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Sue Tally waits for a brother she hasn't seen in twenty years to meet her in a French hotel. By proving her identity, she'll share in a $2,000,000 inheritance. But others are anxious to get a share of the money too, and won't stop at committing a murder or two. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The White Cockatoo is a well-paced and well-plotted old dark house mystery starring Ricardo Cortez (very good as usual) and pretty Jean Muir, an all-but-forgotten actress who bore a striking resemblance to Gloria Stuart. Set in a remote French hotel (on the Warner's back lot), and utilizing several authentically French actors in minor roles, the story involves an attempted kidnapping, a stolen inheritance, several impersonations and a couple of murders. Though typical of the second feature crime dramas of the era, it's a much-better-than-average version of that genre and makes for an enjoyable 73 minutes of intrigue, with hidden rooms, stolen papers, long-lost siblings and some genuine surprises.
The main attraction here is the strong supporting cast of Warner's stalwarts: Addison Richards, Ruth Donnelly, Minna Gombell (more glamorous than usual), Walter Kingsford, John Eldredge and Gordon Westcott. Oh, and there's also a nice little performance by Poochie, the titular white cockatoo. They all manage to bring some dimension to the characters, a quality which--along with a well-constructed story and better pacing than the average film of this ilk--elevates the picture to what I would call a B+. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.
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