“Trapped in a mansion in the middle of nowhere with a Psycho.”
This movie was sooooo good!
I saw it at the library when we were reorginizing and it sounded really interesting-a will, multiple people inheriting and fighting each other, locked in a house in the middle of nowhere, starring Paulette Goddard, Edith Head did the costumes, and it was early Bob Hope-so hopefully he won’t be too silly.
I have to watch it.
So the film is based off a play and it is one of those horror comedies that spoof horror films-you know like Arsenic and Old Lace or One Body Too Many.
Cyrus Norman was an eccentric millionaire, who insanity ran in his family. He passed away and determined that ten years from that date on midnight the will, will be read. They never say why-but I believe that he wanted certain family members dead, like in Mystery of the 13th Guest.
10 years in this movie.
The night has came and the lawyer, Crosby arrives by canoe to the mansion, he will be stuck there until the next day as no boats run after midnight. Trapped like in House on Haunted Hill.
Crosby goes there and is greeted by the creepiest housekeeper ever. She’s like Mrs. Danvers, Nancy, and Milly rolled into one. This is set in the Louisiana Bayou and she talks about talking to her master, and spirits, and roams the house soundlessly with a black cat. Just an uber creeper!
Crosby goes to where the will was stashed and finds not one, but TWO wills!
The family starts showing up, all second and third cousins twice removed. We have two older sisters (40-50s age range) Cicily and Aunt Susan who arrive. Both are very unhappy to be out in the swamp-Susan is the older one, loud, aggressive, domineering-while Cicily is sweet, submissive, ad nervous.
Then the men arrive: Fred Blythe, grouchy and sarcastic; Charlie Wilder (Douglas Montgomery), handsome ladies man; and Wally Campbell (Bob Hope), actor, funnyman, and nervous talker. This part was actually created for him, an addition to the play.
They settle in for the will reading, yet there is one left-Joyce Norman (Paulette Goddard). Fred is in love with Joyce and tells all the others to back off of her. Charlie and Joyce used to have a thing but haven’t seen each other in years-he trying to ignite the flame again. And Wally and Joyce were friends when they were younger, he was always trying to help her out or protect her (secret crush).
More like a quadrilateral
The will is read with all the money going to the ones who have the last name Norman. That being only Joyce-she inherits everything.
Except there is one caveat. This family is rife with mental illness-if Joyce should succumb to mental illness in one month or die-the money will go to another person in the other will.
What are you talking about??
That seems like an awful thing to do-the relatives are going to try and make her be declared insane, drive her insane, or kill her. What was he thinking!!!!!
I guess maybe he thought that there would be more heirs, but still-this seems to be a horrible idea.
So all are happy for Joyce, except Aunt Susan who immediately starts psychoanalyzing her-and Charlie who starts trying to reignite the flames and get her interested in him again-really. She just got the money.
All have the stay in the house overnight together-and then things start taking a dark turn.
The creepy voodoo housekeeper gives Joyce a private message. Joyce then goes to get ready for bed when there is a knock on the door. It is a guard from the asylum down the way who has arrived to let them know that a manic got loose. The maniac has long claws and is called “The Cat”. He warns them to lock the doors and windows and he is going to check the bayou.
So we have crazy relatives, a million dollars, a creepy housekeeper, and an escapee from the insane asylum-things are getting good.
I have to watch it.
Meanwhile, Cosby has discovered something when searching through the files. He goes to tell Joyce, but before he can get the words out-he is kidnapped by someone who creeped through a secret passage.
Yes this house is full of secret passages, has a portrait with eyes that someone can watch you through, and was one of the influences of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. Yep, it’s that cool.
Someone’s creeping on Joyce…but who?
Joyce and Wally end up pairing up as he wants to hep her, and they discover a note about Cyrus’ hidden treasure-emerald and diamond necklace-that is on the property. They have to find the treasure, survive the night, and keep Joyce from being driven crazy by her family, and safe from the Cat.
This was an amazing film with great dialogue. I love the pace of the ’30s and ’40s films with such quick and pithy banter. This was just wonderful, I loved every minute of it and it didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend this and can watch it over and over.
With Halloween approaching and the number of Horror films increasing, I thought it would be a good time to write a post on how to survive a horror film, just in case you happen upon this situation 😉 . Most of us have heard of the “Randy Rules” in Scream (1996), but in this we are going to look a bit more in depth in how to successfully survive a horror film.
1) Do Not Try Out Witchcraft, Ouija Boards, or any of the Occult for “Fun.” You Will Be Messing with Forces You Have No Control Over
It is never good to mess with the occult, play around with witchcraft, or use the ouija board. When you do such things you are opening a door to a lot of stuff you don’t want to mess with. Often you open yourself or others to demon possession or evil spirits. It is best to just stay far away from such things.
