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The Last Warning (1938)
An excellent mystery!
A very clever and interesting mystery! It's great fun to watch the 2 detectives insult (and make fun of) stuffy butlers and British Majors, etc.
The method of the killings is extremely clever; the viewer will never guess how it was done!
Also, Joyce Compton (finally!) plays a sexy starlet, instead of her usual "dizzy broad" role.
An EXCELLENT film!
For those of you who only know Ms. Ball as the "dizzy redhead" in the 50's sitcoms, you're in for a TREAT!
Before making the above, she was in many films -- Marx Brothers, The "Annabel" series, and this great film.
Backed by a solid cast (Zucco, Sanders, Karloff, Napier, Coburn), she acts as the "bait" to lure a London killer out of hiding.
Even tho (at least to ME) it was obvious who the killer is, it is fascinating watching her in a non-comedy role! And, she certainly was lovely!
If you get a chance to see this, DO SO! You won't be disappointed! It's a shame that she didn't make more films in this genre.
Murder in Times Square (1943)
Interesting mystery, but much is left unexplained....
An egotistical playwrite (Edmund Lowe) write a play wherein snakes play a vital part. He becomes infamous (and wanted by the police) when several of his close friends die of "snake bite".
This is an interesting, intriquing story, but MUCH is left unanswered; for example, the weapon that simulates "snake bite" is never shown OR explained and the murderer was nowhere NEAR his first victim!
Forget the "logic" and just enjoy this film!
THE horror masterpiece!
Bela Lugosi is my all-time fav horror actor and this is HIS film! It is a masterpiece! While not based on Stoker's novel ("Nosferatu" is much closer), it is an interesting story, none-the-less!
Almost every line that Bela utters has become a classic ("Children of the night".... etc).
The only fault is that the acting of the hero/heroine is EXTREMELY "wooden", and the "romance" isn't convincing.
Having seen both this film AND the Spanish version, I have to say that (in THIS aspect) the Spanish version is MUCH better; the characters are move "believeable"....BUT.....they didn't have LUGOSI!
BTW...there's an interesting "blooper" in this film, that not many people know about. About 37 mins in, Lugosi leans down on Nina's bed (to bite her in the neck) -- if you look on the RIGHT side of the screen, you'll see a PIECE OF CARDBOARD that was attached to the lampshade, to take the glare off her face! (You've never seen it 'cos Lugosi's acting is RIVETING!). Look for it!
The Penalty (1920)
A Chaney MASTERPIECE !!!
The Immortal Lon Chaney (Sr) does it again! He plays a man who vows revenge against the doctor who "mistakenly" amputed his legs when he was a child.
This is a story of cold hatred and revenge -- much like Chaney's "West of Zanzibar".
I feel that the person who wrote the synopsis of this film gave too much away......it's better to watch it not knowing what happens.....
Chaney underwent excruciating pain, having his legs doubled up under his coat, and walking on his KNEES! (He could only do it for short periods of time).
ANYONE who dislikes silent films should watch THIS film; it's riveting right to the very end!
The Ghost Train (1941)
Interesting film....except for Askey
This could've been an excellent "ghost story"; however, Arthur Askey's antics in the first 10 mins. of this film tend to ruin the film. (One wishes that they would've been edited out, as they have NOTHING to do with the film!).
Askey (who resembles a cross between Harold Lloyd, Kay Kyser, and Robert Woolsey) might have been funny in his day, but his brand of humor is ofttimes DISMAL by today's standards. On the bright side, it improves when they get to the train station. (His antics with an imaginary "dead body" are humorous at times).
However, the real "meat & potatoes" of this film is the haunted train station, and the legend of the "ghost train" that comes thru on dark nights! One wishes this part of the film would've been much longer.
The "ghost element" makes up for Askey, so see this film if u get a chance!