.

An idea. The policeman's uniform he wore on the stage."

There's your policeman, Markham.

"He walks home a murderer.

"A murderer on an impulse.

"The silence of the mouth of a woman

"who knew his secret and was going to reveal it

"to the woman he dared to love.

There's a melodrama for you, sir John."

Well, Markham...

You have it all.

Poor devil.

And Diana Baring...

She knew all the time...

He was a half-caste.