2) Do Not Make Deals With the Devil, Demons, or Other Supernatural Beings
Never, ever make a deal with the devil. It is like trying to mess with the occult or witchcraft, you are opening yourself up to serious trouble, and the devil will not like to loose his quarry. Besides, the deals/wishes you make never turn out exactly as you hope.
One of the things that bothers me the most is when people are surrounded by potential weapons and don’t use them. I mean look at Scream (1996), when Tatum is in the garage and attacked by Ghostface, she tries to squeeze herself through a tiny hole to escape rather then use something, anything in the garage. I mean she is in a GARAGE!!! There are hundreds of potential weapons! USE THEM!!! That is one example, but seriously, use anything and everything.
4) Don’t Stop Assaulting Your Attacker Until You are Sure They Are Not Going to Get Up
Now this is huge. In horror movies, if the person is able to outwit the killer and knock them out, they usually just leave it at that and take off. DON’T! You knock that sucker out until you are sure they are no longer going to try to injure you. Break their legs if necessary. Because if you don’t, they are just going to recover and come after you.
5) If Someone Gives You a Protective Charm Do Not Give It Away
I have mentioned this in Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941), Scream 2 (1997), and many more. If someone gives you some kind of charm that is supposed to help you and only work for you, DO NOT GIVE IT AWAY!!!! It will only work FOR YOU!!!! That is why it was given TO YOU!! And if you give it away you are just going to get yourself and the person you were trying to help in serious trouble. Keep it and protect yourself so that you can actually help others, instead of accidentally killing them.
6) Sex = Death
As Randy says in Scream, Sex = Death. Never overlook the purity angle, it is like a protective charm. If you don’t do it, you are less likely to die.
Sometimes Doctors can be good people, but if you are in a horror film, forget it; they are usually evil. Such as Dr. Hartz from The Lady Vanishes (1938), he seems kindly and trying to help, but in reality just wants the main character to think they are going crazy! Same thing in Dr. Hollingshead from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). Then you have doctors who commit horrible things in the name of science; like We have Dr. Frankenstein (from any Frankenstein film) who tries to create life and can’t control his monster. Or there is Dr. Arthur Carrington from The Thing From Another World (1951), who almost kills everyone as he doesn’t care about human life but scientific discovery is what matters. Not to mention Dr. Alfred Brandon from I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), who experiments on teenage boy. And lets not forget Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who eats people. I could go on, but there are too many examples to choose from.
8) Do Not Spend the Night in an Abandoned or Haunted House, Psychiatric Hospital, or Carnival
I mean seriously. Just do not go there. Nothing good will ever, ever, ever come of it! I mean look at The Uninvited (1944), House on Haunted Hill (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Hunting (1963), The Haunting (1999), etc. I could go on and on, but let’s continue with our list.
9) If There is a Curse on Something Do Not Touch It
I know curses, many laugh at them; but of you are in a horror film and you see something that says it is cursed DON’T TOUCH IT! It is better to live another day then to have yourself face all kinds of horrors.
10) Do Not Drink Any Potions or Test An Experiment On Yourself
NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER test a potion or try an experiment on yourself. It always ends badly! I mean you have Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Fly, Batman’s Man-Bat he had to fight, even Goosebumps did an episode where the dad ended up creating a plant clone of himself. I know many don’t like animal testing or get under the stress of trying to accomplish something; but just stop! Don’t test yourself or else something bad will be created.
11) If There is a Murderer Running Around, Do Not Go Out and Party
This drives me crazy! A murderer is running around killing people and people decide to: 1) not take any precautions; 2) go about their lives like nothing is different; and 3) party. If there is a murderer running around, yes it is good to be in a group (rule 12 & 17) but you shouldn’t be out partying, drinking (rule 13) or putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
12) Never Split Up
NEVER, EVER, EVER go anywhere by yourself. There is power in numbers! As a group you could take a killer down, versus as a couple or single. When you split up, all you do us make it easier for someone to kill you.
While some of you might enjoy that type of thing it is never a good idea in a horror film. Anytime you try something that will keep you from thinking clearly, you are in serious trouble as you are likely to make bad decisions that will lead to your death. It is better to just say no.
If you are being attacked, threatened, harassed, etc.; call the police. Don’t try and take care of it yourself, don’t try to investigate, call FOR BACKUP! That’s their job!!! They have guns and can make an arrest!
Unlike the Terminator here, you won’t be back. Uttering these words is signing a death warrant, as soon as they leave your lips you become next on the killer/creature’s hit list.
16) Never Say “Who’s There?”
