Attorney Wayne Fletcher and his secretary are having an affair, so when Wayne's wife is found smothered to death, he becomes the prime suspect. As the police investigate the murder, a ...
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While on a South Seas trip, a professor falls in love and marries an exotic native woman. What he doesn't know is that she was raised by superstitious natives who believe her to be some ... See full summary »
Attorney Wayne Fletcher and his secretary are having an affair, so when Wayne's wife is found smothered to death, he becomes the prime suspect. As the police investigate the murder, a psychic with questionable motives tries to contact the deceased woman. Soon, Wayne begins seeing visions of his dead wife, and other people involved with the case begin to be killed, one by one. Written by
Norman Cook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Pillow of Death" was the sixth and final film of Universal's "Inner Sanctum" series based on the popular radio series of the day and starring Lon Chaney Jr.
Lawyer Wayne Fletcher (Chaney) and his attractive secretary Donna Kincaid (Brenda Joyce) return to Donna's home after working late one night. Fletcher promises her that he is going to talk to his wife that night about a divorce so that he and Donna can be together.
Fletcher returns home to learn that his wife has been murdered and is greeted by Police Captain McCracken (Wilton Graff) and his wife's psychic Julian Julian (J. Edward Bromberg). McCracken immediately suspects Fletcher and arrests him. Next he goes to the Kincaid house, a creepy old mansion, to question the family.
Among those questioned are Belle Kincaid (Clara Blandick), her brother Sam (George Cleveland), an English relative Amelia Kincaid (Rosiland Ivan) and Donna. McCracken discovers a neighbor, Bruce Malone (Bernard B. Thomas) peeping through a window and brings him in for questioning. Julian arrives and is also under suspicion.
Fletcher is released for lack of evidence and he and Donna try to identify the killer. Julian later holds a séance where the voice of Fletcher's wife is apparently heard. Strange noises emanate from the attic of the old house. Secret panels are revealed. Suddenly other murders begin to take place. Finally, the murderer is discovered to be.............. And I'll bet you'll never guess what the murder weapon turns out to be.
For Chaney, this film marked the end of his Universal contract. He would appear in two more films for them, "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948) and "The Black Castle" (1952). Over the period 1941-45 Chaney managed to appear as all four of the Universal monsters (Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, The Wolfman and The Mummy) as well as, in several other films and serials. They never really developed the promise he showed in "Of Mice and Men" (1939) and was effectively type cast for the rest of his career.
The "Inner Sanctum" series (1943-45) at least gave him a chance to star in his own series, playing a different character in each film. The series, although a low budget "B" series was nonetheless an entertaining six mysteries and served to further display Chaney's talent.
Brenda Joyce is probably best remembered as "Jane" in the RKO "Tarzan" films with Johnny Weissmuller produced between 1943-48. Watch for old timer J. Farrell MacDonald as the cemetery Sexton.
Arguably the best of the six "Inner Sanctum" mysteries.
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