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Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

A woman of twenty-one opens her grandfather's will left to her thirteen years earlier, per his instructions. Murder soon follows.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Charles Marion) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview:
Johnny Smith
Marie Morgan
Tim Ryan ...
Police Lt. Burke
Speed Dugan aka McGinnis
Harold Morgan (as John Duncan)
Tom Jackson (as Jon Dawson)
Jim - District Attorney
Jacqueline Dalya ...
Marjory Morgan
John Barksdale - Lawyer
Adam Morgan
Grandfather Morgan


The Morgan family's patriarch is soon to die. He hosts a dinner party for the family to tell them all he's setting aside his last will to be opened by his nearly 8-year-old granddaughter thirteen years in the future when she turns twenty-one. Thirteen years later, she returns to the abandoned family house to open the will, per his instructions. Murder follows shortly thereafter. Police Lt. Burke and Private Investigator Johnny Smith are soon on hand to investigate when guests of the old dinner party thirteen years earlier seem to be bumped off according to the past seating arrangement. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


IT'S MURDER! An Unseen terror holds an entire family in fear! (original poster) See more »


Crime | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 November 1943 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Sunday 26 June 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5) and in New York City Tuesday 5 July 1949 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


In one of the camera cuts at the dinner table, young Marie is looking at her grandfather when he says "...give it back to Marie," but when the shot changes to another camera, she is looking away from him. See more »


Police Lt. Burke: From now on I'm gonna call you Sitting Bull.
Speed Dugan: Oh, thanks, chief. You know what I'm gonna call you?
Police Lt. Burke: I'm not interested. Let's go.
See more »


Version of The Thirteenth Guest (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

If You Enjoy the Genre.....
4 December 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Mystery of the 13th Guest, The (1943)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Decent "B" movie about a family getting together for the eldest to announce that his will won't be read for another thirteen years after his granddaughter turns twenty-one. Thirteen years later the guests at that party start turning up dead so it's up to a private detective (Dick Purcell) and a Police Lt. (Tim Ryan) to figure out who's doing the killings. If you're looking for high art then you're not going to find it here but if you're looking for an hour to kill with some light entertainment then you might find this Monogram quickie entertaining. Old 'One Shot' Beaudine certainly doesn't do anything overly special with this murder-mystery but he at least keeps the pace up so that the brief 60-minutes go by quickly and without too much dead space. The screenplay itself certainly doesn't try to do anything ground breaking but it keeps the characters interesting and the murderer under wraps until the very end, which is pretty much all you can ask for out of a film like this. Purcell does a pretty good job with his role and makes the fast-talking wise guy fun to watch. His back-and-forth banter with Ryan is pretty entertaining and Helen Parrish makes for a good female lead. Frank Faylen plays the dimwitted cop and gets a few laughs. The rest of the cast are serviceable and give pretty much what you'd expect out of them. The mystery itself is a pretty good one as I found the murder weapon (an electrical wire attached to a phone) to be quite fun and all the horror trappings like the mysterious hidden doors and traps to help keep things moving. No one is ever going to mistake this film for a classic but if you're a fan of the genre then you'll know that there's much worse out there.

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