5.9/10
355
17 user 5 critic

The Thirteenth Chair (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Mystery | 19 October 1929 (USA)
Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true "bounder" Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(from the play by), (dialogue continuity) (as Elliott Clawson)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fast Workers (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Gunner and Bucker are pals who work as riveters. Whenever Bucker gets the urge to marry, which is often, Gunner will hit on his girl to see if she is true or not. So far, Gunner has not ... See full summary »

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: John Gilbert, Robert Armstrong, Mae Clarke
The Show (1927)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Performers in a Budapest sideshow encounter love, greed, and murder.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Lionel Barrymore
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Retired performer Mike Morgan sells original illusions to fellow magicians, and although he believes in the supernatural, likes to expose sham psychics. This involves him in some mysterious murders.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Robert Young, Florence Rice, Frank Craven
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A magician seeks vengeance upon the man who paralyzed him and the illegitimate daughter he sired with the magician's wife.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Nolan
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A lawyer becomes a government secret agent after an agent-friend of his is murdered, and discovers a nest of Nazi spies operating out of a former client's hotel.

Director: Benjamin Stoloff
Stars: Craig Stevens, Faye Emerson, John Ridgely
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Inspector Marney of Scotland Yard travels to Calcutta to investigate the murder of Leonard Lee, a generally despised man in these parts. John Wales, who did consider Lee a friend - his best... See full summary »

Director: George B. Seitz
Stars: May Whitty, Madge Evans, Lewis Stone
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A love-struck teacher pursues a radio singer to Hollywood.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Marion Davies, Bing Crosby, Fifi D'Orsay
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Perry interrupts his vacation plans when an ex-girlfriend, now newly married, asks him to help her with murder and bigamy charges.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Warren William, Margaret Lindsay, Donald Woods
Crime Wave (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A con man who stages phony "lucky legs" beauty contests and leaves town with the money is found with a surgical knife in his heart by Mason.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Warren William, Genevieve Tobin, Patricia Ellis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mystery writer Cornelius Leyden becomes intrigued when the murdered body of a vicious career criminal washes up in the Bosphorus.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott
First Lady (1937)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

As presidential election time approaches in Washington it is the women behind the scenes who seem to be making the decisions.

Director: Stanley Logan
Stars: Kay Francis, Preston Foster, Anita Louise
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Richard Crosby
... Helen O'Neill
... Madame Rosalie La Grange
... Mary Eastwood
... Sir Roscoe Crosby
Mary Forbes ... Lady Crosby
... Inspector Delzante
... Edward Wales
Charles Quatermaine ... Dr. Philip Mason (as Charles Quartermaine)
Moon Carroll ... Helen Trent
Cyril Chadwick ... Brandon Trent
Bertram Johns ... Howard Standish
Gretchen Holland ... Grace Standish
Frank Leigh ... Professor Feringeea
... Commissioner Grimshaw (as Clarence Geldert)
Edit

Storyline

Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true "bounder" Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance participants had a reason and a means to kill, and one of them uses the cover of darkness to kill again. When someone close to the medium is suspected she turns detective, in the hope of uncovering the true murderer. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Try and Guess It! The thrilling mystery play that baffled and gripped Broadway for a solid year is here as a Talking picture with every chill and gasp intact! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 13th Chair  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Helene Millard was cast while finishing a run of the play 'The Streets of New York' with Edward Everett Horton at the Majestic Theatre; 'The Thirteenth Chair' was her first film role. See more »

Goofs

It's noted elsewhere as a "goof" that the actors seem to be caught waiting for their cues, but many of the earliest MGM talkies employed a technique of long lingering inactive moments at the beginning and ending of reels, which apparently are supposed to take the place of leader when they change over, perhaps accommodating the Vitaphone print versions. Years ago, when these titles appeared on TV, they didn't do that, so maybe Movietone versions were more succinctly edited. By WesternOne. See more »

Quotes

Madame Rosalie La Grange: Things happen in the dark.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Thirteenth Chair (1937) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fine Early Talkie Murder Mystery
30 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

Directed by Tod Browning, The Thirteenth Chair is a well-written and acted murder mystery from a time (1929) when, due to primitive sound recording techniques, the camera had to remain in one place during a scene. The result is that the movie, while well-designed, is rather static visually. It more than makes up for this by having an exciting, if at times rather hard to follow plot, and an ingenious script with enough twists and turns in the plot to satisfy most mystery fans. For claustrophiles the movie is a delight: no one goes ANYWHERE in this film. There are some interesting visual and spatial peculiarities in the movie, such as very high ceilings on the sets, and more obviously fake than usual exteriors just outside the windows. People have a way of assembling in rooms rather than just sitting there or milling around, which gives the movie an offbeat, ritualistic feeling; probably typical enough in the theater of the time, but unusual in a film.

The actors, notably Margaret Wycherly, are quite good, with Bela Lugosi giving an energetic reading of a shrewd police detective in a quite different key from his later work. One can't help but wonder what sort of screen actor Lugosi might have become had he not been typecast in horror roles. Leila Hyams is radiant as one of the chief suspects, and it's remarkable that she didn't become a bigger star, on looks alone. There is no pace to speak of in the film, as the story proceeds by dialog, and by people entering and exiting rooms on cue. Nor are there any of the typical Browning flourishes, as the movie seems anonymously directed. But the script is very tight, and there are some surprises along the way, and moments of unexpected warmth and feeling that make this a watchable and satisfying antique.


22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial