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Eight strangers are invited to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. After being wined and dined, a voice on the radio informs them that they will be murdered unless they manage to outwit the ninth guest: Death.
Roy William Neill
Two reclusive, rich old men, brothers and wards of their niece, Elsa Carson (Irene Ware)are very protective of their own affairs and also keep a close eye on Elsa. One of them, Henry Carson (William V. Mong), is murdered and his brother, sister, and household servants all come under suspicion. Elsa enlists the aid of a private detective, Jim Landis (Ray Walker, she has met and is falling in love with. Jim, in turn, solicits help from an older, retired detective, Paul Bernard (Berton Churchill).Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The earliest documented telecast of this film took place in New York City Sunday 14 April 1940 on pioneer television station W2XBS (Channel 1); in Syracuse it first aired Wednesday 29 December 1948 on freshly launched WHEN (Channel 8). See more »
This film is a B-mystery from tiny Chesterfield Productions--one of many so-called 'Poverty Row' studios churning out extremely cheap and quickly made short films during the 1930s. It's only significant actor is Berton Churchill--a man who usually played blustering supporting roles (such as in "Stagecoach"). Here, however, he is co-lead in the film.
The film begins with a woman going to talk to two detectives about her strange and rather nasty uncles. The two begin investigating and almost immediately a murder occurs--and one of the uncles is killed in a very peculiar manner (he was killed by gas and was stabbed AFTER he was already dead). The two detectives (one of which is Churchill) investigate the case almost like two Sherlock Holmes--which is a bit unusual, as in the mystery films of the era, usually the police are portrayed as idiots! How the murder occurred and who was behind it make this a VERY contrived film--and the ending offers too many twists to make the film realistic in any manner. Still, it's not a horrible film and is mildly entertaining--and is a film I'd recommend mostly to fans of these cheap murder mysteries. Others probably will be even less impressed by this one.
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