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|28 reviews in total|
During the first viewing of "The Eleventh Commandment" I thought that it was just another of those muddled B-Films from the early 1930's. Nothing seemed to make much sense. I watched it only because I like it's star Marian Marsh, so the next day I watched it again and found that I liked it better. It's one of those films that you have to see more than once to get anything out of it, albeit there are still a couple of things that come to mind which are still not explained. A rich spinster dies and if no member of her family claim her fortune it will automatically go to her attorney (Marsh's father). However, the attorney's junior partner (who just happens to be Marsh's boyfriend) would like to get a share of the fortune himself. He enlists the aid of a barmaid (no relation to the spinster) and one of the spinster's relatives (who , obviously is not a close enough relation to collect on his own) to pose as direct relations of the spinster so that the group can collect. Marsh's sister (who may or may not be Marsh's sister) and the spinster's former husband from Germany wind up figuring in the proceedings, too. Sound complicated? It is, but in the long run it's worth it. It's got some pretty decent acting, nice sets and believe it or not an "All's well that ends well" finale.
I was hoping for this to be a good film. I like Marian Marsh as a rule and William (Uncle Charlie) Demarest from "My Three Sons" is normally okay in my book, too. However, for the most part "The Great Gambini" is a dud! Akim Tamiroff is someone who can predict the future. On the eve of Marsh's wedding, Gambini predicts that she won't be wed on the following day. Needless to say, Marsh's intended husband is found later, in the wee hours of the morning, dead. Who killed him? Was it Marsh, one of Marsh's admirers (the bland John Trent), Marsh's father (Reginald Denny) who objected to the marriage, his scatterbrained wife (Genevieve Tobin, who gives Billie Burke's Mrs. Topper a run for her money) or anyone else who may or may not have had a motive? There is even a 60 second timer on screen to let us try and guess who did it. I for one really didn't care! This movie is a weak entry from Paramount's B-Unit and I've seen these stars in much better films made by much lower ranking studios. Sadly, even Miss Marsh couldn't save this film from being just slightly better than mediocre enjoyment. See it if you must, but there are so many better B-Films out there to be enjoyed.
Terrifying film about an evil old fortune hunter and his villainous cohort that plan to knock off his niece for her inheritance. Splendid film with memorable performances by Derrick DeMarney, Katina Paxinou and lovely young Jean Simmons as the three main protagonists. Great background music adds just the right touch to this British made gem. Unfortunately, the U.S. prints have been edited, altered and the title has been changed from "Uncle Silas" to "The Inheritance" (Why?). I hope that one day the American Film Institute will obtain an unaltered print of this film from the British Film Institute and get it properly played on the American scene. Great chiller that is definitely worth viewing.
Good film from Monogram Studios about an innocent ex-con, Thad Terrill (Jack La Rue), who goes to live with his handsome brother Lance (Robert Kellard), Lance's pretty wife, Margaret (Marian Marsh) and Lance's talented young pianist daughter (from his first marriage), Betty Jean (Mary Ruth). The villain of the story winds up being a friend of the family, Brawley (John Holland), who wants to buy Betty Jean's favorite horse to race it at the tracks with. Workers on the Terrill property are Jupe (Clarence Muse), Aunt Eppie (Lillian Randolph) and a group of others (Clarence Muse Singers). I liked everyone in the cast, especially good looking Kellard, lovely Marsh (whom I like in everything that I've seen her in), the enjoyable Muse (albeit, he was not a good singer) and Randolph. This film really has a feel of the South to it which is amazing for such a low-budget movie. Good cinematography and background vocals (from the Clarence Muse Singers), too. Nice way to pass an hour.
I liked this little film. It was made by Republic Studios, but has the look and feel of a Warner Bros. B-Film (that was shot mostly on A-Film sets). Marsh and Oliver get framed for a jewel robbery, do 18 months in prison, are released, fall in love, try to recover from the social damages that their time in prison have caused them and finally apprehend the real criminals all in about and hours running time. Having read the other comment about a song being cut out of the film for television sale, I realize now that the print of this film that I saw was indeed the T.V. print (but, the print was in marvelous condition). Marian Marsh is fun to watch, as usual. I've always liked her friendly manner and winning smile. Gordon Oliver does well as her boyfriend and Margaret Dumont is fine as their Irish landlady. Better than many of the B-Films that were released by the major studios of that era.
