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Alfred L. Werker,
Winnie Slade, a young divorcee, buys an old historic house from nutty Professor Billings, who lives there with his daffy housekeeper and bizarre neighbors, in order to convert it into a hotel. She allows them to continue to live on the property - unaware that the Professor continues to experiment unsuccessfully on traveling salesmen, the bodies of whom have filled the cellar. They are joined by a variety of eccentric characters including a quack doctor who doubles as the town's sheriff, Winnie's frenetic ex-husband, an oddball choreographer, a punchdrunk traveling salesman, and a lunatic escapee from the Italian army. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I don't know how I missed this one all these years. The only reason I saw it was that I bought the Boris Karloff DVD collection with The Black Room on it. I found it charming and very funny.
Peter Lorre is a hoot. There are a couple of scenes in which he does some very unexpected things. Maude Ebourne is the best though. A great character actress, she probably had her best role in Ruggles of Red Gap. The scene in which she sleepwalks is hysterical. The Nazi terrorist who turns out to be a mental patient is also interesting.
One commentator compared it to a precursor to Green Acres and I agree. The humor is nearly as offbeat and absurd as that great show.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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