The Second Floor Mystery

The Second Floor Mystery is a breezy comedy-mystery featuring an early appearance by Loretta Young. Young plays Marian Ferguson, who meets the dashing American Geoffrey West (Grant Withers) in a London hotel. Their relationship develops through a newspaper column where they only refer to themselves by code names: “The Strawberry Man” and “The Grapefruit Lady.” Per Marian's request, if “Strawberry” can publish five successive interesting letters, “Grapefruit” will meet him. He devises a murder story and ends the series with an act of imagination that lands both correspondents in hot water. The Second Floor Mystery was released as a Vitaphone sound-on-disk film in 1930; when the Warner Bros. film library was sold to television in the 1950s, the new owners made a 16mm dupe negative of just the picture, without the sound. This film has not been seen anywhere, to the best of our knowledge, for more than seventy years.

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