Mystery

Manhattan Tower (1932)

4/5 (1)

“Manhattan Tower” is a 1932 drama film directed by Frank Strayer. The movie revolves around the lives of the residents of an apartment building in Manhattan, highlighting their struggles, relationships, and dreams amidst the backdrop of the Great Depression.

The story focuses on two central characters: Larry Deane, portrayed by Ralph Forbes, and Sue Leonard, played by Irene Ware. Larry is an aspiring architect who dreams of constructing a magnificent skyscraper that will become a symbol of his success. Sue is a talented singer with aspirations of stardom.

Larry’s ambition leads him to secure a contract to design and build the Manhattan Tower, a high-rise that will showcase his architectural talent. However, he faces numerous obstacles, including financial challenges and the manipulation of a wealthy businessman named John Howell, played by H.B. Warner.

Meanwhile, Sue faces her own trials as she strives to achieve her singing career. She attracts the attention of Tony Martinelli, played by Leon Waycoff, a charming but unscrupulous music promoter who promises to make her a star. Sue must navigate the murky world of show business and make difficult choices to pursue her dreams.

As the film unfolds, the lives of Larry, Sue, and their neighbors become intertwined. The characters grapple with personal and professional setbacks, face moral dilemmas, and experience the harsh realities of the Depression era.

“Manhattan Tower” explores themes of ambition, perseverance, and the pursuit of dreams against the backdrop of a challenging and uncertain time. It reflects the resilience of individuals in the face of adversity and the sacrifices they make to reach their goals.

The movie also captures the atmosphere of 1930s New York City, showcasing the urban landscape, the diverse characters inhabiting the city, and the social and economic struggles of the time.

Overall, “Manhattan Tower” is a captivating drama that weaves together the stories of its characters, examining their aspirations, relationships, and the effects of the Depression on their lives. It provides a glimpse into the challenges faced by individuals during a transformative period in American history.

Directors:
Frank R. Strayer

Writer:
David Hempstead, Norman Houston

Stars:
Mary Brian, Irene Rich, James Hall

Rate this Movie

Love from a Stranger (1937)

4/5 (1)

“Love from a Stranger” (or “A Night of Terror”) is a British film directed by Rowland V. Lee, released in 1937. The movie is based on the play “Enter Sir John” by Frank Vosper.

The story revolves around a woman named Cecily Harrington (played by Ann Harding), who wins a large sum of money in a sweepstakes. She decides to quit her job and take a long overdue vacation in Europe. While in Monte Carlo, she meets a charming and mysterious man named Bruce Lovell (played by Basil Rathbone) and falls deeply in love with him. After a whirlwind romance, the couple gets married and returns to London to start their new life together.

Once in London, Cecily begins to notice that her husband’s behavior is strange and his personality is different from what she had thought. Bruce becomes controlling and abusive towards Cecily, and she begins to fear for her life. Her suspicions about her husband’s true identity and intentions grow stronger when she discovers that several women who had been engaged to him before Cecily have died under suspicious circumstances.

With the help of her friends, Cecily investigates her husband’s past and uncovers a sinister plot. Bruce is not who he says he is, and he plans to kill Cecily and take her money. In a dramatic showdown, Cecily confronts her husband and narrowly escapes with her life.

The movie ends with Cecily leaving Bruce and starting anew, grateful for her friends’ support and the lesson she learned about trusting the wrong people.

Directors:
Rowland V. Lee

Writer:
Frank Vosper, Agatha Christie, Frances Marion

Stars:
Ann Harding, Basil Rathbone, Binnie Hale

Rate this Movie

Great Expectations (1946)

5/5 (1)

“Great Expectations” is a film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel of the same name, directed by David Lean in 1946. The film is a coming-of-age story about Pip, a young orphan boy who is raised by his abusive sister and her blacksmith husband in rural England in the early 1800s.

One day, while visiting the graves of his parents, Pip encounters an escaped convict who demands that Pip bring him food and a file to remove his leg irons. The convict is later caught, but Pip’s kindness towards him has not gone unnoticed. Soon after, Pip is summoned to the decaying mansion of Miss Havisham, a wealthy, eccentric spinster who has been living in seclusion for many years after being jilted at the altar on her wedding day. Miss Havisham hires Pip to play with her adopted daughter, the beautiful but cold-hearted Estella, whom she is raising to break men’s hearts as revenge for her own broken heart.

