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The Thirteenth Chair (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Mystery | 19 October 1929 (USA)
Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true "bounder" Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(from the play by), (dialogue continuity) (as Elliott Clawson)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Helene Millard ...
...
Mary Forbes ...
Lady Crosby
...
Inspector Delzante
...
Edward Wales
Charles Quatermaine ...
Dr. Philip Mason (as Charles Quartermaine)
Moon Carroll ...
Helen Trent
Cyril Chadwick ...
Bertram Johns ...
Howard Standish
Gretchen Holland ...
Grace Standish
Frank Leigh ...
Professor Feringeea
...
Commissioner Grimshaw (as Clarence Geldert)
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Storyline

Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true "bounder" Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance participants had a reason and a means to kill, and one of them uses the cover of darkness to kill again. When someone close to the medium is suspected she turns detective, in the hope of uncovering the true murderer. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Try and Guess It! The thrilling mystery play that baffled and gripped Broadway for a solid year is here as a Talking picture with every chill and gasp intact! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 13th Chair  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Completed July 16 1929, the first sound feature in which Bela Lugosi's famous Hungarian tones were heard. See more »

Goofs

It's noted elsewhere as a "goof" that the actors seem to be caught waiting for their cues, but many of the earliest MGM talkies employed a technique of long lingering inactive moments at the beginning and ending of reels, which apparently are supposed to take the place of leader when they change over, perhaps accommodating the Vitaphone print versions. Years ago, when these titles appeared on TV, they didn't do that, so maybe Movietone versions were more succinctly edited. By WesternOne. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Delzante: [Interrogating a suspect, consulting his notes] Perhaps this will refresh your memory.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Thirteenth Chair (1919) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gripping Whodunit
29 October 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

This isn't a typical Tod Browning film. It's more or less a very basic filming of a stage play (I gather; I don't know that for sure, but it feels very stagey) about a group of rich people who hire a medium to find out who killed their friend (and, to some of the group, an enemy). When they go into their seance, right as the name of the killer is about to be spoken, one of the men in the circle, the one who was succeeding at questioning the medium, is stabbed in the back. They then call a detective (Bela Lugosi) who grills them, trying to discover who murdered both of these men. I don't generally like whodunits, especially the Clue variety, where a detective gathers all the suspects in a room and attempts to root out the real killer, but The Thirteenth Chair is exceptionally written. The characters, and there are many, are quite well developed. The climactic scene, while asking that we suspend our disbelief, is truly suspenseful. See this gem if you ever get the chance. 9/10.


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