Never say “who’s there”. If the person was a friend, they wouldn’t be skulking around your house in the first place, trying to scare you. Instead they would knock, ring the doorbell, or call out to you. The only type of person who would be creeping in your house is one who intends on harming you. And if you call out “who’s there”, you’re just helping them find and kill you faster.
When you hear something strange outside, do not go out and look into it. You should wait for assistance or call in the police. If you try looking yourself, you are going to end up in a trap set by a monster, psychopath, murderer, etc. Besides, why unlock the door or turn off the alarm; allowing whatever is watching you the opportunity to come in and attack? Just stay inside snug like a bug.
Have you ever though of how vulnerable you are in the bathroom? Most have no windows to flee from or they aren’t the most accessible. Some do, but for most the only easy way out is the door, which is where most attackers will come through. Plus the reason you would be in the bathroom; shower or toilet, you won’t have any weapons to help you and it would be extremely easy to kill you. If you are in a horror film, just hold it or stay stinky. You are more likely to live that way.
Like I said before, the less people around you, the easier you are to kill. If you go off on your own to investigate, look around, run away; you are just putting a giant target on your back. Stay together, it is safer.
In horror movies, there are lots of people who have been bullied so much and hurt by others they end up becoming homicidal maniacs. And who do they tend to attack first? The last person to hurt them. Look at The Phantom of the Opera (any version), Carrie (1976), Hangman’s Curse (2003), Heathers (1985), etc. So if you don’t want to end up being first on the hit list be kind to those you meet.
22) If You Are a Girl Or Not White, Be Extra Cautious
Never judge a book by its cover. Someone who seems sweet, innocent, impossible to commit cruel acts, etc; could secretly have evil intentions lurking under the adorable facade. Always be watchful and once again, trust NO ONE!
When trying to figure out who the murderer is, never overlook kids. I mean sure some will be obvious in their creepiness, such as the one pictured above, but there are many who look innocent and sweet but are actually evil. Don’t be fooled!
NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER try to create Life. It just does not go the way you plan. You can’t control the beasts you create and they just run amuck everywhere. I mean look at Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Alien: Resurrection, the list goes on but I’ll stop here.
In any horror film, whenever they create life they always think they have complete control over it. Well, that never works out. You see, just because you made it doesn’t mean it will listen to you; every parent knows that. And more often than not, those creations will try and kill you.
28) If Someone Tries to Make a Deal with You to Kill Someone, Do Not Think it is a Joke
Joking around with the idea of murder might be something you would do with a friend, but be careful, you never know how far they might take it.
We all like to hear scary stories around a campfire and about areas. But if you are in a horror film, play very close attention as more often than not, the myths and legends turn out to be true or someone is copying them and making them true. It is always good to pay attention and know the details, it just might save your life.
30) Never Think You Have Destroyed a Monster, They Always Find a Way to Come Back
So I hope you all had a great Halloween. Mine was pretty good, and I had an awesome costume. I was a ghostbuster, and designed a suit and proton pack; making it as close to the film as possible, but using a name patch with my own last name. In fact, I plan on wearing it every Friday the 13th. Awesome right?
So I’m sure you all have been wondering, what was going on with Horrorfest? I missed days, posted unedited pieces, and only completed 28/31 posts. Well, October was really full. I had two weddings; both of my cats were injured within two days of each other and I had to take them to the vet for stitches, having to monitor them, administer medicine twice a day, and change their box constantly; worked my usual jobs; went to the Back to the Future trilogy at my local cinema; and I had a graduation for one of my works, and more.
And that’s just the tip of it. I also had some family issues that came up, causing me less time to work on this.
So I am sorry for the delays and unfinished work, next year I promise it won’t be like that. Next year will mark my fifth Horrorfest, and I’m planning to go all out for it.
So as there are only three posts that weren’t done, I am going to finish writing and posting them. After I do so I will update this post with those completed works. So let’s go to our Horrorfest wrap-up!
So this year I reviewed 23 films, 4 TV episodes, and had 2 editorials.
So one thing I noticed about this year was that my first Horrorfest the first film I reviewed was made in 1962, in the second Horrorfest the first film I reviewed was made in 1954, in the third Horrorfest the first film I reviewed was made in 1941, and this year’s first post was made in 1931. 1960s, 1950s, 1940s, and 1930s. I did that all without realizing it. Pretty cool, huh?
So this year I ended up with quite a few themes. The first being mad scientists; this occuring in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, along with Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Classic literature once again proved to be a prime place to find film adaptations perfect for Horrorfest. This year we had Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Study in Scarlet, and The Brothers’ Grimm Fairy Tales.
Aliens were also a big theme this year. There was Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Alien vs. Predator, a Twilight Zone episode, The Iron Giant,Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Total Recall.
