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J. Farrell MacDonald
A newly married couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon, eerie events lead the new wife to think she's losing her mind.
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
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. 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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An old man dies so his family who he hated comes for the will reading. The old man's request is that no one leaves the house until he is buried in a way that he wishes. If anyone leaves the house they will get no money so with everyone together soon bodies begin to pile up. An insurance salesman (Jack Haley) shows up and soon he's trying to figure out who is doing the killing. Could it be the creepy butler (Bela Lugosi)?
The 1930s were full of "old dark house" movies that usually mixed mystery, horror and comedy. Then 1939's THE CATAND THE CANARY pretty much ended the genre because it was simply so good that "B" studios really didn't try to jump back on the bandwagon. That was until ONE BODY TOO MANY came along, which is clearly a thrown back to the previous decade when these types of movies were being released monthly.
There are a few interesting ideas scattered around this film and it contains some good performances but there's just too much "been there, done that" to fully enjoy what it has to offer. The biggest problem is that the screenplay has way too many characters and more times than not you lose track of who is who and which one has done this or that. Being so hard to follow doesn't help when you're trying to make sense of the plot. The film has a rather strange and nutty bit of comedy but it has its charm.
Healy will always be remembered for his role in THE WIZARD OF OZ but he makes good as the insurance salesman who finds himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. The supporting cast of characters are all good but it's clearly Lugosi who steals the film in his very small role. He really isn't given too much to do but when he's on screen his comic timing and wink to the crowd is certainly enjoyable and helps keep the film moving.
ONE BODY TOO MANY is worth watching if you're a fan of the genre but it certainly doesn't add anything new to the genre.
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