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Murder by Invitation (1941)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  30 June 1941 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 133 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

The relatives of a rich old woman unsuccessfully try to have her declared insane, so they can divide up her money. To show them that there are no hard feelings, she invites them to her ... See full summary »

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Title: Murder by Invitation (1941)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wallace Ford ...
Marian Marsh ...
Sarah Padden ...
Aunt Cassandra ('Cassie') Hildegarde Denham
Gavin Gordon ...
Garson Denham
George Guhl ...
Sheriff William Boggs
Wallis Clark ...
Judge Moore
Minerva Urecal ...
Maxine Denham
J. Arthur Young ...
Trowbridge Cadwallader Montrose
Herb Vigran ...
Eddie (as Herbert Vigran)
Phillip Trent ...
Larry Denham (as Philip Trent)
Dave O'Brien ...
Michael, the Chauffeur
Hazel Keener ...
Mary Denham
Isabel La Mal ...
Martha Denham (as Isabelle LaMal)
Lee Shumway ...
Eric, the Gardener
John James ...
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Storyline

The relatives of a rich old woman unsuccessfully try to have her declared insane, so they can divide up her money. To show them that there are no hard feelings, she invites them to her estate for the weekend so she can decide to whom she actually will leave her money when she dies. Soon, however, family members begin disappearing. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Murders occur with clocklike regularity...clues are stolen...bodies disappear...while seven frightened people hunt the hidden fortune of a vengeful woman! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder at Midnight  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At c.25 minutes the photographer, upon entering the crowded room says "All right, everybody, hold it please!" He then proceeds to take a photograph that centres upon an empty armchair, largely ignoring the assembled cast. See more »

Quotes

Bob White: [regarding the invitation's instructions to arrive precisely at midnight] Midnight? Now why should she insist on midnight?
Nora O'Brien: She probably saw "The Cat and the Canary".
See more »

Connections

References The Cat and the Canary (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watchable, as a comedy
1 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a comedy using the murder mystery genre as background. The main characters are a bit stiff - especially considering this was made in 1941 - but it's not a bad hour spent. The story revolves around old aunt Cassie, whose odd 'uh-heh' laugh is closer to caricature than character-defining. The newspaper columnist who serves as the detective in this film, is played by Wallace Ford. He and his secretary (?) and photographer play their stereotypical roles no better than the stereotypes you'd expect. The sheriff - presumably from New York somewhere, as that's where the court case was heard - sounds more like an Okie than an upstate New Yorker, and follows his own stereotype of the hayseed lawman, accent included. Of course, he's a buffoon as well, asking the newspaper columnist for advice at every turn.

So we know the flaws. Still, this was a B movie, intended as filler, and that's how we should judge it. There's nothing about it that made me want to hit the stop button - unlike some stinkers - and for fans of 1930s mysteries, it's an acceptable detour into comedy. Not laugh out loud comedy, but light amusement. It's out of copyright, and I found it on a 5 CD collection Mystery and Murder: 25 Crime Classics at my library. So it was worth every penny I paid for it.


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