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An eccentric millionaire, unable to locate his only granddaughter, decides to divide his estate among a group of people less close to him: his niece and nephew, his attorney, his doctor, and his housekeeper. But complications and murder arise when two different women turn up, claiming to be the granddaughter. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Jasper Whyte calls all of his associates and friends (few in number) to his house (on a night with plenty of rain, thunder, and lightning) to give away all of his estate before an inheritance tax would lessen the amount. One million dollars is to be given to relative Tom Dean, maid Elvira, Dr. Denham, lawyer Felix, and another relative, Laura Proctor (and her husband Arthur). When Felix arrives at the mansion, he brings a woman who claims to be Doris Waverly, Whyte's long lost granddaughter. Seeing his only true heir, Whyte decides to give all of his money to her, which obviously ticks off all the others. Things however become more complicated when another woman comes to the mansion claiming to be Doris Waverly (arriving with her vaudeville partner, the Great Lavelle- a magician). Whyte asks the two woman to confront each other, but the first Doris is found murdered in her room. Whyte and Dean send for the police in order to find out who the first woman was and who had her killed, and Doris (the second and real one) must be able to survive until midnight when she gets her inheritance. Very good "Old Dark House" type mystery, with a lot of similarities to The Cat and the Canary, with the young woman inheriting everything while all other members are shut out. Grapewin (as Whyte) and Ford (as Lavelle) play their roles to the hilt which helps the movie and the rest of the cast give adequate performances. Cabanne's direction and the rest of the production crew are able to maintain the mystery and suspense quite well, but its nothing to go ape over. Rating, 7.
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