I also thought that doing three Alfred Hitchcock films was something I should continue. This year I reviewed Jamaica Inn, The 39 Steps; and after talking about it for three years, I finally reviewed Psycho.
This year I decided that every Friday would be a TV show review: choosing episodes from The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Twilight Zone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Midsomer Murders.
I also had the theme of boyfriends/husbands/wives who are more than what they seem. These were Dangerous Crossing, The Screaming Skull, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Rosemary’s Baby, Gaslight,The Stepford Wives, and Total Recall.
We also had quite a few robots. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, The Iron Giant, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and The Stepford Wives.
Witches made a comeback; in Rosemary’s Baby and the Midsomer Murders episode.
And after reading every year how I really, really, really wanted to do a famous Vincent Price thriller/horror/mystery; well guys you don’t have to hear me whine anymore, I finally did it with The Bat. Yay!!
So for those who have missed it, here is everything in Horrorfest IV:
Three little Black Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
So this film is based on the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet. However, the film doesn’t follow the book at all. When Hollywood wanted to purchase the film rights, it was cheaper to buy the name versus the actual story. They decided to save money and write their own story.
Not always the best idea
When I first watched this, on my mystery thriller binge that included Mystery of the 13th Guest, I didn’t like it as it was too similar to And Then There Was None by Agatha Christie. It even uses the same poem about the 10 Little Indians although in this they are 10 Little Black Boys.
Same old thing.
But then I found out something that surprised me…
The Agatha Christie book was published six years afterthe film came out!
Could Agatha Christie have copied a Sherlock Holmes film, that isn’t really written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
I’d rather not think about that. Moving on.
Reginald Owen stars as Sherlock Holmes. He is one of the few actors to play both roles of Watson and Holmes, so he isn’t the typical form of Sherlock Holmes. He’s a bit rounder in body, less angular in the face, and isn’t as intense about his deductions. In my honest opinion he is a bit wooden and a tad boring.
So some of you might be wondering why I would do a Sherlock Holmes film as you might not think it is horror. On the contrary we have a mysterious force killing people (perhaps a ghost?), and I think that qualifies it. In the future I’ll review some others, like the creepy one where he hunts a serial killer. For now, A Study in Scarlet.
(BTW: There aren’t any pictures online that are good quality, and as I didn’t take any screenshots while watching all images will not be from the film.)
The film begins with some people on a train trying to get the person out of the the bathroom. No one answers so they send for someone to pull a ladder to look in through the high window. What they find is a dead man.
In the next scene we are shown a newspaper advertisement with the following strange code:
692 3 7 13 7
Scarlet 23 4 76
Meanwhile, in a seedy looking area we have the beautiful, blonde, Eileen Forrester and her fiancé, John Stanford. She has been called to a meeting, and John had walked her there.
When we enter the room we see that it is a secret meeting, of what we don’t know. Besides Eileen we have five other men around the table, and one presiding. The man at the head calling the meeting to order is Thaddeus Merrydew.
They discuss business and plan to pay for the late members funeral, the man found dead on the train. Meanwhile, they all dislike the widowed wife, Mrs. Murphy and agree to give her nothing.
Meanwhile, a woman has decided she will go to 221A Baker Street to speak to Sherlock Holmes.
A? A! A?!
How can you do a Sherlock Holmes adaption and get that wrong!!!! That’d be like changing Sherlock’s name to John or Daniel, or something. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!
Anyways, inside Sherlock is having a look at that ad.
692 3 7 13 7
Scarlet 23 4 76
Dr. Watson bets Sherlock that he won’t solve it, and you know Sherlock, he can never back down from a challenge.
In fact Sherlock says it is all rather simple. All you need is the right large book, something everyone would have a copy of…like the bible.
But before they can do research they are interrupted by Mrs. Murphy. She is upset because Mr. Merrydew has all her money. They’ve been married for five years, right after they met while both in Thailand. He would go to London to check on finances and was headed there, when he committed suicide.
Sherlock asks if there has been any changes recently, and Mrs. Murphy says the only odd thing she found was a note that contained lines from an old English nursery tale.
Six little Black Boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Sherlock Holmes assures Mrs. Murphy he will do his best and then he and Dr. Watson discuss it. Sherlock has tangled with Merrydew before, always trying to trap him and send him to prison, but so far he has managed to escape all his traps.
Back at the meeting, everyone has left except Captain Pyke, Eileen, and Merrydew. While Captain Pyke starts heading out, Merrydew takes Eileen aside and warns her not to share anything going on with anyone, not even her fiancé. In fact she shouldn’t get married until this business is all settled.
Eileen finds that incredibly strange.
