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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: kjrwe on March 28, 2017, 06:12:20 PM



Title: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on March 28, 2017, 06:12:20 PM
On another forum, I was running a whodunit thread, and I'd like to keep up the tradition here.

Please post the titles (and reviews, if you wish) of any whodunits which you saw (films, TV shows), heard (radio plays), and/or read (novels, plays, short stories).

Inverted mysteries titles are welcome as well.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on March 28, 2017, 06:17:35 PM
Recently I saw four of them:

The Ninth Guest (1934): a group of people (who all know each other) are invited to a party at a penthouse suite, and they start to get murdered off by a serial killer. This one's probably the inspiration for Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

The Black Camel (1931): a Charlie Chan mystery, based on the novel The Black Camel. Very atmospheric story with a good ending.

Eran Trece (1931): the Spanish language version of the novel Charlie Chan Carries On. Unfortunately, the Warner Oland version (also from 1931) is considered to be lost.

Charlie Chan in London (1934): a young man is about to be hanged for the murder of another man. His sister is sure that he's innocent. She asks Charlie Chan to investigate the crime and to find the real killer. Chan is taken to a large isolated mansion, where a number of people are gathered...nice, old-fashioned British-style mystery.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on March 29, 2017, 12:25:04 AM
Currently watching The Case of the Howling Dog (1934) - the first Perry Mason story to be filmed.

I think that this is by far the best of the 1930s Perry Mason movies. It's a complicated and interesting story with a great ending. Thankfully the film wasn't ruined by nonsense which was introduced into some of the later films, like Perry Mason being a drunkard. This film is well-paced, with snappy dialogue, and a lot of twists/turns. Highly recommended.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on March 29, 2017, 04:01:47 AM
These next couple of days, I'll be watching several 1930s mysteries based on Mignon Eberhart mystery novels.

Some of Eberhart's stories feature Nurse Sarah Keate (sometimes renamed as Sally Keating in the films), along with detective Lance O'Leary.

The films are generally set in isolated locations (either a house or hotel), and they contain at least one of the following: secret passages, secret rooms, bizarre characters, blackmailers, wills, family matriarchs/patriarchs, etc. The only thing missing from all the films is the portrait with the moving eyes.

The ones I'll be watching are:

The White Cockatoo

While the Patient Slept

Mystery House

Murder by an Aristocrat


I've seen each of these a number of times.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on March 30, 2017, 04:50:42 AM
I'm glad to see the migration of the whodunit threads onto here. I'm about to start on reading some whodunits and trying to get some of the rarer oldies from my local library stock. Hopefully they will be able to supply me with some they have got on their oldies catalogue from their central archives.

I've begun by attempting to order 'The Invisible Host' which I believe is what the 'The Ninth Guest' film is based upon. I haven't seen the 1934 film yet but I know that you are a fan so that is recommendation enough for me.

I'll run a few of the 'Poirot' DVDs that I have to see if you like the original Agatha Christie stories. Carry on sleuthing.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on March 30, 2017, 08:16:26 PM
I'm glad to see the migration of the whodunit threads onto here. I'm about to start on reading some whodunits and trying to get some of the rarer oldies from my local library stock. Hopefully they will be able to supply me with some they have got on their oldies catalogue from their central archives.

I've begun by attempting to order 'The Invisible Host' which I believe is what the 'The Ninth Guest' film is based upon. I haven't seen the 1934 film yet but I know that you are a fan so that is recommendation enough for me.

I'll run a few of the 'Poirot' DVDs that I have to see if you like the original Agatha Christie stories. Carry on sleuthing.

Looking forward to hearing from you in the future!  O0


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on March 31, 2017, 05:15:56 AM
Just to let you know that I am currently running 'The Scarlet Claw' DVD as I had forgotten what a good whodunit this story is. It is of course the 1944 Basil Rathbone film which is an unauthorised Sherlock Holmes tale. There is a good sense of the supernatural going on which of course Holmes does not trust. The solution is fairly well-disguised for those who are watching it for the first time.

The theme is repeated in one of Hallmark's best TV movies of 2002. 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' transfers the 'Scarlet Claw' story from Canada to the East End of London where it is merged into the Jack the Ripper murder case. Matt Frewer is Holmes in this version. I think that both films are a good creepy watch for those who like detective stories.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on March 31, 2017, 09:06:21 PM
Just to let you know that I am currently running 'The Scarlet Claw' DVD as I had forgotten what a good whodunit this story is. It is of course the 1944 Basil Rathbone film which is an unauthorised Sherlock Holmes tale. There is a good sense of the supernatural going on which of course Holmes does not trust. The solution is fairly well-disguised for those who are watching it for the first time.

