Menace (1934 American film)

Menace is a 1934 American mystery film directed by Ralph Murphy and starring Gertrude Michael, Paul Cavanagh and Henrietta Crosman.[1] The emerging star Ray Milland billed fifth. It was produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is based on the 1933 novel Menace by British writer Philip MacDonald.[2] Mitchell Leisen was originally intended to direct the film before being replaced by Murphy.[3] A review in the New York Times considered "it ranks several notches higher than the average murder film".[4]

Directed byRalph Murphy
Written byChandler Sprague
Anthony Veiller
Based onMenace by Philip MacDonald
Produced byBayard Veiller
Emanuel Cohen
StarringGertrude Michael
Paul Cavanagh
Henrietta Crosman
CinematographyBen F. Reynolds
Edited byAnne Bauchens
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • November 22, 1934 (1934-11-22)
Running time
58 minutes
CountryUnited States



In Kenya in British East Africa socialites Helen Chalmers and Norman Bellamy as well as British Army colonel Leonard Crecy need a fourth for bridge. They persuade engineer Freddie Bastion to leave the dam he is supposed to be supervising to join them. On his plane journey back a thunderstorm destroys the damn, drowning Bastion's two sisters, and causing his plane to crash. In London Timothy Bastion, the dead man's brother, is driven mad with grief and sent to a lunatic asylum.

Escaping, Timothy sends threatening letters to the three people he considers responsible for the tragedy, promising to kill them. Two years after the disaster, the three are all gathered at a country estate in California owned by Helen. Timothy has managed to conceal himself either amongst the servants and guests to the house, seeking murderous revenge.




  1. ^ Bryan Senn (1996). Golden Horrors: An Illustrated Critical Filmography of Terror Cinema, 1931-1939. McFarland. pp. 454–56. ISBN 978-1-4766-1089-4.
  2. ^ Goble p.298
  3. ^ McKay p.47
  4. ^ McKay p.48


  • Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter, 1999.
  • McKay, James. Ray Milland: The Films, 1929-1984. McFarland, 2020.