This MGM mystery programmer shows the usual gloss, with plenty of money spent on sets, costumes and a full cast roll not only from Metro's company, but with Henry Daniell in his usual role of suave, low-affect nasty, Edmund Lowe being as bombastic as always -- he sports a one-foot white cigarette holder -- and even Dean Jagger in a move up from Gower Gulch, still sporting a toupee -- the previous year he had starred in REVOLT OF THE ZOMBIES.
But these actors, and Andy Hardy's aunt, Sara Haden, giving a very oddly stylized rendition of a woman having a heart attack, are not the point of this movie. The real fun is provided by the air of lurking dread that pervades this movie, thanks to some astonishing proto-noir lighting by DP Philip Clarke. Usually at Metro, the rule was to turn on all the lights so people could see the gloss. However, in the effectively 'B' section, they sometimes let standards slip and here it works tremendously to the film's advantage.
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