5.9/10
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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:
...
...
Margaret Wycherly ...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Helene Millard was cast while finishing a run of the play 'The Streets of New York' with Edward Everett Horton at the Majestic Theatre; 'The Thirteenth Chair' was her first film role. 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 (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent
11 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Thirteenth Chair, The (1929)

** (out of 4)

Early Tod Browning talkie has a man murdered during a psychic reading. The local inspector (Bela Lugosi) shows up to solve the case. This mystery/thriller doesn't have too much mystery nor thrills and in the end comes off incredibly slow moving and boring. Once again, this sound film features none of the wonderful techniques delivered by the director in his silent films. As with most early sound movies, this one here simply has way too much talk and not much of it very interesting. Even though he gets sixth billing, this is certainly Lugosi's film and he delivers a pretty good performance as the fast talking, often screaming inspector. Lugosi's accent stands in the way from understanding a few lines but it isn't too bad. I would have deducted another half star had it not been for the Browning weirdness showing up in the end when a dead body helps solve the murder. In the end this is only for Lugosi or Browning fans who need to see everything the men did.


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