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Pillow of Death (1945)

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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 ... See full summary »

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Title: Pillow of Death (1945)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Wayne Fletcher (as Lon Chaney)
Brenda Joyce ...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Julian Julian
Rosalind Ivan ...
Amelia Kincaid
Clara Blandick ...
Belle Kincaid
George Cleveland ...
Samuel 'Sam' Kincaid
Wilton Graff ...
Police Captain McCracken
Bernard Thomas ...
Bruce Malone (as Bernard B. Thomas)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fern Emmett ...
Mrs. Williams (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 <unclescrooge@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HATE! Crawling back from the grave! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I nattens skugga  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the original Shock Theater package of 52 titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with SON OF SHOCK, which added 20 more features. See more »

Quotes

Captain McCracken: Oh, by the way, just for the record, what is your real moniker?
Julian Julian: Julian.
Captain McCracken: Julian what?
Julian Julian: Julian Julian.
Captain McCracken: You're in a rut.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The only Inner Sanctum film not to have the floating head in the crystal ball before the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Follows Strange Confession (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
And The Murderer Is ---- The Last One Left Alive!
10 August 2011 | by (North Texas sticks (see all my reviews)) – See all my reviews

Pillow Of Death is the last of Universial's well-made, entertaining Inner Sactum series of second feature thrillers, all utilizing the often wasted talent of Lon Chaney, Jr., off-beat stories, a rather spooky, Gothic atmosphere, a battalion of fine character actors, and a covey of beautiful "B" leading ladies, and second female leads as the love interests of the unglamorous Chaney. All get the job done in under seventy minutes, Pillow being the longest by a bit at an hour and six minutes. It is also the only picture of the series not to use the spooky, distorted talking head in a crystal ball as a prologue, a device apparently inherited from the popular radio show which inspired the movie series. It wasn't really missed. Neither the worst nor the best of the series, Pillow has arguably the best production values with most of the action set in a lavish Victorian mansion.

Chaney's secretary the beautiful Brenda Joyce, also his love interest in Strange Confession (see my review), lives in the "old dark house" with a set of eccentric, querulous relatives. Chaney, an attorney, leaves her there in the opening scene, then drives home and "have it out with" his wife. You see, he wants to marry said pretty secretary, who has apparently been sitting on big, strong bossy-wossy's lap while taking dictation. But he finds that his wife has been murdered by suffocation (with the title pillow no doubt). He becomes suspect numero uno of course and for the rest of the movie is subjected to investigation and harassment by the police and a goofy, fat spiritualist (J. Edward Bromberg). Seances and bodies pile up.

This well done "old dark house" mystery has you suspecting everyone, including Chaney and Joyce, before it is over. The suspects, as is traditional in one of these, are eliminated by becoming victims -- except for the resident ghost of course, which turns out to be a raccoon in the attic. I'm not so sure I didn't suspect that pest, too. The identity of the killer did in fact come as a surprise! Big hint: it wasn't the butler. The clever drawing room mystery style was what kept this rather confused entry in the Inner Sanctum cycle interesting. Well-acted by all. Chaney was always fascinating, and Brenda Joyce deserved better than swinging through the jungle on a vine with Tarzan.

Not as good as some of the others in the series, but mild entertainment for 66 minutes with the a/c going full blast on a hot August evening.


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