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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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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Before Dawn (1933)

Starring Stuart Erwin, Dorothy Wilson, Warner Oland, Dudley Digges, Gertrude Hoffman
Directed by Irving Pichel
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A detective arrests a psychic medium and her father for fraud, but he becomes convinced her abilities are real, and recruits her help in an unsolved murder.

A fun mystery with Erwin an unusually soft-spoken and compassionate detective compared to the usual hard-boiled or wisecracking leads in these films, but what really makes the picture memorable is some creepy imagery near the climax of the film, including the eerie face of a ghost and the revelation of a secret passage and staircase leading to where a fortune may be buried.  There's better written thrillers, but this is a hidden gem of a movie well worth discovering.

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