|Directed by||Irving Pichel|
|Produced by||Merian C. Cooper|
|Screenplay by||Garrett Fort|
|Based on||Death Watch|
1932 story in Chicago Daily Tribune
by Edgar Wallace
|Music by||Max Steiner|
|Cinematography||Lucien N. Andriot|
|Edited by||William Hamilton|
|Distributed by||RKO Pictures|
Before Dawn is a 1933 American pre-Code drama film directed by Irving Pichel and written by Garrett Fort. The film stars Stuart Erwin, Dorothy Wilson, Warner Oland, Dudley Digges and Gertrude Hoffman. It is one of the few Warner Oland films from this period in which he does not play an Asian character. The film was released on August 4, 1933, by RKO Pictures.
Dying gangster Joe Valerie (Frank Reicher) reveals the hiding place of a million dollars in loot to his physician Dr. Cornelius (Warner Oland). The sinister Austrian doctor has designs on the money, but must first outwit detective Dwight Wilson (Stuart Erwin) and clairvoyant Patricia Merrick (Dorothy Wilson). The setting is an eerie, possibly haunted house in small town America, where the stash is hidden, and the bodies begin piling up.
TV Guide wrote, "very fast-paced whodunit thanks to Pichel's taut direction, with the added stylistic flair of a glowing deathmask which floats through the mansion's hallways. Penned by Wallace during his stay in Hollywood" ; and The New York Times wrote, "like most of the British author's works, this particular ruddy specimen is blessed with vigor and imagination...There are enough killings and accidental deaths to satisfy the most ardent enthusiasts of such thrillers."