5.8/10
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8 user 2 critic

A Strange Adventure (1932)

A police lieutenant and a female reporter investigate a series of murders comitted by a hooded killer in an old dark house.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story "The Wayne Murder Case"), (continuity) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
June Clyde ...
Lucille La Verne ...
Miss Sheen
...
Dr. Bailey (as Jason Robards)
William V. Mong ...
Silas Wayne
Eddie Phillips ...
Claude Wayne
...
Robert Wayne
Nadine Dore ...
Gloria Dryden
Alan Roscoe ...
Stephen Boulter
Isabel Vecki ...
Sarah Boulter (as Isabelle Vecki)
Harry Myers ...
Police Officer Ryan
Eddy Chandler ...
Police Sgt. Kelly (as Eddie Chandler)
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ...
Jeff (as Snowflake)
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Storyline

Silas Wayne's will leaves the bulk of his estate to his niece, but the cursed Candor diamond catches the eye of someone who can't wait for the old man to die. When he's mysteriously stabbed to death in front of the police and his heirs, Detective -Sergeant Mitchell and newspaper reporter 'Nosey" Toodles work together to solve the crime. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wayne Murder Case  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Cinememes
5 January 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I'm fascinated by what cinema does to people, and therefore interested in how it has become what it is.

Some things are quite obvious, like why justice is served as visually violent death; why war and crime seem entangled with romance; why certain gauzy and pastel images imply sentiment.

Much more interesting are the things that have a non-obvious reason to be as they are.

This is a mystery, a detective sort of mystery from the first few years of talkies when the genre was experimental. It has many standard elements: a death seconds before a punitive will is signed. A death in plain view. All the suspects collected in the house. A surprise as to the murderer, motive and method.

But its also got some elements that would break out on there own as sort or independent memes. One is the brash girl reporter, sexy and who has the hots for the chief detective. Her name is "Nosey Toodles." She's most of the entertainment, and its easy to see how this could develop a life of its own.

The other element is the one that interests me. All the suspects and the detectives are locked in the house, and the murderer skulks about in a black-hooded ghost costume. There are knives, young women at risk while sleeping, and an obligatory black servant who runs away bug-eyed and sputtering.

Now, the setup of the murder is contrived for the film audience in most details. But somehow that's of a less radical idea than having murderer conceal his or her face and body. There's only one reason to hide, and that's from the audience. There's only one reason to slither about with spooky gestures down a vacant hallway. Us.

I believe that these two theatrical devices, the murder and the "ghost" became linked in plays that were precisely copied in the early talking cinema, when plays could be appropriated.

What's interesting is that this hooded figure, slashing about has spun into its own genre, maintaining the mystery of identity, The cloak and mannerisms are precisely the same as in "Scream." The only difference now is that instead of the racist bug-eyed servant, we have the sexist bug-eyed and screaming slut.

The production here is poor, and there are better examples of this.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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