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Town on Trial Reviews

This gripping murder mystery begins when Miller, a village woman of loose morals, is found strangled on the property of an elite social club. There are several likely suspects, so Mills, a Scotland Yard detective, is called in to solve the case. First on his list is Farr, a blackmailer with a concocted war record. He is employed as the club's secretary and is also the father of Miller's unborn child. Another likely suspect is Coburn, a Canadian doctor who had left his native land in a rush, which causes some curiosity. Also on Mills's list is Keen, the town's mayor. This causes quite a row and distrust of the detective among the locals, who cared little for the man to start with. Mills's last suspect is McGowen, a quiet young man with a history of mental problems. That McGowen had also loved the dead woman is another factor which raises the investigator's suspicions. Before the case is solved, Keen's daughter Seal is found strangled in a similar fashion in the trunk of Coburn's automobile. Finally Mills discovers that McGowen is dangerously unbalanced and is the man behind the violent deaths. Mills traps him in a clever scheme, and the film ends with a chase in the steeple of a local church. The thrills are effectively drawn out within the story, making the most of the several threads Mills must follow. Twist after twist keeps the viewer constantly guessing as to the identity of the guilty party. Mills leads the tight ensemble with a fine performance, under direction that clearly shows the feeling for a good murder mystery.