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, December 20, 2016

Mystery House (1938)

Starring Dick Purcell, Ann Sheridan, Anne Nagel, William Hopper, Anthony Averill
Directed by Noel Smith
(actor & director credits courtesy

A company executive dies at a gathering of the company's partners at his hunting lodge, and while they try to hush it up as a suicide, his daughter hires a detective to find out the truth.

One of a series of mystery films to feature the characters of detective Lance O'Leary and his love interest nurse Sarah Keate, with Sheridan appearing as Keate before becoming more of a household name.  It's a good mystery with plenty of suspects to guess from, and some canny misdirection in the script to keep the audience from guessing the culprit too soon.  I had some fun spotting all the familiar faces in the cast, from Purcell who would later play the screen's first Captain America, to Hopper whose dark hair is quite a contrast from his silver-haired role on TV's Perry Mason, Anne Nagel of several Universal horror films, Ben Welden, (wearing a toupee!), often a gangster on the Adventures Of Superman TV series, and Elspeth Dudgeon, the character actress reputed for her role in James Whale's The Old Dark House.

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