Cast & Crew
At the shop of antique dealer Albert Sayre, Dr. Philip Boyer purchases clocks from salesman Arthur Pennyward. Sayre is jealous of his wife Julia's friendship with Boyer, the Sayre family doctor, and he asks his lawyer, Jerome Shelby, to have her tailed by Quigley, a former Sayre employee. Boyer and Julia meet at the Carlton bar, where urbane lawyer Oliver Keith and his secretary, Ella Carey, whom he affectionately refers to as "Stupid," recognize her as the former actress Julia Dalton, who once appeared in the title role of a play entitled The Lady in Scarlet . Julia introduces herself to Oliver and tells him that she fears that her husband is in trouble, and when she returns home followed by Oliver and Ella, they find Sayre's body on the floor. Oliver telephones Inspector Lewis Trainey and the coroner, who determines that Sayre's murder occurred two hours earlier. Alice, Sayre's daughter from a previous marriage, accuses her stepmother of the murder, but Oliver discovers that earlier that day Alice had married Pennyward and was subsequently threatened with being disinherited by her father. Fingerprints found at the scene of the crime lead to F. W. Dyker, an antique auctioneer and ex-convict who, Pennyward claims, sold phony antiques for Sayre. Alice orders an early reading of her father's will, which divides the estate equally between her and Julia, and she later states that on the day of his murder, she heard her father telephone Shelby and read to him a new will, naming her as sole beneficiary. Sayre died before he could sign the revised will, and Alice tells Oliver that her father had promised her a wedding present of $100,000 in government bonds, which are now missing. Oliver discovers that the bonds in question were used to pay Dyker's bail after his fingerprints were found at the murder scene. After he attempts to blackmail Boyer, Quigley is found drugged with the truth serum Scopolonin, and when Oliver goes to question Boyer, he discovers that he has been murdered. All of the suspects are assembled in the Sayre living room, and Oliver reveals that when Quigley worked for Sayre, he was caught cheating and subsequently threatened with being turned in to the police unless he gathered evidence against Julia. Oliver then finds three of the bonds on Pennyward, but Shelby reveals that he knows of the existence of the bonds, even though he had feigned ignorance of them earlier. Oliver deduces that Shelby stole the bonds when he brought the new will to Sayre to sign and found Sayre's safe open. Oliver then states that Boyer believed that Quigley had seen the killer, and therefore he administered the truth serum; however, upon learning that the murderer was Shelby, he became his second victim. Alice and Julia are reconciled, and the Pennywards prepare to leave on the next boat for their honeymoon, while Oliver and Ella stroll away together.
John St. Polis
John T. Murray
The review in Variety erroneously lists the character "Pennyward's" first name as "Tom" and "Shelby's" as "James."