Dr. Marlow (Bela Lugosi) has his henchmen kidnap lovely young women motorists on a desolate fake detour road so that he can use their life forces to revive his pretty wife who has been dead for 22 years in Monogram's "Voodoo Man". Of course, he needs the assistance of a Voodoo Priest played by George Zucco to perform the necessary Voodoo rituals on the entranced young women. One of the pretty young women, Stella (Louise Currie) is snatched by Lugosi's minions as she is en route to be a bridesmaid at her cousin's wedding. Naturally, her cousin and her cousin's mother are concerned about her disappearance and with the aid of Betty's fiancée, Ralph (Michael Ames), they find out about the mysterious goings-on at Dr. Marlow's house. I just love this little film from Monogram. It's got such a great 1940's Monogram mood to it. Lugosi is excellent, as usual, the girls are all lovely to look at and the film uses a melodious background music played on a harp while the girls are being entranced. One of Lugosi's must-see films for lovers of his Monogram period.
I really enjoyed this vintage comedy/mystery starring Bela Lugosi and the East Side Kids (both not far from the beginnings of there careers at Monogram Studios). I've watched all of the East Side kid films and this one is my favorite. The boys take shelter in a gloomy mansion owned by Lugosi when they are forced through circumstance to spend the night at his creepy home. To further complicate matters for the already scared boys, a mad killer is lurking somewhere in the vicinity. Is it Lugosi? The boys spend the evening roaming through the house which has an abundance of floors, spooky corridors, bedrooms full of cobwebs and secret passage ways. Meanwhile, a pretty nurse is searching for them in the woods assuming that they are lost. Will her and her fiancée reach the boys in time or will the killer strike again? Entertaining comedy/mystery with a rough and ready climax. Exciting and spooky film (in a harmless sort of way) that should be well enjoyed by fans of Lugosi and the East Side Kids.
I've always have liked this Bowery Boys outing "Master Minds". True, it does steal from the Bowery Boys film "Spook Busters" (where a mad scientist wants to give Huntz Hall's brain to an ape), but this film works, anyway. Here, we get to see Satch's (Huntz Hall) brain and an ape-ish monster's (Glenn Strange) brain swapped and the results are hilarious. Strange is a riot when he speaks in Hall's voice and uses Hall's campy mannerisms. Gabriel Dell and Bernard Gorcey show up at the house too, to rescue the boys. The exterior of the house and its front yard are filmed on extremely creepy looking sets. Kudos to Monogram for this splendid production and wonderful addition to the Bowery Boys series.
Definitely one of my favorite Bowery Boys films ("Master Minds", "Triple Trouble", "Trouble Makers", "The Bowery Boys Meet The Monsters" and "Spook Chasers" are some of the others). This one has just the right amount of mystery, comedy and intrigue as the boys come to a strange cliff top manor which Slip thinks that he has inherited. Unbenknownst to him and the other boys is the fact that the house is being used by dangerous smugglers who try to get the boys out. Things get more complicated when the rightful heir and his daughter show up for the evening. This film is a delight to see and has the usual comic gags to keep the audience entertained right up until its finish. I know that it was based upon a Collier's magazine story from the 1940's, but I can't help finding myself being reminded of the Hardy Boys book "The House On The Cliff" which seems to have been written in the 1950's. There are some strong similarities between the two. I wonder if the Hardy Boys author was inspired by this film?
I liked this silent film. It predates the silent film versions of "The Bat" and "The Cat and the Canary". Handsome young Lynn Claymore (Francis X. Bushman, Jr.) is taken to an isolated island estate which he has seemingly inherited from an unknown uncle. He is brought there by his suave attorney (Jack Perrin). His personal man (Martin Turner) is brought along, also. There is a sinister looking masked figure lurking around the mansion. Shortly thereafter, three servants arrive on the island followed by a pretty damsel in distress (Kathy McGuire) and a Chinaman. It evolves into a splendid night of mystery. I really had never heard of this film before, but I picked up a copy of it on the Alpha label for $5.99 and hoped for the best. I was very well pleased. Bushman, Jr., was a very good looking leading man. He was very tall and debonair. Jack Perrin was also good looking as Bushman's suave attorney. McGuire was perfect as the leading lady and it was nice to see her in her mid-Twenties attire. Turner was good in his role as the personal man until the part called for him to crawl on his knees to his employers bedroom after seeing a mummy in the closet. From then on, his character, for the most, part did stupid things like trying to sleep under the bed with his head pointing in the wrong direction and trying to sneak out of the house while hiding himself under his jacket. Exterior shots which were supposed to be taking place after midnight were evidently filmed in broad daylight. Also, there is an uncle whom, it is said, can only speak Chinese and winds up being able to speak English perfectly. Flaws aside, "Midnight Faces" is an enjoyable silent film and is a must-see film for lovers of silent thrillers. As an added attraction, there is a nice new music score by Paul David Bergel.
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