A Shot At Dawn

  • 1932
  • 1 HR 13 MIN
  • NR
  • Crime

After a robbery, shady jeweler Salfner is confronted by his cohorts (Odemar and Lorre) for a bigger share of the loot. Salfner claims to have already spent the money. As consolation, he arranges to leave a hotel key for the pair so they can enter the room of his ex-wife and steal her diamond ring. Odemar gets the stone but it's quickly taken from him by...read more

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After a robbery, shady jeweler Salfner is confronted by his cohorts (Odemar and Lorre) for a bigger share of the loot. Salfner claims to have already spent the money. As consolation, he arranges to leave a hotel key for the pair so they can enter the room of his ex-wife and steal her

diamond ring. Odemar gets the stone but it's quickly taken from him by Diehl, a man previously caught snooping in Bos' room. She had been attracted to this handsome thief and did not have him prosecuted. When his partner returns empty-handed, Lorre finds they are joined by a third party, Diehl,

who claims the ring was a phony and has a plan to get the real one. Odemar and Lorre introduce the man to their boss, Loos, a bookseller using his store as a front. They fool Bos into going to her husband's villa where they will interrogate her about the ring. This plan is foiled when everyone at

the villa is surprised by Diehl's announcement that he is a police inspector. Before he can make any arrests, Lorre knocks him out with a beer bottle. Diehl's reinforcements come and a terrific gun battle between the cops and robbers ensues. At last the battle ends with the police capturing the

gang. Diehl comes to and turns over the real diamond (which he had been keeping all along) to Bos. He also uses the moment to suggest to the woman that perhaps they can get better acquainted. This is a good gangster picture from Germany's famous UFA studios, told with efficiency and excitement. It

is one of Lorre's early films, and while his part is small, he does a fine job. The American release was limited to theaters in German neighborhoods for a short run in 1934. In their attempt to achieve realism, the Germans used real bullets in the final gun battle (a practice unknown in

Hollywood). The first two days of shooting were limited to the destruction of the villa by bullets, with the third day reserved for close ups. All went according to plan until Lorre showed reluctance to have a beer bottle shot out of his hand by a live bullet. He explained he had every confidence

in the off-camera sharpshooter but was fearful of the injury he might sustain if flying glass hit him. After much explanation by the director and the sharpshooter, Lorre finally agreed to do the take, accepting the sharpshooter's explanation that his face would be hit by glass only if the bullet

was aimed that way. The moment was finally shot without any problems.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: After a robbery, shady jeweler Salfner is confronted by his cohorts (Odemar and Lorre) for a bigger share of the loot. Salfner claims to have already spent the money. As consolation, he arranges to leave a hotel key for the pair so they can enter the room… (more)

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