The entire plot depends on everyone answering this question . . .


. . . and it's "no." They're happy-go-lucky rich, idle drunks! Their merry leader:



Yes, it's Marcus Welby, MD. His wife:



Constance Cummings, looking very modern here. And disturbed! Because there's been a murder. It's a frightful business, but in true "Thin Man" 1930s style, it doesn't interfere with the drinking. Nothing interferes with the drinking except the fact that one might already be drinking so be a dear and let me finish this drink and then I'll get to that other drink. It all begins when the star couple attends a six-month anniversary bash. Presumably they're drunk when they show up; Constance announces her intention to get "absolutely bingoed." The invitation includes lots of drinkin' and drivin':





They end up here. This is not a Busby Berkely musical:



Yes, the bar is called the S. S. Hangover. "The Hangover Murders" was the original title, but the censors objected.


The drunker they get, the more madcap they become, which leads to hijinx. Ever been at one of thsoe parties where everyone brings their own blackface masks?



This picture doesn't begin to do justice to the scene. Cinch up your jaw; here's an excerpt. Don't you hate these people? I mean, hate them completely? Except for Constance, who seems like a real person in this clip; note the little smile-and-shudder she gives as she climbs off the barge. Then there's the whole "crouton" business, and that rather ruins it.

Here you go. For extra fun there's servant abuse; these people were horrible all around.




Comedy? Yes! Slo-mo pratfalls of the sort usually accompanied by slide whistles. That's how people act when they're struck on the head by a woman's shoe: they turn around, fall backwards, avoid striking their skull on the floor, and throw up their feet.



Thirties faces? It's full of 'em



If it all seems a bit campy, there's an easy explanation, which the poster provides.



It's amusing how "James Whale" became associated with horror because he did "Frankenstein." This is more his speed, and apparently it was one of his favorites. It's a comedy that's never quite funny, a mystery that's hardly mysterious, full of cliches and overacting and horrible people. I didn't regret a minute spent with it, but not because it's great. It's fascinatingly bizarre, and all the more so for being mainstream entertainment in its day.

Backstory on the production and the censors' objections, here.