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Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947)

Approved | | Mystery, Thriller | 5 June 1947 (USA)
Writer Kenneth Magee has bet that he can finish a story at rural resort Baldpate Inn, now closed for the winter. The owner has given him the "only" key to the front door. But there are six ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mary Jordan
...
Cargan
...
Connie Lane
...
Prof. Bolton
Jimmy Conlin ...
Tony Barrett ...
Max Rogers
...
Steve Bland (as Richard Powers)
...
Hayden (as Jason Robards)
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Storyline

Writer Kenneth Magee has bet that he can finish a story at rural resort Baldpate Inn, now closed for the winter. The owner has given him the "only" key to the front door. But there are six other keys, and peculiar characters, some of them up to no good, keep turning up as the mystery deepens. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mystery writer and blonde... too scared to kiss... in mansion of fear!

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 June 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De 7 nycklarnas gåta  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boris Karloff was originally to star in this film as part of a three picture deal with RKO. He was released from his obligation to appear in the film in an agreement dated 11/5/46. The agreement gave no specific reason, stating only that he did "not desire to appear in" the film. See more »

Goofs

When Magee and Jordan discover the body in the secret passageway, the shadows on the wall are not right for the light source they are using. See more »

Connections

Version of Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917) See more »

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User Reviews

 
From the brain that brought you Charlie Chan...
18 April 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Another perennial "classic" of crime from the brain of Earl Derr Biggers, who gave birth to the aphoristic sleuth Charlie Chan, Seven Keys to Baldpate endures in multiple screen versions. The 1947 model was an odd programmer to come out of RKO at a time when it was busy churning out film noir, because Seven Keys to Baldpate harks back to an older style, a cozy, old-fashioned Mystery of no great originality or complexity.

One dark and stormy night mystery writer Phillip Terry arrives at a supposedly deserted-for-the-season lodge called Baldpate somewhere in the Catskills or Adirondacks. He's there to win a big bet that he can complete a story within 24 hours only to find that he's not, as expected, alone since he was assured he possesses the only key. There's a creepy `caretaker' (Eduardo Ciannelli) installed, and as the night passes a succession of other suspicious key-holders gain access to the lodge: Jacqueline White, Jason Robards Sr., Margaret Lindsay et al. Seems there's nasty business afoot concerning a jewel theft, a payoff, and Heaven knows what else.

Despite a promisingly spooky start (sliding panels to secret passages, a black cat, a howling storm), the movie can't sustain its thread of suspense and opts for an `antic' mood, always the Kiss of Death. Unfortunately Terry, barely acceptable playing it straight, fails abominably at the light comedy required of him. And so the strong beginning degenerates into the mechanical fire-drill typical of the Charlie Chan vehicles – lights go out, shots ring out, a body hits the floor. Not having been privy to any of the earlier incarnations of this story (the first appeared in 1917), I can't account for its longevity. But if its last half lived up to its first, it wouldn't be a bad little movie.


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