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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Dr. Renault's Secret (1942)

Starring J. Carrol Naish, John Shepperd, Lynne Roberts, George Zucco, Mike Mazurki
Directed by Harry Lachman
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

An American doctor visits his fiancee in France at the home of her uncle, a noted scientist, and is intrigued by his soft-spoken handyman, not realizing he's the scientist's greatest experiment.

Centered around a strong performance by Naish as the mysterious Noel, aided by a subtle but convincing makeup, this is an interesting effort, with its only true detriment being a lack of anyone in the cast convincing as a Frenchman.  Nonetheless, there's a fine collection of character actors on display, with Zucco in a familiar role as the cruel scientist, Mazurki as his menacing gardener, and Arthur Shields as the determined police inspector.  Running under an hour, it's a short picture but well-paced by Lachman with an exciting climax.

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