The theme is repeated in one of Hallmark's best TV movies of 2002. 'The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire' transfers the 'Scarlet Claw' story from Canada to the East End of London where it is merged into the Jack the Ripper murder case. Matt Frewer is Holmes in this version. I think that both films are a good creepy watch for those who like detective stories.

I watched the Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films about 10 years ago. They were well done, but not exactly authentic. They aren't based on the stories and they are set in the wrong time period. Still, as you say, they had some good ideas and endings. I liked Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the leading roles, although I think that Rathbone was better as a bad boy in movies.

For Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I like the first season of the Jeremy Brett episodes. Even though they're from the 80s, they captured the late 1800s very well and they were faithful to the stories. That series went downhill after season one.

I haven't seen that 2002 TV movie. Thanks for the heads up!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 01, 2017, 04:36:57 AM
I didn't mind Sherlock Holmes being set in the then contemporary 1940s in a lot of the Basil Rathbone films. Because despite of this Universal's gothic feel still seem to come through in them especially 'The Scarlet Claw.' Holmes doesn't work for me in the current day adaptations.

I note what you say about the first of the Jeremy Brett Holmes series. I will have a look at them in the near future and let you know which I think is the best episode from that volume. I liked the gothic feel of the final series ('Memoirs') but it is really creepy and torturing to see the ill Jeremy Brett dying before our eyes in that series.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 02, 2017, 01:26:33 AM
I didn't mind Sherlock Holmes being set in the then contemporary 1940s in a lot of the Basil Rathbone films. Because despite of this Universal's gothic feel still seem to come through in them especially 'The Scarlet Claw.' Holmes doesn't work for me in the current day adaptations.

I note what you say about the first of the Jeremy Brett Holmes series. I will have a look at them in the near future and let you know which I think is the best episode from that volume. I liked the gothic feel of the final series ('Memoirs') but it is really creepy and torturing to see the ill Jeremy Brett dying before our eyes in that series.

Good point about Jeremy Brett. By the final season, he really looked sick. In fact, he looked like he could barely act.

In the first season, he was full of energy and very hot.  :) I need to rewatch those ones again. It's been awhile since I've seen any of them.

I wonder if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote A Scandal in Bohemia in order to ensure that women would read his future literature? :) That episode was really well done.

The Solitary Cyclist is a very scary story. Same with The Copper Beeches.

Yup, time for another look, for sure!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 02, 2017, 05:18:18 AM
Jeremy Brett was a very attractive man in his younger day. So I'm not surprised that you found him hot in the first series.

'Bohemia' would have been the one where Holmes' love interest was Irene Adler if I remember rightly. There was later a very long Holmes version with the Irene Adler character which had Christopher Lee in it. I don't know about you but I found that boring.

'The Solitary Cyclist' is menacing and that's a really good one. The story had Peter Cushing as Holmes in the 1960s but unfortunately that episode has now been lost.

I am a third of the way through listening to 'More Work For The Undertaker' on audio book. It's a 1948 story by Margery Allingham. Her detective Campion is holed up in a big house full of eccentrics trying to solve a suspicious death. Coffins in the cellar and people going about their business during the night is happening. I am often chuckling at the antics as I listen. It's bizarre and macabre and I recommend it if you haven't already tried that one.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 02, 2017, 07:52:55 PM
Jeremy Brett was a very attractive man in his younger day. So I'm not surprised that you found him hot in the first series.

'Bohemia' would have been the one where Holmes' love interest was Irene Adler if I remember rightly. There was later a very long Holmes version with the Irene Adler character which had Christopher Lee in it. I don't know about you but I found that boring.

'The Solitary Cyclist' is menacing and that's a really good one. The story had Peter Cushing as Holmes in the 1960s but unfortunately that episode has now been lost.

I am a third of the way through listening to 'More Work For The Undertaker' on audio book. It's a 1948 story by Margery Allingham. Her detective Campion is holed up in a big house full of eccentrics trying to solve a suspicious death. Coffins in the cellar and people going about their business during the night is happening. I am often chuckling at the antics as I listen. It's bizarre and macabre and I recommend it if you haven't already tried that one.

I haven't seen a longer version of A Scandal in Bohemia. There would be no reason to stretch out the story more than necessary. The length of the Jeremy Brett episode was just right.

I didn't realize that The Solitary Cyclist had been filmed in the sixties. A pity that this episode is no longer available.

