Lord Peter Wimsey is an amateur detective. He is to be married to Harriet Vane, who writes crime novels, at a big Society wedding. Harriet has little charms made so that they both promise ... See full summary »
Arthur B. Woods,
A financier is accused of murder when his brother-in-law is found dead in his garden pond. After winning the court case he returns home to find that his lawyer has romantic inclinations ... See full summary »
This is the first film based on a story by Dorothy L. Sayers, the murder mystery writer, and involves her character, the amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey. It is not based on one of the Wimsey novels, but merely a story. Unfortunately Wimsey is here played by Peter Haddon as a 'silly ass' to such an outrageous extent that the film becomes entirely ridiculous. There is not much acting talent in this film, and even the young Donald Wolfit as a villain hams it up and over-acts. The title refers to a dead man in a trunk who is a 'silent passenger' on a train. So this is a 'trunk murder' mystery, to use a popular phrase of yesteryear. The film is billed as starring John Loder, a well known young actor of the period, but he is not strictly speaking the lead actor. The worst acting is probably by Lilian Oldland, who plays Loder's wife. She retired from the screen the same year, and no wonder. There are some exciting scenes in the latter part of this film set in a London railway maintenance yard, or 'repair shop' as they call it. In one scene, two men are fighting on the tracks and trying to kill one another while a steam engine is slowly moving towards them. In fact, there are very many excellent and interesting shots and scenes involving trains and a station which, though never seen in a wide shot so that one can be certain, appears to be St. Pancras. Throughout the story, people keep getting on and off of trains, and anyone interested in the trains being used in 1935, both inside and out, will have plenty to see. Anyone interested in Lord Peter Wimsey should definitely take a sedative before sitting through this travesty, however.
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