When his archaeologist sister is possessed by the spirit of a vengeful woman, a young student finds himself enmeshed in a revenge plot aimed at his father, the incarnation of an evil emperor. By: Anonymous
Stranded and broke after her erstwhile boyfriend leaves her, A onetime London heiress joins a con man to bilk a millionaire at his Italian villa. Little do they realize that he knows full ... See full summary »
William Cameron Menzies
An ex-cop who is now a private detective is hired by a woman to be the go-between in retrieving an important envelope from her partner. The detective has the partner come to his apartment ... See full summary »
Matt Corbin, a vacationing magazine writer, takes a fishing trip to Minnesota, and stumbles across a lake, near a ghost-town, where all the fish have mysteriously died. None of the locals ... See full summary »
This was co-directed by the great set designer William Cameron Menzies, who had a fantastic, if erratic career. In the early 1930s he made a trio of magic-themed thrillers for Fox, this being the first, the next being the superior Chandu the Magician and the third being Trick for Trick, directed by Hamilton McFadden.
The Spider is a decent film that basically involves a murder by gunshot in a theater of patrons watching a magic act performed by Chartrand the Great, played by a solid Edmond Lowe. How someone sitting next to the murderer would not notice the gun going off is implausibly absurd, to say the least. It would be forgivable if there was a plot. It involves a woman who goes to a magic show to see if her missing brother is Chartrand's amnesiac assistant, whom he is. Her hateful uncle, who previously tried to do away with the brother is the man who is murdered. Her brother, naturally, is the prime suspect.
The suspense is missing, but the style is excellent. Much low-key lighting and some terrific magic act sets make this worthwhile. It does pale in comparison to similar thrillers of the period as the mystery is so random and thin that it really brings the film down. Worth the time, though, of any 30s mystery film aficionados.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?