Nicholas Rood, dishonest mine owner, finds a Black Doll on his desk and knows that vengeance is about to overtake him for murdering his former partner. He is knifed as he talks to his ...
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Writer Kenneth Magee has bet that he can finish a story at rural resort Baldpate Inn, now closed for the winter. The owner has given him the "only" key to the front door. But there are six ... See full summary »
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
A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
Olivia de Havilland,
A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess's curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.
Nicholas Rood, dishonest mine owner, finds a Black Doll on his desk and knows that vengeance is about to overtake him for murdering his former partner. He is knifed as he talks to his daughter Marian. She summons her fiancé Nick Halstead, a private detective. He finds that six people had a motive for the murder; Rood's sister Mrs. Laura Leland; her son Rex; Rood's associates Mallison and Walling; Esteban, a servant and Dr. Giddings. Sheriff Renick and his deputy Red get the clues all mixed up, but Nick finally narrows the search down to one suspect...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the first of four Universal Crime Club features to be telecast on New York City's DuMont Television Station WABD (Channel 5), making its television debut Monday 18 November 1946, marking the first breakthrough of major studio films being telecast in the postwar era; this actually came about because, by this time, these four titles had fallen into the hands of Astor Pictures Corporation, who had been distributing them theatrically for the past four years. The three that followed were The Lady in the Morgue (1938), _The Westland Case (1937)_ and _Danger on the Air (1938)_. On the West Coast, The Black Doll first saw the light of television in Los Angeles Saturday 28 September 1947 on DuMont's KTLA (Channel 5), in Washington DC Monday 4 August 1947 on WTTG (Channel 5), in Chicago Monday 3 May 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), in Philadelphia Friday 18 June 1948 on WPTZ (Channel 3), in Lowell MA (serving the Boston Area) Friday 1 October 1948 on WBZ (Channel 4), in Detroit Thursday 28 July 1949 on WJBK (Channel 2) and in San Francisco Wednesday 7 September 1949 on KPIX (Channel 5). It would not be until ten years later that Universal itself, and the rest of the majors, opened their vaults to their longtime rival. See more »
Boy, is rich old Nelson Rood (C. Henry Gordon) asking for it! He is rude and imperious with everyone around him. So when he finds a black doll on his desk with a knife through it, he knows it's a genuine threat.
Who might want to harm Rood? Well .He is cruel to his sister, who lives with him and depends on his support. He scoffs at his nephew, a rebellious young man who has been forging his uncle's name on checks. He tries to chase away his daughter's fiancé. He even insults his faithful butler. And then there are the two old "business partners" from whom he has been hiding for 15 years, seemingly the only two people alive who could have known about the black doll .
Nan Grey and Donald Cook make a nice pair as the intelligent daughter and her clever fiancé. Cook is right on the job when the murder is discovered; true, it's a murder investigation, but he generally gives the impression that he is having great fun with it all. Grey exhibits charm and personality—she's smarter than your average B movie heroine here, and fully a match for Cook's exuberance. (Alas, Grey is not really given quite enough to do.)
Edgar Kennedy is strictly comic relief as the sheriff, but if you like Edgar then this film is for you. His best line: "When I'm investigating a crime, I'm not a man—I'm a bloodhound!" He's blustery, hilarious and totally inept right to the film's final shot.
The mystery plot itself is pretty standard .but it keeps you guessing. The dialog is good and the performances energetic. Lots of fun for B mystery fans.
One line that mystified me: "Get me a jar of jelly, some talcum powder, and a plate." (Donald Woods apparently preparing to take some fingerprints. All for naught, however, as one of Sheriff Kennedy's deputies eats the jelly.)
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