When John Marlowe opens the envelope that Manderson had given him, he supposedly finds £1,000 in banknotes and a collection of uncut diamonds. But when he examines the banknotes, they are unprinted, blank pieces of paper. See more »
Stuffy, dull British mystery from Republic studios...
MICHAEL WILDING is an armchair detective who sets out to determine whether or not the death of ORSON WELLES was suicide or murder. He thinks he's solved the case, only to learn that all is not what it appears (without giving the outcome away).
Unfortunately, the script is a dreary, talky and ponderous, making the film appear to be an amateurish stage play, although based on a novel. It's static. Nothing at all cinematic about the approach, nor is there any imagination in the directing.
Of all the players, MARGARET LOCKWOOD as the beautiful wife of the deceased man and JOHN McCALLUM as the man's secretary have key roles that they play with assurance. ORSON WELLES, with fake nose and bushy brows, might as well have been from another film. His ten or fifteen minutes of time on screen renders nothing but ham. Director Herbert Wilcox was evidently unable to tone him down and as a result his key scenes throw the film off stride. MICHAEL WILDING has a colorless role as the newspaper reporter who suspects foul play but can't prove anything.
With a talky script and lack of any cinematic touches, TRENT'S LAST CASE goes nowhere fast and leaves the viewer expecting a strong twist that never arrives--instead, a flat ending.
Production values are fine even though the film comes from the usually low-budget Republic studios.
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