But before she can seriously think on it bam! Captain Pyke is shot!
Merrydew tells Eileen to wait while he gets help, he runs down a bit but them stops and waits; checking his watch.
While he is gone, Eileen gets attacked from behind, knocked out.
When she regains consciousness, Merrydew returns and asks what happened. As Eileen tells him of her attack she notices that the body is missing!
Eileen wants to talk to the police, but Merrydew urges her to head home, saying it is better for her to not be involved. She listens and leaves.
Later Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and the police are looking at the autopsy of the body of Captain Pyke.
Sherlock notices a giant ring on the body. When they look through his personal effects they also find a note:
Five little Black Boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four.
In comes his wife, a beautiful Chinese woman, played by Anna May Wong. The body was so badly destroyed, that she was only able to identify him by a family heirloom, a ring, that she gave him six years ago when they married. He never takes it off.
Sherlock questions her but doesn’t find out much. It does turn out that her lawyer is Merrydew. There’s that man involved once again!
We then see a list of people involved, those who had been originally a part of the deal, three of the names crossed out as they are dead.
Next day one of the men from the group discovers a note at his desk:
Four little Black Boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
While the man is thinking of what he means, a man enters the room although we as a viewer only see his shadow.
He shouts out, “No not you” and is then killed, shot in the head.
The police are stumped as to who or what has been doing these killings. They call in Sherlock who starts reviewing the area. He finds the note and also figures out by the way the man was killed was shot in the head, body dragged, rearranged and shot again so that it would like suicide rather than murder.
He also deduces that the victim died from poison and supplies a description of the murderer: six feet tall, disproportionately small feet, florid complexion, square toed boots, and smoking a Trichinopoly cigar.
Sherlock heads out to visit with Merrydew and discuss things. When he reaches his office, Merrydew makes him wait forever.
He finally lets them in, offering a Trichinopoly cigar, but not one to Watson.
Sherlock discusses Mrs. Murphy’s claim of inheritance but gets nowhere with Merrydew. He asks for paper and a pencil, using the time to snoop on his desk. He writes a note and gives it folded to Merrydew.
A note that contains the numbers from the ad in the newspaper. This upsets Merrydew and proves to Sherlock he is on the right track.
As they head out Sherlock reveals to Watson that his snooping found the book from the code, Whitaker’s Almanac. Watson brings up that Merrydew certainly fits the description provided by Sherlock, down to the small feet in square cut shoes. As they head out they also run into Mrs. Pyke.
Merrydew goes to see Eileen to tell her about the new meeting and make sure she comes. As they are talking they are interrupted by her fiancé Stanford.
Stanford feels something is not right and is rather upset over the whole thing.
Something is not right!
Eileen decides to spill the story to him. Right before her father died, he asked Eileen to visit him. There he told her she had a great inheritance, tons of money coming her way; but only if she listens to Merrydew and does all that he asks of her.
While they are talking Stanford hears something.
Outside a man is watching Eileen
He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.
Stanford scares him off, but is deeply unsettled. He goes to Sherlock Holmes and shares his fears about this strange black bearded man. Sherlock tells him to watch Eileen constantly, her life is in danger.
Sherlock moves on to his next step of research, looking through Whitaker’s Almanac and decoding it.
Meeting of Scarlet Ring Tuesday
Holmes decides to take an even more proactive role and include his own message in the paper asking for info on the Scarlet Ring.
The next day Sherlock travels in disguise to look at the Pyke family home. He hires a cab to get there, liquors up his driver, and pumps him for information. He finds out the Captain hasn’t been there in years. As a child he used to be a real terror, throwing bricks and injuring others.
Sherlock leaves cabbie and heads to the house. He sees that the house is for sale and pretends that he is interested.
Unfortunately, the maid won’t stop following him around trying to help him.
He pretends to have a heart attack and gets her to leave the house to find a doctor. With her out of the way, Sherlock can begin searching for trap doors or secret passages.
He finds a secret passage and a box of cigars the same brand as the one smoked by the assassin.
At the Hotel Savoy, Mrs. Pyke is meeting with Mr. Wilson, a member of the “Scarlet ring”. She invites him for the weekend to “help put her finances in order”. He readily accepts.
That night the Scarlet Ring meeting is in disarray. The remaining members of the ring are scared out of their minds.
Who will be next? Which one of the group is the killer? In fact, two start wondering if they should spill to Shelock. The waiting and being picked off one by one is torturing them.
Merrydew tries to bring order stating that it will be impossible to go to the police as they will then have to pay for their crime they committed. They’ve been waiting five years for a payout and now the dream of 1 million pounds divided equally among the survivors will be happening. Money is a powerful tool to get people to do things.