Regarding Margery Allingham: I'm not a big fan. I think that The White Cottage Mystery is a masterpiece (it's a pre-Campion story) and a very tragic story, but somehow those Campion stories didn't appeal to me. I've given them a couple of fair chances. I can't remember what exactly I thought of the novel which you're listening to right now. (By the way, I've never tried an audio book! How are those, anyway?)


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 04, 2017, 04:34:12 AM
I will look out for 'The White Cottage Mystery.' I've never read any of Margery Allingham's pre-Campion stories. Her Campion stuff didn't transfer to TV very well I must say. I've just had a very busy couple of days so I haven't been able to listen any further into 'More Work For The Undertaker' as yet.

Do you like audio books? I have some whodunits CDs stacked away. Some I haven't listened to as yet. All contain Margery Allingham or Ngaio Marsh stories. Both these whodunit writers seem to be popular in the audio book market.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 04, 2017, 07:14:47 PM
I will look out for 'The White Cottage Mystery.' I've never read any of Margery Allingham's pre-Campion stories. Her Campion stuff didn't transfer to TV very well I must say. I've just had a very busy couple of days so I haven't been able to listen any further into 'More Work For The Undertaker' as yet.

Do you like audio books? I have some whodunits CDs stacked away. Some I haven't listened to as yet. All contain Margery Allingham or Ngaio Marsh stories. Both these whodunit writers seem to be popular in the audio book market.

The White Cottage Mystery is a very sad story, I think.

I watched a bunch of those Campion episodes about 8 years ago or something. They are well done for fans of Campion, in my opinion. Yet you say that those stories didn't translate well to TV, so maybe I'm wrong in assuming that Campion's fans will enjoy the episodes.

I have never heard an audio book, and probably never will (unless I run into eye trouble).

By the way, I did watch Charlie Chan in London again last night. I just love early 1930s British whodunits on the big screen! If only more of the Agatha Christie mysteries had been filmed at the time! Peril at End House, The Sittaford Mystery, Murder at the Vicarage...wishful thinking on my part.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 06, 2017, 01:07:37 AM
I've been watching some of the Season One Sherlock Holmes mysteries, the ones starring Jeremy Brett. For an eighties show, they sure paid a lot of attention to capturing the correct time period (no anachronisms). They were faithful to the stories, too. (The later seasons really went downhill.)

The ones I've seen are:

A Scandal in Bohemia - probably one of the best Holmes mysteries out there.

The Solitary Cyclist - probably one of the scariest Holmes mysteries

The Copper Beeches - nice, old-fashioned mystery set in an isolated mansion, with something sinister happening in a locked room. I was especially impressed with Natasha Richardson's acting in this one.

The Norwood Builder - very nice twist ending here.

I plan on watching the following in the next few days:

The Resident Patient - I've seen this one a few times, and each time I get amused at how the doctor and his patient interact with each other.

The Crooked Man - sad story, for sure.

The Naval Treaty - I've seen it before, and yet I can't seem to recall who is the culprit in this one!

After I'm done with these, I will switch back to my beloved 1930s mysteries.  :)


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 06, 2017, 04:36:32 AM
I will join you in those episodes from the first series of JB's Sherlock Holmes and see what I make of them. I'll save the good ones that you've given verdict on till later and enjoy them once more.

I don't like the Campion reruns that they show on TV. Peter Davison is Campion and Brian Glover is his thuggish manservant. I would like to have seen a different cast. I don't know if they will get redone as Margery Allingham doesn't get much exposure nowadays. Perhaps people share your indifference to her works. I think some of her stories are OK. I look forward to finding 'The White Cottage Mystery.'


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 07, 2017, 12:58:10 AM
I will join you in those episodes from the first series of JB's Sherlock Holmes and see what I make of them. I'll save the good ones that you've given verdict on till later and enjoy them once more.

I watched The Naval Treaty just now. What a good episode/story!

I'm starting to miss my beloved 1930s mysteries. After a couple more Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I'm going back to the thirties.  :)

For sure I'll be skipping the episodes featuring Moriaty. I have never cared for the Holmes-Moriaty nonsense.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 07, 2017, 04:52:07 AM
I'll watch 'The Naval Treaty' tonight. I hadn't got your list hand so it was pot luck which one I picked last night. I opted for 'The Dancing Men' which doesn't get a mention from you. I'm not really surprised at that because I think the story is weak overall.

At first 'The Dancing Men' suggests a subtle supernatural influence like a lot of the Holmes stories. But the mystery soon turns more mundane with a fairly obvious cypher. Just a creepy little scene in it is when some apparent vagrant is drawing the dancing men on the Baker Street pavement as Cubitt has just taken his case to Holmes. But generally the interest doesn't sustain.

