skip navigation
Four Hours to Kill!

Four Hours to Kill!(1935)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

A number of people have ulterior motives for attending a stage show in New York. Among them are Johnson, who is waiting for his wife to give birth to their first child; Sylvia Temple, who is there for a secret rendezvous with her lover, Carl Barrett; and policeman Taft. Taft is handcuffed to convicted murderer Tony Mako, who escaped from a prison two thousand miles away to come to Times Square and seek vengeance on Anderson, the man who informed on him. Taft is delivering Mako to out-of-state authorities, but has four hours to kill before the meeting. Theater hostess Mae Danish, who is also Anderson's wife, attempts to extort $200 from Eddie, the theater's coat check boy, by telling him that she is "in trouble," and that he must either give her the money or marry her. Eddie then suffers a crisis in his relationship with his fiancée Helen, after telling her about Mae. Desperate, Eddie considers stealing an expensive diamond brooch that fell off Sylvia's fur coat. Sylvia and Carl meet, and after asking her to leave her husband for him, intimates that her husband is having an affair with Helen, who is his file clerk. Sylvia agrees to Carl's proposal, then searches for her missing brooch. Helen, who is loyal to Eddie, asks Sylvia's husband for a $200 advance on her pay to give to Eddie, and Temple tells her she can return the favor by showing up at his hotel room. Mako and Taft have an amicable relationship, despite their situation, especially after Mako gives his last few dollar to Taft so he can buy his daughter a gift. Mako tells Taft that he simply wants to die quickly, rather than be hanged. When he sees Mae at the theater, Mako escapes from Taft and calls Anderson, saying that Mae wants to meet him at the theater. He then hides in an out-of-service phone booth. The police arrive and Sylvia and Carl bring Eddie to the policeman's attention, after which he confesses to having found the brooch but denies having stolen it. When Anderson arrives, he asks Mae for the money, but she rebuffs him. Mako finally reveals himself when he shoots Anderson. Mako is killed by Taft and dies as he had wanted. After the police arrest Mae, Eddie and Helen reunite upon discovering Mae's lie about her condition, and Johnson finds out his wife had a son after a difficult childbirth.