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Seven Keys to Baldpate (1929)

A writer, looking for some peace and quiet in order to finish a novel, takes a room at the Baldpate Inn. Peace and quiet are last things he gets, though, as there are some very strange things going on at the establishment.

Director:

Reginald Barker

Writers:

Earl Derr Biggers (novel), George M. Cohan (play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Dix ... William Halliwell Magee
Miriam Seegar ... Mary Norton
Margaret Livingston ... Myra Thornhill
Lucien Littlefield ... Thomas Hayden
Joseph Allen Sr. Joseph Allen Sr. ... Peters, the Hermit (as Joseph Allen)
DeWitt Jennings ... Mayor Jim Cargan
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Irene Rhodes
Carleton Macy Carleton Macy ... Police Chief Kennedy
Alan Roscoe ... Bland
Crauford Kent ... Hal Bentley (as Craufurd Kent)
Harvey Clark Harvey Clark ... Elijah Quimby
Edith Yorke Edith Yorke ... Mrs. Quimby
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Hoyt ... Professor Boyle (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Writer William Magee accepts a wager that he can finish writing a book in 24 hours, and travels to the deserted inn Baldpate, a summer resort now in the midst of winter, including a blizzard, to finish his opus. Told his is the only key, Magee is interrupted numerous times in the first hours by a parade of characters who appear to be in search of $200,000 meant as a bribe for a local politician, and who all seem to have an only key. As the situations become as outlandish as any he could concoct for his novel, Magee lets his infatuation with one of the "guests" get in the way of writing and solving the plot behind all that's happening at Baldpate. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

7 Keys to Baldpate See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George M. Cohan's play opened on Broadway in New York at the Astor Theater on September 22nd, 1913 and ran for 320 performances. See more »

Quotes

Mary Norton: How did you get in here without this key?
William Halliwell Magee: Hmph... yours is the only key to Baldpate in existence, I suppose.
Mary Norton: So I understand.
William Halliwell Magee: I see. Well if it's any news to you ladies, there are more keys to Baldpate than you can find in a grand piano.
See more »

Connections

Version of Seven Keys to Baldpate (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stilted, but interesting early talkie
3 May 2002 | by the_mysteriousxSee all my reviews

The story Seven Keys to Baldplate is truly one for the spectators of the first half of the 20th century. It was originally an Earl Derr Biggers novel (author of Charlie Chan) and then a popular stage play in the teens. It was filmed 6 times between 1917 and 1947. None of the available versions are particularly interesting today.

The 1917 George M. Cohan film (one of his few starring roles in a film) was solid and gave a better overview of the story of the book. This 1929 Richard Dix version is like many early talkies, basically a filmed stage play. What is best about this one is that there is a germanic influence on the lighting and sets. There are some wonderful shots of Dix, when he arrives at the Inn, sitting in the dark next to the moody light of the fireplace. The story is never enthralling enough and we really feel like we are watching a stage play. It is interesting to look at it from that aspect, however.

Ultimately a curio, this 1929 film is worth watching if you are in the mood for an early talkie. The 1935 version is actually not as good as it is too light and whimsical and truly disappoints as it was made in the heyday of horror and mystery films.


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