15 July 2024
Mystery House (1938)
56 min.
Directed by Noel M. Smith.
With Dick Purcell, Ann Sheridan, Anne Nagel, William Hopper, Anthony Averill, Dennie Moore, Hugh O'Connell, Ben Welden, Elspeth Dudgeon.
Purcell and Sheridan are strong leads in this otherwise overly talky mystery-thriller.

When her father dies under suspicious circumstances, Gwen Kingery (Nagel) is convinced he was murdered.

She's determined she'll discover the truth behind his death. So, she hires private eye Lance O'Leary (Purcell).

Then, she invites all of her father's business associates to a remote hunting cabin, hoping to smoke out the person responsible for her pop's untimely end.

But before long, someone is killing Gwen's guests, one by one!

Will O'Leary, helped by savvy galpal Sarah (Sheridan), be able to finger the murderer before it's too late? Mystery House is one in a long line of 'old dark house' thrillers made in the 1930s.

But unfortunately, this one is far too controlled in its approach, and never really gets a full head of steam. Sheridan and Hopper provide some nice eye candy, but there's precious little sparks between any of the other cast members.

Only Dudgeon, as bitchy Aunt Lucy, spikes this mediocre Warner Bros. effort with any oomph.

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