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Murder by Invitation
Murder by Invitation
Actors: Wallace Ford, Marian Marsh, Sarah Padden, Gavin Gordon, George Guhl
Director: Phil Rosen
Genres: Comedy, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2004     1hr 7min

Platform:  DVD MOVIE Publisher:  ALPHA VIDEO Packaging:  DVD STYLE BOX Rich Cassie Denham (Sarah Padden) is a more than an eccentric millionairess. After her scheming relatives unsuccessfully try to have her committed to a...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Wallace Ford, Marian Marsh, Sarah Padden, Gavin Gordon, George Guhl
Director: Phil Rosen
Creators: Marcel Le Picard, Martin G. Cohn, A.W. Hackel, George Bricker
Genres: Comedy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 04/27/2004
Original Release Date: 06/30/1941
Theatrical Release Date: 06/30/1941
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 7min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 6/21/2012...
Tagline: A Date with Death!

The leeches and layabouts – in other words, the relatives – of a rich lady lose their bid to have her declared incompetent and committed to an asylum. To calm family discord and decide who will inherit how much moolah, she has them over to her creepy old house for a long weekend. Amidst the hidden rooms, sliding doors, and pictures with moving eyes, the relatives start getting bumped off one by one.

An intrepid newspaper columnist, played by the ever boisterous Wallace Ford, and his secretary, played by a stunning Marian Marsh, somehow gets the family’s consent to attend the family party in order to get the lowdown on this odd scoop. They’re a couple, though he is roughly 15 years older than she is. She cattily points out that he’s a “columnist” instead of a “reporter” thus implying he doesn’t have to work for a living by actually going out and getting a story, he can just write anything he wants.

There’s not much to recommend this Monogram programmer. Granted, it has some laughs here and there. Plus, it’s self-aware and self-referential, irreverently poking obvious jokes at Hollywood mystery clichés. For instance, Ford’s character directly addresses the audience and says that you know you are past the halfway point in a mystery movie when the bodies have disappeared. And, at the end of the movie, the camera pans away from a long kiss and second banana explains, “We had to get this scene past the Hays Office, you know.”

Movie Reviews

Murder by Invitation
Steven Hellerstedt | 05/27/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The young `uns try to convince the court that Aunt Cassie (Sarah Padden) is mentally incompetent so they can get their greedy paws on her $3 million. They fail, and Aunt Cassie invites them to her estate so that she can "study them like rats" and see who deserves to inherit her fortune.
They get there, promptly at midnight, and soon begin dropping like ten pins.
MURDER BY INVITATION is NOT a neglected gem. It's a so-so quickie ripoff of THE CAT AND THE CANARY, which preceded this one by a couple of years and provided Bob Hope with his breakthrough movie, although instead of Hope and Paulette Goddard this one stars Wallace Ford and Marian Marsh.
Ford plays a columnist who somehow rates a walking secretary and a photographer. The movie is filled with sliding cabinets and bookcases set on lazy susans and dead bodies falling out of closets. None of it makes much sense, but the cast seems to be having a good time and it's all over in a little over an hour. And it comes as quite a surprise when we learn who's been killing everybody. Not because of a neat plot twist, but because the movie doesn't bother developing our suspicion in any of the characters.
MURDER BY INVITATION is fun in spots, but it's best to keep your expectations really really low."
"You must have seen `The Cat and the Canary'"
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 10/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a fun cheap movie. The very well done for Monogram who also brought us the Charlie Chan collection. I saw the alpha video version on DVD. It was in black and white and very grainy. But once you get into the story you will not notice this. It is also good enough for a repeat watching.

This movie has their favorite formula and old wealthy lady just barely won a court room trial in which her family tried to put her away as mentally unstable. After this she invites all of her family to visit the mansion at 12 midnight. Those that will not come will not inherit her fortune. Those that do come may die!

This movie has all of the standard mysterious characters all of them could be victims and any of them could be the murderer. There are secret passages and comic relief. It may not be the best entertainment in the world but is surely not one to be missed.

The Cat and the Canary (1927) (The Photoplay Restoration)"