If you have about an hour to spare and need a little mystery movie to kill time with, A Tragedy at Midnight will fit the bill. Gary Sherman (John Howard) is a radio personality and armchair detective. He makes a living at making the police look like idiots, by solving the cases they can’t and announcing the perpetrator on air.
Sherman has infuriated the local police so that chief has ordered his men to find something, anything on Sherman in order to bring him in and more importantly off the air. They can’t find anything but Sherman soon provides something himself. Coming home from a party he collapses into his twin bed not bothering to check the other bed beside him, assuming it’s his wife already asleep. He wakes later to discover that not only isn’t the woman in the bed his wife but also she has a knife sticking out of her. Now he must solve the murder mystery while also staying one step ahead of the police, lest he ends up in jail himself.
If you go into this expecting more fluff than drama you won’t be disappointed. While there is definitely a mystery, they try to inject a lot of lighter moments throughout the film. Almost too much. However, the revealing of the killer was actually a pretty exciting scene. And if you are watching any version that is less than an hour apparently you are getting the cut-down available for TV version. So maybe there was more substance in the missing 15 minutes, but I doubt it. Gary Sherman and his wife make a cute mystery couple. Not a cute as the Thin Man’s William Powell and Myrna Loy, but still enjoyable.
Overall A Tragedy at Midnight is a nice little time waster.