Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Classic B Movie Fun
Vannie Ryanes | South Orange, New Jersey United States | 10/19/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"One Body Too Many a 1944 black and white movie is not an especially good movie. BUT, it is a fun movie. It is a silly horror/comedy type B movie that became the meat and potatoes of so many early studios. I love it. Jack Haley is Albert Tuttle a nose to the grindstone insurance man who has an appointment with an old rich recluse. He arrives at his mansion and is seen in by the butler (Bela Lugosi). He is shown into his clients office and immediately starts his spiel to the back of a chair and smoke coming from a lit cigar. However, unbeknownst to Tuttle the client is dead and in his coffin in the office. Tuttle lays his brief case on the closed coffin before he realizes just what is in the room. When he does try to get out, he can't open the door, etc. This movie is filled with every conceivable cliche imaginable. But that's the fun of it. A huge dark creepy house, a will to be read, a suspicious looking butler and cook, a beautiful damsel in distress, a dim witted detective, a houseful of greedy family members of the deceased, murders, trick doors, screams and noises at night, etc. Of course, a very nervous and reluctant hero. This kind of movie would be nothing without Lyle Talbot and he is here as the family member who thinks timid Jack Haley has something to hide.I have had this movie for years and every once in a while I dust it off to watch it again because sometimes you need a little harmless fun. (~.~)"
Several Thrills Too Few...
Doghouse King | Omaha, NE United States | 11/20/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is yet another of the gathered-for-the-reading-of-the-will-in-the-spooky-house with-secret-passages-and-a-murderer subgenre. And while I find it hard to believe that there is anyone who legitimately can hate these kind of movies, there are admittedly some that work far better than others. One Body Too Many finds middle ground.It begins with some cleverness in setting up the scenario. The will's gimmick is farfetched but assured an offbeat night of criminal mayhem: The deceased, an astrologer, wishes to be buried above ground so that the stars shine down on him. If anything happens so that he is not, then the heir who was supposed to get the most will instead get the least, and vice versa. The body disappears, then reappears, then someone else is murdered... it's all expectedly, even appropriately, convoluted.Our hero is a life insurance salesman who is mistaken for the detective assigned to guard the body from shenanigans. And there is real inventiveness in placing a life insurance salesman in this situation, where people are sure to be bumped off. Unfortunately, this knowing wink to the audience is barely explored at all. The hero himself is an average-looking guy, more likable and less wimpy than many 40's B heroes. And he is surrounded by a capable, if unspectacular, cast.Lugosi is wasted, although his stock Ominous Butler character is interestingly played for laughs this go-round, ready and willing to bump off anybody who anyone else thinks needs bumping off. Watch out for the coffee.
This is of course, a comedy/mystery, as every picture in this genre has been since The Cat and the Canary in the 20's. And the comedy is generally the determining factor in how watchable these kind of films are. Here it is not too bad, consisting less of the typical scared mugging and awkward pratfalls than many similar efforts. Only in its dull, protracted middle section does the film lose its way, as the hero gets lost in the ubiquitous secret passageways, caught in a wicker basket with a litter of kittens and wearing only a towel. Don't ask.There are a number of good scenes, including one where the hero, hiding in a coffin, is carried off and dumped in a pool. The movie ends with a suspenseful chase and confrontation atop the observatory. But there is not enough made of the good ideas in the script, and too much damage is done to the whole by the weak or old ideas in the script. You've seen much of it before, so it's not quite worth a purchase. Close but no cigar.See also: The Cat and the Canary; Black Cat (1941); Night Monster; Old Dark House; The Monster Walks; The Gorilla; Seven Keys To Baldpate; The Bat Whispers; and many, many more, if you are so inclined."
Lugosi Steals the Show
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 07/19/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
""One Body Too Many" (1944) is a routine Jack Haley mystery-comedy with decent production values and an agreeable supporting cast. The "B" programmer remains notable for Bela Lugosi's delightful presence as a coffee-serving butler - the funniest of his red-herring roles. In fact, Bela garners more laughs than Haley's cut-rate version of Bob Hope."
What Evil Lurks...
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 08/18/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I borrowed my title from "The Shadow." I have no idea why, but since most of the action in this movie takes place at night, the phrase seemed appropriate. Anyway, insurance salesman Albert Tuttle (Jack Haley, whose career included the Shirley Temple movies "Poor Little Rich Girl" and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," and the role of the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz"), arrives at the home of Mr. Cyrus Wentworth, where he is supposed to be selling Mr. Wentworth an insurance policy. Unfortunately, Mr. Wentworth has already passed away.
Mr. Wentworth has specified that certain conditions must be met before his heirs get the goodies. On the other hand, if the conditions are not met, the terms of his will are to be reversed. Soon people are dying and disappearing, and Albert Tuttle ends up in a coffin in the pond. It is mostly in good fun with periodic humor thrown in. Bela Lugosi lurks about as butler Murkil. Since I knew of Bela Lugosi's history in horror I kept thinking that Lugosi was the bad guy in this movie. You will have to watch and see about that.
This movie has all the attributes of an Old Dark House type of movie. There are sinister locations and characters, and murders that seem to have been impossible. We do not find out who is doing all the deeds until the end of the movie, which is full of action. This movie is neither the best in this genre nor the worst. This movie did have some fun moments and I found myself glued to the television while waiting for events to unfold. Fans of 1940's murder mysteries will find this one to be interesting to watch with several very enjoyable scenes.