The town's leading citizen becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife deserts him.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mr. Kessler
Polly Ann Young ...
Virginia
John McGuire ...
Ralph / Paul
...
Evans
Terry Walker ...
Cecile
...
Ernie Adams ...
Jules
George Pembroke ...
Williams
Ottola Nesmith ...
Mrs. Mason (as Ollola Nesmith)
Fred Kelsey ...
Ryan
...
Tim
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Storyline

The town's leading citizen becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife deserts him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE PHANTOM KILLER STRIKES! Only a terrified woman knows the secret of this ghostly murderer...who strikes in the night and leaves no clues---but his victims! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Release Date:

25 April 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder by the Stars  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Polly Ann Young. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Mason (Ottola Nesmith) enters the coroner's office, she's greeted with "Hello, Mrs. Nesmith". See more »

Quotes

Charles Kessler: I must have been sleepwalking.
Paul Dickson: You did better than I, I couldn't get to sleep.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Believe (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Are you trying to strangle me or just glad to see me?
18 October 2004 | by (Flushing, NY) – See all my reviews

Charles Kessler lives with his daughter, Virginia, and servants in his large house, but Kessler still awaits the return of his wife, who ran away with another man and disappeared following a car crash with her lover. Mrs. Kessler, unknown to her husband, is living in the gardener's tool shed, afraid to return home. She occasionally sneaks out of the shed, and spies on her husband through the window. One night Kessler sees his wife through the window and falls into a mad hypnotic state where he strangles Cecile, the new maid at the house. The crime is framed on Ralph Dickson, Virginia's fiancé and former love of Cecile. Dickson dies at the hands of the law, and his identical twin brother Paul comes to the Kessler residence, hoping to posthumously clear his brother's name. Kessler, under another trance, kills the house's gardener and nearly strangles his daughter, and it becomes obvious to the police and everyone in the house that the murders are the work of a madman, but how will Kessler be uncovered in this strange case. This film is probably the best of the Lugosi Monogram series, primarily due to Joseph Lewis' superb direction where there is a lot of suspense and neat twists. Good performances by the cast make this and a very good ending make this a good one to watch, despite a few plot holes. Rating, based on B mysteries, 8.


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