Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|One Frightened Night|
Actors: Charley Grapewin, Lucien Littlefield, Mary Carlisle, Regis Toomey, Arthur Hohl
Director: Christy Cabanne
Genres: Comedy, Mystery & Suspense
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Member Movie Reviews
Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 6/8/2011...
Swell Night for a Murder
A comically irascible millionaire would prefer to leave his fortune to his long-lost grand-daughter. After fruitless searches for the girl, the old buzzard opts to split his dough among types that we are happy to find in a B-movie mystery-comedy. A niece married to a husband with a gambling jones. A ne’er-do-well nephew. A pompous attorney. A staid doctor. A silently disapproving housekeeper. The coot tells them he will allocate a million to each, but his plans and their hopes are derailed when two different women show up and claim to be the missing grand-daughter. Everybody has a motive for the murder that ensues.
The well-differentiated characters are larger than life. Charley Grapewin does a great grouch, gleefully telling home truths; he is best-remembered as Uncle Henry in Wizard of Oz. So does Regis Toomey as the jaunty womanizer who revels in trouble and upset. Hedda Hopper plays the niece, curious since I never knew she acted. Wallace Ford, a magician, gets in good lines and sight gags, but he wearied me with his boisterousness.
Good lines: “Stick around this morgue long enough and they'll be saying goodbye to you with flowers,” and “Don’t be a bigger idiot than you can help,” and “It looked like something the Devil let loose.”
The lighting provides interesting shadows. The camera presents tracking shots. The set of the mansion is large and mildly creepy. The pace is enjoyably brisk. The credits are creatively presented on window shades being pulled down. All in all, a clever movie to spend a cheerful hour with.
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Old Dark House Style Thriller
Tim Janson | Michigan | 11/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One Frightened Night cannot hope to aim for the heights set by the more well known "Old Dark House" but for a cheapie released by "Mascot Pictures" it's not too bad.
An eccentric millionaire Jasper Whyte, unable to locate his only granddaughter, decides to divide his estate among a group of people less close to him: his niece and nephew, his attorney, his doctor, and his housekeeper. But complications and murder arise when two different women turn up, claiming to be the granddaughter.
Typical "reading of the will" type fare. The crotchety Jasper surprises his relations by promising them all $1,000,000, barring the return of wayward granddaughter Doris Waverly before midnight-- but come the witching hour, Jasper finds he must choose between two young women claiming to be the grown up Doris.
The movie does have a bit of that poverty row look to it but still rises above most others in the genre with some great atmosphere and strong performances. Among the co-stars are Wallace Ford, who would later co-star in two of Universal's Mummy movies As Babe Jensen and Hedda Hopper who would become Hollywood's leading gossip columnist.
Quite a well-done murder/Old Dark House Mystery. Surprisingly good!
Fun "B" Mystery
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 06/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This little "B" gem from Mascot Pictures, one of the "Poverty Row" studios who specialized in low-budget fillers for double-bills, is quite entertaining. While the storyline sounds familiar the execution is done with humor and flair, and an excellent cast.
It all begins on a dark, stormy night as Jasper Whyte (Charley Grapewin) reveals to his servants and relatives that he is giving them each one million dollars. Since his long-missing granddaughter, Doris Waverly, is the only one who could throw a monkey-wrench into the plan, their inheritance seems assured.
But Doris shows up, of course, in the form of Evalyn Knapp. As the old man dotes on her, grateful for her sweet return, the rest of the household fumes. Things take a u-turn when a second Doris Waverly (Mary Carlisle), an actress not nearly as passive as the first, appears right on her heels.
Before the first Doris can be exposed as an imposter, she is murdered and we have ourselves an old dark house murder mystery. Sheriff Jenks (Fred Kelsey) isn't that much help when he shows, nor is Doris' pal from the stage, the "Great Luvalle (Wallace Ford). Tom Dean (Regis Toomey), the easygoing and fun-loving member of the clan, takes a real shine to the second Doris (Mary Carlisle) and decides to do a little detecting.
An attempt on Doris' life by poison blowdart adds to the fun in this easy to like "B" mystery. This is great entertainment for late at night when you can't sleep. Famous gossip columnist Hedda Hopper plays the part of Laura Proctor in this one, for a little added nostagia.
Many of these "B" films are just slow-moving imitations of the real thing, but this one has some snappy dialog and a fun atmosphere to recommend it, not to mention a fine cast. A good rainy night time killer."