Pip becomes infatuated with Estella, and his desire to become a gentleman and win her heart becomes his driving ambition. His life changes dramatically when he is unexpectedly given a large sum of money by an unknown benefactor, and he moves to London to become a gentleman. However, as he rises in society, he begins to lose touch with his humble roots and the people who cared for him.

As the years pass, Pip learns the truth about his benefactor, Miss Havisham, and Estella, and he comes to realize the mistakes he has made in his pursuit of wealth and status. He discovers that true happiness comes from love and loyalty, not money and social status, and he must learn to reconcile his past mistakes and make amends.

The film features outstanding performances by John Mills as Pip, Valerie Hobson as Estella, Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham, and Alec Guinness as Pip’s friend, Herbert Pocket. The stunning visuals, haunting score, and compelling storytelling make “Great Expectations” a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of generations of viewers.

Directors:
David Lean

Writer:
Charles Dickens, David Lean, Ronald Neame

Stars:
John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager

Rate this Movie

City of Missing Girls (1941)

3/5 (1)

“City of Missing Girls” is a 1941 American crime drama film directed by Elmer Clifton and starring H.B. Warner, Astrid Allwyn, and John Archer. The story follows a police detective named Johnny Mack Brown (played by John Archer) who is tasked with investigating a string of disappearances of young women in a big city. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a complex web of corruption and organized crime involving a powerful gangster named Scarface, who is linked to the abductions. Brown must use all his skills and wits to outsmart Scarface and his henchmen and rescue the missing girls before it’s too late. The film was produced by Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) and released by United Artists.

Directors:
Elmer Clifton

Writer:
Oliver Drake, George Rosener

Stars:
H.B. Warner, Astrid Allwyn, John Archer

Rate this Movie

Sunset Murder Case (1938)

3/5 (1)

“Sunset Murder Case” is a 1938 American mystery film directed by Louis J. Gasnier and starring Sally Rand, Esther Muir, and Vince Barnett. The film follows the investigation of a murder case in which a wealthy man is found dead in his mansion, and suspicion falls on his gold-digging wife and her lover. The lead detective on the case, Lieutenant Wayne (played by Reed Hadley), must unravel a complex web of motives and alibis as he tries to solve the crime. Along the way, he encounters a variety of eccentric characters and hidden secrets that make the case even more challenging to crack. The film was produced by Grand National Pictures and released by Republic Pictures.

Directors:
Louis J. Gasnier

Writer:
Harold Joyce, Paul Franklin, Arthur Hoerl

Stars:
Sally Rand, Henry King, Esther Muir

Rate this Movie

The Panther’s Claw (1942)

3/5 (1)

“The Panther’s Claw” is a 1942 American mystery film directed by William Beaudine and starring Sidney Blackmer, Rick Vallin, and Byron Foulger. The story follows a private detective named Ted Shayne (played by Sidney Blackmer) who is hired to investigate a series of mysterious deaths at a remote mountain lodge. The guests at the lodge include a wealthy heiress, her greedy relatives, and a variety of suspicious characters with motives for murder. As Shayne delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a sinister plot involving a valuable diamond, a hidden identity, and a dangerous killer on the loose. The film was produced by Monogram Pictures and released by Allied Artists Pictures.

Directors:
William Beaudine

Writer:
Fulton Oursler, Martin Mooney

Stars:
Sidney Blackmer, Rick Vallin, Byron Foulger

Rate this Movie

Murder At The Baskervilles (1937)

4/5 (2)

“Murder at the Baskervilles” is a 1937 British mystery film directed by Thomas Bentley and starring Arthur Wontner, Ian Fleming, and Lyn Harding. The film is based on the famous Sherlock Holmes novel “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In this story, Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson, investigate a series of strange deaths and occurrences surrounding the Baskerville family, who reside in a remote, foreboding mansion in the English countryside. The legend of a ghostly hound that haunts the family adds to the mystery, and Holmes must use his keen powers of observation and deduction to solve the case and bring the killer to justice. The film was produced by Twickenham Film Studios and released by Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC).

Directors:
Thomas Bentley

Writer:
Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Macrae, H. Fowler Mear

Stars:
Arthur Wontner, Ian Fleming, Lyn Harding

Rate this Movie

Green Eyes (1934)

3/5 (1)

“Green Eyes” is a 1934 American mystery drama film directed by Richard Thorpe. The story follows a young woman named Jean (played by Shirley Grey), who discovers that her wealthy businessman father has been murdered. She hires a private detective named Jim (played by Charles Starrett) to help her uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice. As they investigate the crime, they encounter a web of deceit, betrayal, and greed among the suspects, including Jean’s stepmother and her lover. The film was produced by Tiffany Pictures and released by 20th Century Fox.

