An airliner makes a forced landing at night in the desert. The passengers and crew take refuge in a nearby deserted house. Soon some of the passengers are found murdered, and one of the ...
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Clara Kimball Young
An airliner makes a forced landing at night in the desert. The passengers and crew take refuge in a nearby deserted house. Soon some of the passengers are found murdered, and one of the passengers reveals himself to be a detective who was guarding one of the murdered passengers, who was carrying a bag of diamonds--which is now missing. The detective must find out which of the passengers is the killer. Written by
This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. Its earliest documented telecast in the New York City area presently stands at Tuesday 26 September 1950 on WOR (Channel 9). See more »
Airplane sounds are played over the opening credits instead of a music score. See more »
effective early-30s indie "old dark house" murder mystery
From the ever-reliable Frank Strayer comes this early-sound poverty-row indie murder mystery (so low budget that they didn't spend the fifteen dollars to license any music over the opening credits, they just have airplane sounds!!!). A plane headed to LA is forced to land about 300 miles east of LA in the middle of nowhere and the passengers/crew find an abandoned house where they stay for the night. One of the passengers is killed, some diamonds are missing, there's a violent storm outside, and it's off to the land of the "old dark house" murder mystery, a staple of early-sound-era poverty row filmmakers and a favorite genre of depression-era audiences. The cast includes many familiar faces if not big names--Syd Saylor (former silent comic and later western sidekick) as a former boxer who speaks in malapropisms, former silent comic actor and later writer/director Glenn Tryon (who starred in some early indie sound films and was a fine handsome and suave leading man) as the second pilot. There's a nice mysterious atmosphere and tension created throughout the film--you're constantly thinking something weird is going to appear out of the dark corners. There are some interesting subplots and red herrings thrown into the mix, all of the characters are colorful and have interesting personal histories that are transmitted quickly and tersely without wasted words or verbose expository dialogue, and the whole thing runs only 55 minutes, although you feel you've seen a longer film because so much is packed into such a short time. It moves at a brisk pace and completely achieves what it set out to achieve--to be an entertaining 60-minute second-feature which could take a depression-era audience out of the grind of daily life for an hour. Worth checking out if you like vintage murder mysteries.
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