Robert Presnell sr for Universal
directed by Lloyd Corrigan
starring Boris Karloff, Jean Rogers, Warren Hull, Samuel S. Hinds, Hobart Cavanaugh, David Oliver, Charles C.Wilson, Alan Baxter, Ward Bond, Frank Reicher, Edwin Maxwell, George Humbert, Nina Campana, Michael Fitzmaurice, Ruth Fallows, George Cleveland, Ralph Dunn, Frank Hagney, Ethan Laidlaw, Antonio Filauri
story by William A.Pierce, screenplay by Jack Moffitt, Tristram Tupper, musical director: Louis Forbes
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Inventor Mallory (Boris Karloff) has invented a new security system -
but unfortunately he tries to sell it to businessman Steven Ranger (Samuel
S.Hinds), the man who has tricked him out of his previous invention
(another security system) 15 years ago ... and sure enough, he tricks
Mallory out of his new system as well. What he doesn't know though is that
Mallory has the secret key to override the old system, and together with
small-time crook Louie (Hobart Cavanaugh) he from now on breaks into shops
secured by the system, not to steal anything but to play pranks - and as a
calling card, he always leaves a note signed The Night Key behind.
Problem is, Kid (Alan Baxter), a bit-time gangster soon gets wind of
Mallory's invention and soon enough kidnaps him, Louie, and Mallory's
daughter (Jean Rogers) to make Mallory let him and his gang use the
invention for his own evil ends - and soon enough, Kid's gang empties many
a shop with Mallory's invention. But thanks to Mallory's ingenuity,
Louie's self-sacrifice (as in so many of these movies, the likeable
small-time crook gives his life in the end for the greater good), and
police detective Jim Travis (Warren Hull), who was supposed to shadow
Mallory's daughter but instead has fallen in love with her, Kid and gang
are ultimately apprehended by the police - and Ranger finally promises
Mallory to give him a fair deal on his new invention ...
Light-weight and totally pointless crime drama that has very little to
go for it and that even the always brilliant Boris Karloff (in one of his
benign old absent-minded scientist-roles) can't save. That's not to say
that the film is actually bad, it's just dead boring ... which in a way is