Before Dawn (film)

Before Dawn is a 1933 American pre-Code drama film directed by Irving Pichel and written by Garrett Fort. The film stars Stuart Erwin, Dorothy Wilson, Warner Oland, Dudley Digges and Gertrude Hoffman. The film was released on August 4, 1933, by RKO Pictures.[1][2][3]

Before Dawn
Directed byIrving Pichel
Produced byMerian C. Cooper
Screenplay byGarrett Fort
Based onshort story Death Watch by Edgar Wallace
StarringStuart Erwin
Dorothy Wilson
Warner Oland
Dudley Digges
Gertrude Hoffman
Music byMax Steiner
CinematographyLucien N. Andriot
Edited byWilliam Hamilton
Distributed byRKO Pictures
Release date
  • August 4, 1933 (1933-08-04)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States


Dying gangster Joe Valerie (Frank Reicher) reveals the hiding place of a million dollars in loot to his physician Dr. Cornelius (Warner Oland). The sinister Austrian doctor has designs on the money, but must first outwit detective Dwight Wilson (Stuart Erwin) and clairvoyant Patricia Merrick (Dorothy Wilson). The setting is an eerie, possibly haunted house in small town America, where the stash is hidden, and the bodies begin piling up.


Critical reception

TV Guide wrote, "very fast-paced whodunit thanks to Pichel's taut direction, with the added stylistic flair of a glowing deathmask which floats through the mansion's hallways. Penned by Wallace during his stay in Hollywood" ;[4] and The New York Times wrote, "like most of the British author's works, this particular ruddy specimen is blessed with vigor and imagination...There are enough killings and accidental deaths to satisfy the most ardent enthusiasts of such thrillers." [5]


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