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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 131 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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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 ...
Tom Denham
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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:

SO EXCITING! SO DIFFERENT! IT WILL KEEP YOU GUESSING! (original poster-all caps) 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
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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

Aunt Cassandra Hildegarde Denham: If you're ever around, stop in for some apple pie
[whispers]
Aunt Cassandra Hildegarde Denham: without vinegar.
Judge Moore: Thank you, maybe I'll do that... but I like vinegar on my apple pies.
[Cassie laughs]
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Relatives gather in old dark house for murder, laughs
10 June 2013 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Rich old Aunt Cassie considers herself "the only sane person in a family of nitwits." She invites her greedy relatives to the creaky family mansion—instructing them to arrive on Friday at midnight—where she will decide which of them will inherit her millions. Needless to say, it's not long before the murders start….

Vanishing corpses, secret passageways—murder spoof elements abound in this extremely goofy murder mystery. Assorted crackpot characters include several shifty relatives, an oddball sheriff, and a snoopy neighbor.

Sarah Padden cackles gleefully as the eccentric Aunt Cassie. Wallace Ford is tough to dislike as wisecracking newspaper reporter Bob White. Marian Marsh is lively and likable as White's assistant Nora, although she isn't given much to do except keep up with Ford's jokes and detective work.

This Monogram production is certainly a cheapie: while some scenes look like they may have been rehearsed, others definitely don't. However… a sense of good natured fun carries the picture along, and joviality mostly makes up for lack of production polish.

Also livening up this B mystery are a few cute comments alluding to the fact that this is, in fact, a B mystery. Just past the midway point, for example, Ford discusses the two missing corpses: Dead bodies, he says, always go missing in murder mysteries and "it generally happens just past the middle of the picture."

It ain't profound but it's pretty easy viewing for those who enjoy good silly lowbrow fun.

And what a great closing line!


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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