Directors:
Richard Thorpe

Writer:
H. Ashbrook

Stars:
Shirley Grey, Charles Starrett, Claude Gillingwater

Rate this Movie

Murder in Harlem (1935)

3/5 (1)

After discovering the lifeless body of a white woman at a chemical factory, a night watchman who happens to be black becomes the prime suspect in the murder investigation. Despite reporting the incident, he finds himself at the center of a criminal case where he must prove his innocence in the face of intense racial prejudice and suspicion.

Directors:
Oscar Micheaux, Clarence Williams

Writer:
Oscar Micheaux, Clarence Williams

Stars:
Clarence Brooks, Dorothy Van Engle, Andrew Bishop

Rate this Movie

The Dying Detective – Sherlock Holmes (1921)

4/5 (2)

“The Dying Detective” is a short story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and featuring the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in 1913 as part of the collection “His Last Bow”.

The story begins with Dr. Watson being summoned to the home of Sherlock Holmes, who appears to be seriously ill. Holmes claims to be suffering from a rare and deadly tropical disease, and he refuses to let anyone else examine him. Watson is concerned and tries to help, but Holmes appears to be delirious and barely coherent.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Holmes is not actually ill, but is instead putting on an elaborate act as part of a plan to catch a criminal. Holmes reveals that he has been investigating a man named Culverton Smith, who he believes is responsible for the death of a friend. Smith is an expert in tropical diseases, and Holmes is certain that he used his knowledge to commit murder.

In order to prove his theory, Holmes has allowed himself to be infected with the same disease that Smith used to kill his victim. He knows that Smith will come to him, believing that he is safe from suspicion, and he will be able to catch him in the act.

In the end, Holmes’ plan succeeds, and Smith is caught and brought to justice. Holmes’ own health is restored, and he and Watson resume their adventures together.

“The Dying Detective” is a classic Sherlock Holmes story that showcases the detective’s intelligence, cunning, and willingness to put himself in danger to catch a criminal. It is also a testament to the enduring popularity of the character and the enduring appeal of Conan Doyle’s writing.

Directors:
Maurice Elvey

Writer:
Arthur Conan Doyle, William J. Elliott

Stars:
Eille Norwood, Hubert Willis, Cecil Humphreys

Rate this Movie

The Canary Murder Case (1929)

3/5 (1)

“The Canary Murder Case” is a detective novel written by S.S. Van Dine and published in 1927. The story revolves around the murder of a beautiful nightclub singer named Margaret Odell, known as “The Canary” for her stunning voice. The book’s main character is Philo Vance, a detective who uses his wit and intelligence to solve the mystery.

The book begins with the discovery of Margaret’s body in her apartment, where she was strangled to death with a silk cord. The prime suspect is her wealthy boyfriend, Louis Clewes, who was the last person to see her alive. However, Vance quickly realizes that the case is more complex than it seems.

Vance interviews a number of suspects, including Margaret’s ex-husband, her jealous roommate, and her piano player, among others. He also employs his knowledge of psychology, criminology, and logic to piece together the evidence and identify the true killer.

In the end, Vance solves the case and reveals that the killer was not Louis, but rather another person with a motive for murder. The book ends with Vance reflecting on the case and the flaws in human nature that lead people to commit crimes.

Overall, “The Canary Murder Case” is a classic whodunit that showcases the brilliance of Philo Vance as a detective and the complexities of human behavior.

Directors:
Malcolm St. Clair, Frank Tuttle

Writer:
S.S. Van Dine, Florence Ryerson, Albert S. Le Vino

Stars:
William Powell, Jean Arthur, James Hall

Rate this Movie

The Second Woman (1950)

3/5 (1)

“The Second Woman” is a 1950 American film noir directed by James V. Kern and starring Robert Young, Betsy Drake, and John Sutton.

The film follows the story of a wealthy San Francisco architect named Jeff Cohalan (Robert Young), who is haunted by the tragic death of his first wife in a boating accident. He becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea that his new wife, Ellen (Betsy Drake), is destined to suffer the same fate.