That night Stanford calls Holmes with his info. He and Watson head down to meet him. As they watch the door they see the men exit very suspicious, looking every where and trying to watch their back.
While they watch everyone leave, they notice that Eileen has not exited.
They rush in and find her knocked out on the ground, gas filling the room. Someone has tried to kill her too.
Holmes sends her home with Stanford and heads back to Baker Street.
Back on Baker Street, Mr. Wilson heads over to Holmes’ place fearing for his life.
While that is happening the assassin meets with Merrydew. This is the best part of the film as it is revealed to not be Merrydew, but the man never talks or shows his face; all done from his point of view.
Back at Holmes’ place, Mr. Wilson comes and tells Holmes he was almost run down by a black bearded man. Sherlock surmises that the Scarlet Ring has to do with China, and is based on inheritance. He sends Wilson home to hide in the cellar, escorting him with Watson.
Wilson mentions that he will be heading to Mrs. Pyke’s tomorrow for the weekend, and Holmes warns him to plead a headache and hide in his room.
As they are heading out Sherlock finds a dead body on his doorstep.
As he looks at the body, he finds a not addressed to him.
Three little Black Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
The next day, Wilson goes to Mrs. Pyke’s home, with Sherlock and the police following. As they are about to set up the trap, Stanford comes in saying that Eileen has disappeared.
Stanford tells him how he recieved a telegram from Sherlock and tried to follow the instructions, but he didn’t understand them. When he returned to Eileen’s house, he found that she had left with a Chinese woman. After that he hurried to find Sherlock.
Sherlock & co. head out to the Grange, Captain Pike’s home, to head off the action.
Eileen is inside with Mrs. Pyke and Mr. Wilson. Mrs. Pyke got her to come saying that Sherlock needed her here. It is late and they are waiting to hear from him. The door buzzes and a telegram comes for Eileen, Mrs. Pyke reviews it first and sees that it is blank.
This was sent by Sherlock to make sure Eileen was in the house.
Afterwards, Wilson decides that he will go to bed, Eileen agreeing to do likewise. Wilson warns her to be careful and lock her door.
Killer comes into the house and asks Mrs. Pyke about the plan. After he enters, Dr. Watson and Sherlock enter the house through the passage Sherlock found earlier.
Eileen’s room gets broken into and she faints while the man takes her down to the cellar.
Wilson heard Eileen cry out and Mrs. Pyke asks for his help, so he decides to ignore Sherlock’s advice and open the door. Meanwhile she and her manservant are planning on killing him.
Sherlock, Dr. Watson, & the officers come running in and save Eileen and Mr. Wilson. They then reveal who the real killer is.
I had thought it was odd how his wife had to identify him by ring alone. The Captain pretended to be dead, but was really killing everyone with Merrydew’s help. Merrydew comes on the scene and pretends he knows nothing, but is captured as well.
Sherlock knew the body was a fake as the hand had no marks from wearing the ring for six years.
Five years ago a collection of amazing jewels were stolen and have been sold off throughout the years, this was what the Scarlet Ring was. The thieves selling off the jewels, preparing to spilt the proceeds when the last one was gone. Captain Pyke got greedy and didn’t want to share; roping in Merrydew and his wife to assist him.
All is finished and another case solved for Sherlock Holmes
I thought this was an okay film, not as good as the later ones were. I also didn’t care for the actor playing Sherlock. But it wasn’t horrible, just okay.
So I found this film on Amazon Instant Watch. It was an old film with not much of synopsis, but I thought I would take a gamble and try it out. If it sucked, I could just stop and watch something else; if it rocked, then I would have a new great movie to add to my list. A win-win situation.
And as 13 plays a huge role in this film, I decided to post it on October 13 at 13:13pm (1:13 civilian time). 🙂
So the film starts out with a type of dun, dun, dun music across the credits making it dramatic and bringing out shivers.
How come they don’t do that anymore? Today they do a voiceover, narration, or pop song to sell the soundtrack. *Sigh* The world we live in. I miss the dramatic flair we used to have.
So a girl (Helen Parrish) is coming to a house after it being closed up for thirteen years. Not only that, but she decides to go at like 12:00 am, why not wait until daylight?
She asks the cab to wait for her while she goes in the house. I wouldn’t want to, but he’s nice enough to.
She uses a flashlight to check out the rooms, when she notices a phone. A phone?
Weird. Why would there be a phone in a house that’s been closed for thirteen years? And who would do it?
Unfortunately, the phone switchboard operator can’t give out that information. As the girl continues to walk around the house, she decides to try the lights and guess what? They work too.
Someone has been in the house. Someone has opened it up. But who? Who would do that? And why?!
