The Murder Man

The Murder Man
The Murder Man
Directed by Tim Whelan
Produced by Harry Rapf
Written by Screenplay:
Tim Whelan
John C. Higgins
Tim Whelan
Guy Bolton
Starring Spencer Tracy
Virginia Bruce
Lionel Atwill
James Stewart
Robert Barrat
Music by Dr. William Axt
Cinematography Lester White
Editing by James E. Newcom
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) July 12, 1935 (U.S)
Running time 70 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Murder Man is a 1935 crime-drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Virginia Bruce, and Lionel Atwill, and directed by Tim Whelan. It was Tracy's first film in what would be a twenty-year career with MGM. Tracy plays an investigative reporter who specializes in murder cases. It is the feature film debut of James Stewart (who had previously appeared in a Shemp Howard comedy short called Art Trouble). Stewart has sixth billing as a reporter named Shorty.



Steve Grey (Spencer Tracy) is a hotshot New York newspaper reporter, specializing in murder. When a crooked businessman named Halford is murdered, Steve pins the blame on the dead man's associate, Henry Mander (Harvey Stephens), theorizing that Halford was killed by a rifle from a shooting gallery across the street.

Mander is arrested, tried and convicted. Steve goes to visit his father, Pop Grey, who is depressed over his business being ruined. The hard-working, hard-drinking Steve is urged by a woman who loves him, Mary (Virginia Bruce), a gossip columnist, to take some time off.

Another newspaper colleague, Shorty (James Stewart), comes to find him, saying their editor wants Steve to do an exclusive interview with condemned man Mander in prison. He goes to Sing Sing to do so.

Out of guilt, however, Steve shocks everyone by confessing to having committed the murder himself, as revenge for Halford and Mander having ruined his father. Steve's last act is to tell his editor that he's got his biggest story ever.


Spencer Tracy and James Stewart would eventually star in Malaya in 1949.


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