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Kay Kyser and his orchestra are hired to entertain at the birthday party of a young heiress at a creepy old mansion, where they uncover a plot against her life. Who is the villain? The sinister judge? The phony medium? The skeptical psychologist? You'll find out. Written by
Despite the emphasis on music, via Kay Kyser & the College of Knowledge, this is a true Old Dark House film. There's a very large, spooky old mansion, a thunderstorm, secret passageways, comedy, mystery, attempts at murder, a butler (who, oddly enough, is never a suspect), creepy characters, etc. In the "creepy characters" category, they don't get any creepier than Boris, Bela, & Peter (in his first film in the horror genre). Boris plays, well, Boris, & he doesn't have quite enough to do here. But his presence alone adds weight to the film. Bela is quite creepy as a "Prince" who conducts seances. Peter (who looks very spooky here & is even thinner than in earlier movies) is very good as always; just watching him roll those big round eyes is worth the price of admission. For my taste, there's too much emphasis on Kay Kyser (who is the "star" of this film), who's good but becomes distracting after a while. Kyser fans will enjoy his role, as he gets to display all of his many talents here. Ginny Simms (a vocalist in the Kyser band) is lovely in a supporting role. This film is a real treat to Boris, Bela & Peter fans. I didn't know of its existence until very recently, & I was quite pleased to see these guys at this stage in their careers in a movie I had never seen before. I rate it 7/10.
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