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Murder by Invitation (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 30 June 1941 (USA)
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:
...
Bob White
...
...
Aunt Cassie
...
Garson Denham
George Guhl ...
Sheriff Boggs
Wallis Clark ...
Judge Moore
...
Maxine Denham
J. Arthur Young ...
Trowbridge Montrose
Herb Vigran ...
Eddie (as Herbert Vigran)
Phillip Trent ...
Larry Denham (as Philip Trent)
...
Michael
Hazel Keener ...
Mary Denham
Isabel La Mal ...
Martha Denham (as Isabelle LaMal)
Lee Shumway ...
Eric
...
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

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THE HOUSE of a THOUSAND SHADOWS! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

30 June 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder at Midnight  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred Monday 3 April 1944 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). Post WWII television viewers got their first look at it in New York City Wednesday 6 April 1949 on WPIX (Channel 11) and in Los Angeles Sunday 24 April 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

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

A cut-rate cut-up CAT AND THE CANARY
21 March 2000 | by (New York City, USA) – See all my reviews

No doubt prompted by the success of Elliot Nugent's 1939 remake of THE CAT AND THE CANARY, Monogram's MURDER BY INVITATION is a spit polishing of dusty doings distinguished by a cagey awareness of its own derivativeness. Like the imperiled teens of Wes Craven's SCREAM, the dramatis personae here – heirs to a sizeable legacy - enter into danger with full knowledge of the rules of the game - with comic star Wallace Ford (FREAKS) even cracking: `I'm the handsome young juvenile of this story – he never gets hurt.'

Supporting the ever-watchable Ford is a cast of faces familiar from the Poverty Roll payroll: Sarah Padden (THE MAD MONSTER), Dave O'Brien (THE DEVIL BAT, REEFER MADNESS), Minerva Urecal (THE CORPSE VANISHES) and John James (DEVIL BAT'S DAUGHTER), as well as Marian Marsh (Trilby to John Barrymore's SVENGALI) and Gavin Gordon (Lord Byron in THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN). A former Edison camera man turned prominent silent film director (ABRAHAM LINCOLN), Phil Rosen exhibits little enthusiasm for George Bricker's scenario, and seems grateful that the conventions of the murder mystery allow characters to remain seated for long stretches at a time. French cameraman Marcel Le Picard also shot the low-rent SPOOKS RUN WILD and VOODOO MAN.

Not a must-see film, but undemanding fun for fans of the murder mystery - and Wallace Ford never disappoints.


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