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Haunted Honeymoon (1940)

Busman's Honeymoon (original title)
Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 20 September 1940 (USA)
Lord Peter Wimsey is an amateur detective. He is to be married to Harriet Vane, who writes crime novels, at a big Society wedding. Harriet has little charms made so that they both promise ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Lord Peter Wimsey
... Harriet Vane
... Inspector Kirk
... Mervyn Bunter (as Sir Seymour Hicks)
... Frank Crutchley
... Polly
... Puffett
Joan Kemp-Welch ... Aggie Twitterton
Aubrey Mallalieu ... Rev. Simon Goodacre
James Carney ... Constable Sellon
Roy Emerton ... Noakes
Louise Hampton ... Mrs. Ruddle
... Simpson
Reginald Purdell ... MacBride
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Storyline

Lord Peter Wimsey is an amateur detective. He is to be married to Harriet Vane, who writes crime novels, at a big Society wedding. Harriet has little charms made so that they both promise not to get involved with any more crimes as they are 'retired'. As a wedding present, Peter purchases the old Jacobean home, where Harriet grew up, called Tall-boys. After the marriage, they go to their new house to get the keys from the previous owner named Noakes. Noakes, who now has money, has no intention of paying wages or any debts that he owes. Upon arriving at the house, Lord and Lady Wimsey find no one at home and finally borrow a key to get in. They have supper and retire for their honeymoon. The next day, people are brought in to clean the house, the chimneys and the grounds and they find the body of Noakes in the cellar. Lord and Lady Wimsey try to stay out of this murder as they promised, but that may not be so easy after all. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lord Peter Wimsey and his new wife find marital bliss and murderous mystery under their country roof. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Haunted Honeymoon  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fourth and final film made by MGM British Studios before it closed for the duration of WWII. See more »

Goofs

When Peter examines his new bracelet, it changes its appearance between shots. See more »

Quotes

Harriet Vane: May I ask what is your motive for liquidating this little animal?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in From the Ends of the Earth (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Tepid Entry in the Amateur Sleuth Sweepstakes
10 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

MGM specialized in upper-class motifs. Here it's newly-weds Lord and Lady Wimsey moving into a baronial mansion in rural England only to find that the previous owner has taken up final residence in the cellar. So, Wimsey being an amateur sleuth and she being a crime writer, the Lord and Lady's honeymoon must be postponed, despite their pledges to leave detecting to the police.

The film's generally too long such that the tepid script gets stretched beyond plot capacity. As others point out, the mystery doesn't get going til the last 20-minutes. The production does manage some local color, especially the lady who dabbles in exotic jams. That reluctant tasting scene is really well done, showing the Lord and Lady's comedic potential. Too bad there's so little follow-up. Also, there's the handyman who cannonades his gun up a chimney flue, perhaps the movie's high point as the soot comes raining down on the shooter.

But a key problem is the talented Montgomery who, for whatever reason, lacks flair here for a William Powell type role. As Wimsey, he stirs up neither much interest, nor amusement. Maybe, if the script had given him a quirky habit, that might have helped. But, I guess his role is an adaptation of a literary figure, so he may have felt constrained. Nonetheless, between his uninspired turn and a limp narrative, there's not much left to recommend. All in all, the movie's a really minor entry in the Gentleman Sleuth Sweepstakes. Too bad.


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