The girl doesn’t really think on it, as she has other things on her mind. She remembers the last dinner that was held here, thirteen years ago. In it she was given an envelope and asked to wait until her 21st birthday to open. That’s why she is here at 12:00am.
As she goes into the room she looks at the table and remembers where everyone was sitting.
Grandpa was at the center, with her next to him, then Mr. Barksdale, Uncle Adam, Aunt Lucille, Uncle John, Harold, Aunt Martha, Tom, Marjory, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Joan, and the 13th guest…. The thirteen chair was empty.
hmmm…I wonder why?
Grandpa is sick and dying. He knows it is his last party and that most of the people at the table want him dead. He gives an envelope to Marie, the girl who is remembering, telling her not to open it until her 21st birthday, forcing everyone to wait until then.
Kind of harsh grandpa, but it is his money so he can do whatever he wants with it. In fact no one knows what is in the envelope, not even the lawyer. And now the time has finally come. She can open it.
So she opens it and the paper says:
What’s this supposed to be? A safety deposit box number? Code to a safe? Thanks a lot grandpa.
As she is looking at the note, there is some creaking in the house. There is someone inside!!!!
Marie goes to make a phone call, leaving the room. Then we hear a gunshot and a scream!
The taxi driver is freaked out and takes off. He goes to the nearest phone and calls the cops. They head over, with Lead Detective Lt. Burke and his constantly asleep partner “Speed” Dugan. And seriously, he is always falling asleep.
He doesn’t seem to be a good detective at all. He should try another profession.
Meanwhile, whilst all that is going on, Uncle Adam has decided that the opening of the will, will bring out the worst in the family. He’s afraid that one of the remaining seven possible inheritors will try something, maybe even hurt Marie as she holds some kind of clue with that envelope.
Them in this case
He asks Private Investigator Johnny Smith (Dick Purcell) to get on the case and protect Marie.
Instantly I think, it will be one of those mysteries.
It’s going to be one of those mysteries where the P.I. and girl will meet and he will fall for her and try to protect her. She’ll be as tough as nails, while still a damsel in distress.
But in the end he will help her and she will fall for him. 🙂
In the next scene the police detectives have come on the scene and discover Marie’s dead body.
Yes, dead body.
NO, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no, no. She can’t be dead. She’s not dead, they must be mistaken. She has to end up with the P.I.
The P.I. comes in and explains he was hired to protect the girl, and the detective tells him too bad, you are too late. She’s dead.
You can’t do that! You can’t go around switching things!!!! There’s a formula to this!!!!!!!!
Sorry, back on track. Well…I guess…I guess they did kill her off. Weird, it’s like they pulled a Psycho before Psycho even came out. Weird. I thought Alfred Hitchcock was the first to do something like that.
So it’s odd that she is in the chair instead if by the phone, were we, the viewer, last saw her. That means only one thing, this killer, whoever they are, purposely moved her to the table to send a message by placing her at the table. But what message?
So 13 has a lot of fears surrounding it. There is the superstition of “13 at Dinner”, the first to get up will die. Friday the 13th is supposed to be full of bad luck, and there is no 13th floor on most hotels and office buildings. A coven of witches was made of 13 people. There were 13 steps to the gallows.
So the doctor examines the body and is unsure how she died. His best guess, until he can really examine her, is that she died of electrocution.
The detectives haven’t figured out how they did it, but know there must be a conductor around here somewhere.
When the phone rings the detective goes to answer, but they are hung up on. While the phone company is tracing the call, one of the detectives reports that the lightbulbs in the room are all burned out, reaffirming that electrocution was what killed the girl and what is causing these issues.
You know what that means. Bad things.
It turns out that the phone call was from the Lowry Hotel. Lt. Burke sends out his lazy or narcoleptic detective. But he can’t leave. Why? Someone stole their squad car.
Why would you steal a squad car? Do you want to go to jsil?
So they put out an APB on the car and also grab the rest of the Morgan family.
They question Marie’s cousin Tom, and her brother Harold, [aka Bud]. They discover that Marie’s 21st birthday was the day before, and that’s why she opened up the house so late. They ask about where everyone was laid out, and the police find out that not only was there a missing guest, but that the killer placed Marie in the exact spot where she had been sitting on the night if the last dinner.
They ask them for a diagram to be better understand where everyone was sitting.
By now, they have figured out the caller was John Barksdale, the lawyer. He also was the one who had the phone plugged in and the lights turned on. He left the hotel at 1:00am and hasn’t been seen since.
Back at the mansion, Speed is on duty and has, you guessed it, fallen asleep.
This makes it easy for John Barksdale to sneak into the house.
Somewhere in the house a shadow looms.
