Insurance salesman Albert Tuttle arrives at the Cyrus J. Rutherford estate to sell the millionaire some life insurance. Rutherford is already dead and his heirs have gathered at the mansion to hear the reading of the will. Rutherford's will won't be read until he is properly entombed and the heirs are forced to stay on the premises or be denied their inheritance. Tuttle soon finds himself mixed up in shenanigans involving Rutherford's niece, secret passages, a missing body and murder. Written by
Filming January 12-February 1944, not released until October. See more »
[on the phone]
Yeah, yeah, I know. But call me tomorrow. I gotta get outta here.
Hey, Tuttle. I got a date for you tonight. Dot's cousin just got into town and you and I...
I already have an engagement. I've had it for over a month: with Cyrus J. Rutherford.
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Insurance man Jack Haley keeps an evening appointment at a rich client's mansion to make a sales pitchand is instantly mistaken for a detective. The client is lately deceased, all of his relatives are there for the reading of the will, and funny business has already commenced.
Bela Lugosi is tops as the butler: "Perhaps you would all like some coffee," he suggests early on, and then spends the entire rest of the picture trying to persuade the guests to accept a cup of his coffee, which may or may not be poisoned.
Jean Parker is fine as the appealing young relative who may be in line to inherit via the will, once it's finally read; she and Haley work nicely together, naturally falling into a romantic subplot that is cute and lively if predictable.
The other plot elements are the standard items no dark house can be withouta phone that's mysteriously disconnected, switched bodies in the closet, secret passages all over the place, a thunderstorm.
Favorite scene: Haley, having thrown himself into the role of amateur detective, tries to catch Lugosi off guard regarding the mud on his shoes. Lugosi replies that he opened the door for the cat and there was mud from the rain. Haley springs: "What rain?" To which Bela Lu responds with a sort of quiet incredulity, "What rain?"walks to the door and opens it, displaying thunder and lightning and pouring rain"The rain that's falling down, sir."
It's a lot of fun if not exactly a workout for the brain.
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