As Jeff’s paranoia grows, he becomes increasingly possessive and controlling, alienating Ellen and causing tension in their marriage. When a former business associate of Jeff’s arrives in town, he begins to suspect that the man is involved in a conspiracy to harm Ellen.

But as Jeff’s mental state deteriorates, it becomes increasingly unclear whether his fears are justified, or simply the product of his own troubled mind. The film builds suspense and tension as it explores the depths of Jeff’s psychological turmoil, and the impact it has on those around him.

With its intricate plot and complex characters, “The Second Woman” is a classic example of film noir. It features strong performances from the lead actors, particularly Robert Young as the troubled protagonist, and Betsy Drake as the loyal but conflicted Ellen. The film is a gripping psychological drama that keeps the audience guessing until the very end.

Directors:
James V. Kern

Writer:
Mort Briskin, Robert Smith

Stars:
Robert Young, Betsy Drake, John Sutton

Rate this Movie

I Love Trouble (1948)

4/5 (1)

“I Love Trouble” is a 1948 American film noir directed by S. Sylvan Simon and starring Franchot Tone and Janet Blair.

The film follows the story of a hard-boiled crime reporter named Stuart Bailey (Franchot Tone), who teams up with a beautiful society girl named Nora Tierney (Janet Blair) to investigate a murder case. The victim is a wealthy businessman, and the suspects are all members of his family, each with a motive for the crime.

As Bailey and Tierney delve deeper into the case, they face danger and intrigue at every turn. They uncover a tangled web of lies, deception, and betrayal that takes them from the mansions of the wealthy elite to the seedy underworld of the city.

The chemistry between Bailey and Tierney grows as they work together, adding a touch of romance to the film. But as they get closer to the truth, they find themselves in grave danger, and must use all of their skills and wits to stay alive.

With its suspenseful plot, witty dialogue, and dynamic lead performances, “I Love Trouble” is a classic example of the film noir genre. It keeps the audience guessing until the very end, with a thrilling climax that brings the mystery to a satisfying conclusion.

Directors:
S. Sylvan Simon

Writer:
Roy Huggins

Stars:
Franchot Tone, Janet Blair, Janis Carter

Rate this Movie

Algiers (1938)

4/5 (1)

“Algiers” is a 1938 American romantic drama film directed by John Cromwell and starring Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr.

The film tells the story of Pepe Le Moko (Charles Boyer), a notorious thief and fugitive who is hiding out in the Casbah district of Algiers, a labyrinthine neighborhood that is home to many other criminals and outcasts. Despite his criminal status, Pepe is respected and admired by the locals, who help him evade the police.

Pepe’s life takes a dramatic turn when he meets Gaby (Hedy Lamarr), a beautiful and sophisticated woman visiting Algiers with her wealthy fiancé. Pepe is immediately drawn to Gaby, and she to him, leading to a forbidden romance that threatens to upend both of their lives.

As the police close in on Pepe, he must choose between his love for Gaby and his loyalty to his criminal comrades. Meanwhile, Gaby must confront her own desires and decide what kind of life she wants to lead.

With its exotic setting, sweeping romance, and themes of forbidden love and redemption, “Algiers” was a critical and commercial success, earning Charles Boyer an Oscar nomination for his performance as Pepe Le Moko. The film has since become a classic of Hollywood’s golden age.

Directors:
John Cromwell

Writer:
John Howard Lawson, James M. Cain, Henri La Barthe

Stars:
Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, Sigrid Gurie

Rate this Movie

Murder on the Campus (1933)

3/5 (1)

“Murder on the Campus” is a 1933 British crime film directed by Richard Thorpe. The story centers around a series of murders that take place on a university campus, where the victims are all connected to a prestigious debating society.

The film follows the investigations of a Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Parr (Stewart Rome), who works closely with a local detective, Inspector Winton (W. Graham Brown), to solve the case. As they uncover clues and interview suspects, they discover a complex web of motives and secrets that lead them closer to the killer.

The suspects include several members of the debating society, as well as a jealous boyfriend, a rival professor, and a mysterious woman with a hidden agenda. The tension builds as the detectives race against time to catch the killer before they strike again.

With twists and turns throughout the plot, “Murder on the Campus” keeps the audience guessing until the very end. The film features a talented cast, including Henry Kendall, Felix Aylmer, and John Mills in early roles.

Directors:
Richard Thorpe

Writer:
Whitman Chambers

Stars:
Shirley Grey, Charles Starrett, J. Farrell MacDonald

Rate this Movie