Barksdale heads straight to the library, and starts moving books around.
As he does this, we see in a secret room the shadow turns out to be a masked man.
He makes the phone ring and when Barskdale touches the phone,
Who is this masked person? Is it Uncle Wayne, Uncle Adam, Tom, or Harold?
When Speed hears the noise in the house he takes off. The detectives return to the mansion where they find Barksdale dead, and seated in his place at the table.
Johnny Smith is the only smart detective in this film, and he figures out that the killer is killing them off in the order they were seated at the table. That means that it has to be one of the original guests as how could anyone else know where they were.
But which one?
But that’s not the biggest surprise of the day, Marie is alive!!!
YES! Marie is ALIVE. And guess who had it all figured out? Johnny Smith. He noticed scarring on the dead girl’s face, and suspected that she wasn’t really Marie but made to look like her. But who is behind it? And where has Marie been the whole time?
It turns out that Marie heard the scream and gunshot, and hid upstairs. When she thought it was safe she came out and saw herself, dead!
She freaked out, stole the police car, and has been hiding out, afraid for her life. Lt. Burke finds it fishy, Johnny Smith however, believes her wholeheartedly, and is also extremely attracted to her.
They put her in a room as they discuss what this all means. She decides to sneak out to the library to call her brother.
NOOOO! Don’t do it Marie, it’s the DEATH PHONE!!!!
The music starts building!!!!!
But luckily, Johnny steps in and stops her. Good thing as the man in the mask was watching her and was going to kill her.
They round everyone up and put them in a room together. They talk about who the killer might be, with Marie saying she thinks it is Uncle Adam. I don’t know if she is serious or not, but that is way harsh.
Johnny warns Adam that the murderer is killing people in the order they sat at the table, so Adam better watch out as he is next.
So all of Marie’s relatives suck. None of them care about her, espechially Marjorie. The only one who seems happy to see her is her brother Harold.
They are pretty horrible: bitter, brash, barbs flying all over, etc. Johnny Smith has had enough, and has them all arrested.
How can he do that? He’s not a cop? Whatever!
Johnny and the cops head back to the mansion where they find another dead body.
It turns out to be Uncle Wayne. He showed up late as he came from California. It looks like the killer left the phone electrocution device on. They still haven’t found the machinery, so it must be in a secret room. That clinches it, it must be one of the orginal party people. But which one?
They decide to release them all, and tail them.
Johnny Smith calls Marie and warns her not to share what was in the note, as someone is trying to kill for that information. And what does she do right after? Tell Harold and Tom that it was 13-13-13.
Come on, didn’t you just listen to what he said!
Marjory spots her tail right away as Speed is no good at all. He ends up failing asleep in a cab heading to Atlantic City.
The plastic surgeon hears of the story in the news, and comes down. They ask him if the man matches Barksdale’s appearance, but it turns out to not be him. They all head over to see Marie, but it turns out she isn’t there. She had received a message to go to the mansion to meet Johnny Smith. But Johnny Smith didn’t write any message.
This tends to happen in mysteries/thrillers/horror film/books a lot. I guess moral is to always double check that you are supposed to meet with that person.
As they are heading out to the mansion, the plastic surgeon sees a photo of Tom, and recognizes him as the man who brought the woman in.
They all hurry to save Marie! They meet up with Tom at the mansion and it turns out he and Barksdale were in it together, in order to steal the fortune away. But, he claims to not be the killer. Hmm…
While Marie is trying to figure out where Johnny is, the masked man attacks her from behind, trying to bring her down the cellar in the second room.
Luckily, Johnny and the police make it in time. They tear the library wall apart, and follow the masked man, taking him out and saving Marie.
And the masked man is……………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Yep, his kindly all I want to help my niece was a lie. He wanted her dead, and everyone else, so he could have all the money.
And it turned out Marie knew it all along and so did Johnny Smith.
It turns out that the Grandpa left all his money to Marie. He thought the best way to protect Marie was to make everyone wait 13 years. His thinking was that everyone would die or not care about who got the money after all that time. Oh the irony, as by doing that and making them wait, he did that he built up so much resentment that he almost caused her to be murdered.
And in the end Johnny and Marie get together. I KNEW IT!!!!!! Faith restored.
So you might have noticed, they don’t solve the mystery of the 13th guest. This film is actually a remake of a 1930s film, which is based on a book. I’ll have to get a copy of those to see if they answer it.
The best of my knowledge the 13th guest is A) left empty because of the superstition that the first of 13 to rise will die within a year; B) the 13th guest is the devious side of Uncle Adam, or C) the 13th guest is a red herring.
Whether they solve the “mystery of the 13th guest” or not, this was a good film.