"You don't understand"
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On an ocean voyage from the U.S. to the U.K. Barry Wilding (Leslie Fenton), rescues a mysterious woman (Muriel Evans) that is apparently being molested. He immediately falls in love. However she will not tell him who she is.
Barry decides to stay in London, find the girl, and marry her. While waiting there he is contacted by his lawyer (not a barrister or solicitor.) You guest it he has inherited an old mansion from a rich recently deceased uncle. Upon trying to poses the mansion he is mugged and ran off at gun point. The local police wont help Scotland Yard wont help; even his best friend (a detective here on a case) wont help. Everyone says sell and get out.
To make matters worse the girl shows up and says "You don't understand". She is living at the mansion and says sell and get out.
That leaves only three possibilities, hidden treasure, nefarious gang activities (shielded by the government), or ghosts.
As Barry approaches the mansion again he heard a blood curtailing shriek and a hideous insane laugh.
The whole film and story is executed quite well and you will climb the walls if they do not quit saying "You don't understand"
...unwanted guests in Hawk's Nest...
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 05/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""By ye blood that cometh from my heart, I swear to keep ye, Hawk's Nest, 'til death do us part." If I heard it in the movie right, that was the poetic vow made by Barry Wilding's ancestor some 300 years ago, and something which Barry himself takes to heart. Barry Wilding is an American tourist in the UK who learns that he's the sole inheritor of a previously unidentified uncle's entire estate and fortune, the jewel of which is this old dark manor known as the Hawk's Nest. But when Barry goes to check out his new property, he's abruptly chased off by a hostile groundsman and an older gent with a pistol.
When confronted with something like this, one can normally turn to the law to enforce one's own legal rights. But what if you're getting the bum's rush from your lawyer, from the local constabulary, from Scotland Yard and even from the British government? Barry faces obfuscation from all corners, and even his American police detective pal (who's in the UK hunting down a murderer) ends up giving him the runaround. Barry then finds himself embroiled in even more dubious shenanigans, what with a shady scientist, a trio of American gangsters getting into the mix and a conundrum concerning a parchment cryptogram which may or may not lead to pirate swag. And, importantly to Barry, the girl he's fallen for is mysteriously residing in Hawk's Nest and she keeps telling him to keep out... of his own damn house. But our lead character has a resolute streak, and I couldn't help but chuckle when, at Barry's umpteenth attempt to get to the bottom of things at Hawk's Nest, the girl's stern father barks out: "What's he doing here again?" For a 68 minute long flick, it's a lot of stuff to take in.
Coming out in 1936, HOUSE OF SECRETS is a very modest, no-frills mystery flick straight out of Poverty Row, meaning that it's briskly paced, low budgeted, and peppered with lesser lights for its actors. I had never heard of Leslie Fenton, Muriel Evans, Noel Madison, etc. Nevertheless, this turns out to be pretty watchable stuff. First of all, I love old black & white movies and I say to Alpha Video and its like, man, keep on churning out these old suckers for posterity. HOUSE OF SECRETS moves briskly and does have its share of suspense and snappy dialogue. There's a wink of the eye, also, regarding the Brits muddling thru the American characters' use of slang.
Just to let you know, there's probably a SPOILER or two in the last few sentences of this paragraph. HOUSE OF SECRETS is not what's considered a straight up Old Dark House movie because it doesn't have enough of the requisite elements. The house is old and dark and creaky and beriddled with strange characters, secret passageways, and the occasional bloodcurling scream. The local rumor even touts the place as haunted. But the characters aren't zany enough, the butler isn't creepy enough, and there's a general lack of spookiness. And not enough time is spent exploring the Hawk's Nest. I think it's kind of funny that the new owner so frequently finds himself confounded when he tries to get into his own manor. After the first few tries, I frankly would've given up and followed everyone's advice to sell the dang property. But Barry Wilding, persevering in classic movie hero fashion, manages to grab the crooks, stage a last minute rescue, unearth the treasure, get the girl, and solve the puzzle - or at least has the puzzle explained to him. For a minor thrill, catch HOUSE OF SECRETS, if you get the chance. In my opinion, it rates 3.5 stars out of 5."