While on a South Seas trip, a professor falls in love and marries an exotic native woman. What he doesn't know is that she was raised by superstitious natives who believe her to be some ...
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While on a South Seas trip, a professor falls in love and marries an exotic native woman. What he doesn't know is that she was raised by superstitious natives who believe her to be some kind of supernatural being.Written by
"Weird Woman" was the second of six "Inner Sanctum" mysteries adapted from the popular radio series of the day produced in 1943-45 by Universal and starring Lon Chaney Jr.
In this installment we begin with the young wife, Paula Reed (Anne Gwynne) of College Professor Norman Ried (Chaney), returning home in the middle of the night from an unknown destination. Reed is concerned about her irrational behavior. We then flashback to their initial meeting on an unnamed tropical island. It seems that Paula had been raised by a group that were involved in some sort of witchcraft and voodoo.
Norman and Paula marry and return to Norman's home in the US. They attend a welcome home party where Norman introduces the people to his new bride. Totally surprised is Ilona Carr (Evelyn Ankers) who thought that she had been the apple of Norman's eye. Others at the party who welcome Norman's new bride are Professor Millard Sawtelle (Ralph Morgan) and his wife Evelyn (Elizabeth Russell), the Dean of Reed's college, Septimus Carr (Harry Hayden), Ilona's brother and Norman's ally, Women's Dean, Grace Gunnison (Elisabeth Risdon).
Scorned by Reed's rejection of her, Ilona begins to lay a plan for his destruction. Meanwhile, Reed has become a successful author and scholar. Ilona meanwhile convinces the wimpish Professor Sawtelle that Reed is planning to expose him for plagiarizing a thesis in order to write his own successful book. Sawtelle becomes despondent and commits suicide. His wife blames Reed for causing her husband's suicide.
A young hero worshiping student Margaret Mercer (Lois Collier) goes to work for Reed and develops a crush on him. Her boyfriend David Jennings (Phil Brown) becomes insanely jealous and Ilona uses this to her advantage.
Reed follows his wife on one of her late night outings to find out where she is going. What he finds out changes the whole course of the story and results in further tragedy.
Chaney as always is excellent. He made even a low budget feature such as this better just by his presence. Anne Gwynne is lovely as Chaney's mysterious wife. Evelyn Ankers, Universal's Queen of the "B" horror movies stands out as the scheming Ilona. And yes you do get to hear her trademark blood curdling scream over the course of the film. Ralph Morgan has little to do and is killed off far too early in the story. The under appreciated Elizabeth Russell (who had appeared in several Val Lewton films of the same period) with her scary eye piercing stare also stands out in the supporting cast.
Pretty good little mystery.
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