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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.

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

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
...
Marjory Morgan
...
John Barksdale - Lawyer
...
Adam Morgan
...
Grandfather Morgan
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

DEATH PLAYS HOST! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1943 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Police Lt. Burke: And there was Barksdale, stiff as a board, sittin' in the same chair that he sat at that Morgan dinner thirteen years ago. Now, what do you make of it?
Johnny Smith: Maybe he came back for his dessert.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Thirteenth Guest (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very very very silly and contrived--lots of campy gloom!
24 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

I have to admit, I started this with too high expectations--it had great mood, great B-movie sets, and a plot that sounded great in an Agatha Christie way. But then the corny style of acting kicked in--it's a kind of pre-TV flippant entertainment, purposely aiming for a slight, silly humor at the expense of real drama. Too bad.

So I watched the rest with half an eye, which was enough. The plot is highly contrived and highly important--it's a whodunnit, for sure, with a series of growing clues and new characters. The detective is just too absurd to work--he doesn't even serve as a parody of the newly crystallizing Bogart kind of hardboiled detective. And there a too many scenes with a lot of people standing around a room (a living room or a detective's office), with not a lot of clear tension of development, just exaggerated chitchat.

So, why watch it at all? I'm not sure! But I did, from the side, and there are some great stereotypes (call them clichés) at work--dark shadows of men in fedoras, a haunted old house, a murder and the threat of more murder, even a terrific (haha) trap door. It verges on Three Stooges kind of humor now and then but lacks the true slapstick genius (at times) of those guys (who began in the 1930s and were really big by the 1943), but you can sense an echo of them (one of the detectives even makes little Curly and Moe noises). This version of the movies is actually a remake of a better if not brilliant 1932 film, starring a young Ginger Rogers (and available to see free and legal at this site: www.archive.org/details/The_Thirteenth_Guest).

If you are really feeling frivolous, this might be fun. But your are forewarned.


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