Monday, January 16, 2017


When a Chilean mine company is taken over by American industrialist Frederick Keller, the workers are concerned about their future, and one American worker in particular (Lloyd Nolan) seems agitated when he recognizes Keller from his picture. In New York, Keller is preparing for a trip to Africa when he is found dead by gunshot in his bedroom. His disgraced former accountant is arrested for the crime, but in the middle of the trial, Nolan walks into the courtroom, gives the fake name of Joe Monday, and confesses to the murder, and even his court-appointed lawyer can't get him to give up his real name. Monday won't even try to put up a defense. In the meantime, Alice Stetson (Jean Rogers) reads about the case in the papers and has reason to believe that Monday is actually her brother Frank, reported as missing in action in WWI. She arranges a meeting with him, but he insists he isn't Frank, though he admits that Frank was in his company in the war, as was Keller, the murder victim. The key to all this might lie with the only other surviving member of the company, if he can be found in time. This melodrama is more interesting than compelling. It's very low-key and a little slow going in the middle, but Nolan gives a good performance against type, tamping down his usual high energy to play a stone-faced man of mystery, albeit a rather bland man. The end result is predictable even if not all of the narrative details are. No one else in the cast stands out, though you'll recognize Eric Blore and Onslow Stevens. Nowadays this would be an episode of TV crime show. Primarily recommended for fans of B-movies and/or of Nolan, who is pictured at left. [TCM]

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