I look forward to your 1930s recommendations. And I'll keep trying to track down your reading recs too.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 07, 2017, 08:16:41 PM
I'll watch 'The Naval Treaty' tonight. I hadn't got your list hand so it was pot luck which one I picked last night. I opted for 'The Dancing Men' which doesn't get a mention from you. I'm not really surprised at that because I think the story is weak overall.

At first 'The Dancing Men' suggests a subtle supernatural influence like a lot of the Holmes stories. But the mystery soon turns more mundane with a fairly obvious cypher. Just a creepy little scene in it is when some apparent vagrant is drawing the dancing men on the Baker Street pavement as Cubitt has just taken his case to Holmes. But generally the interest doesn't sustain.

Regarding The Dancing Men: it's a decent story, but I've always been a bit disturbed by who the victim is in this case. I know that these are thrillers and that sometimes there will be victims (or theft, or whatever), but somehow this one always hit a nerve with me.

I might try The Blue Carbuncle and The Greek Interpreter tonight. I seem to recall not enjoying those at one time, but I'm willing to give them another fair chance. I'm skipping The Speckled Band because I have a bizarre fear of snakes.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 08, 2017, 03:34:58 AM
I'll join you in 'The Blue Carbuncle' and 'The Greek Interpreter' tonight. Even though I was interested in 'The Naval Treaty' I fell asleep towards the end last night so I will have to run that one again some time.

I might run the Peter Cushing version of 'The Blue Carbuncle' as well. As I watch Jeremy Brett in the first series I can see a faint resemblance to Peter Cushing. Brett isn't so lantern-jawed as Cushing but there is a similarity. I think perhaps Brett would have studied Cushing's portrayals of Holmes even though he does predominately bring his own screen personality to the role.

It's a shame you have an aversion to snakes as 'The Speckled Brand' is a cracker. I've got the early 1930s version of that story with Raymond Massey on DVD. It's really creepy with the high-ceilinged rooms in an old gothic house.







Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 08, 2017, 10:00:22 PM
I'll join you in 'The Blue Carbuncle' and 'The Greek Interpreter' tonight. Even though I was interested in 'The Naval Treaty' I fell asleep towards the end last night so I will have to run that one again some time.

I might run the Peter Cushing version of 'The Blue Carbuncle' as well. As I watch Jeremy Brett in the first series I can see a faint resemblance to Peter Cushing. Brett isn't so lantern-jawed as Cushing but there is a similarity. I think perhaps Brett would have studied Cushing's portrayals of Holmes even though he does predominately bring his own screen personality to the role.

It's a shame you have an aversion to snakes as 'The Speckled Brand' is a cracker. I've got the early 1930s version of that story with Raymond Massey on DVD. It's really creepy with the high-ceilinged rooms in an old gothic house.

Ugh...I can't stand The Blue Carbuncle. What on earth was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle thinking when he wrote that? Was it his feeble attempt at humor? Personally, I recommend you finish The Naval Treaty instead. It's a much better story.

Now I'm getting curious about those Peter Cushing Sherlock Holmes mysteries...

Maybe I should give that early 1930s version of The Speckled Band a chance. At least I'll know what to expect. I don't want to give up seeing an old gothic house with the high ceilings...that's what mysteries are all about!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 09, 2017, 02:03:44 AM
I just finished the 1930s film Murder by Television. I have to admit that I liked it the best when I first saw it a few years ago. Since then, the film has seemed to be weaker and weaker each time I've tried to watch it.

The best part of it is the scene when the TV set is the main attraction. I've always enjoyed the glimpse into very early television. After that, unfortunately, the movie does go a bit downhill.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 09, 2017, 04:08:47 AM
You always surprising me by coming up with films that I have never heard of before. There is a huge wealth of 1930s films for me to discover.

I'm going to look at 'Murder By Television' when I get the chance. I've just checked it out on Wiki. I like watching Bela Lugosi and Hattie McDaniel anytime. I notice Hattie is a domestic again; a cook this time. Television was still a new medium at thAT time so I wonder if it was one of the first films to feature a TV?


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 09, 2017, 04:21:10 AM
I watched 'The Blue Carbuncle' last night and I was actually repulsed this time. I'm a veggie and I love all birds so the sight of those poor geese has really offended my sensitivities for sure now. I'm blacklisting that story from my viewing from now on.

'The Greek Interpreter' is much better. The villain with the glasses seemed to be impersonating Peter Lorre. He had got Lorre's voice to a T.

I can't find my Peter Cushing set of the TV Holmes that still exist. I will give you a rundown of the stories that this set covers. And of course Cushing was also Holmes in Hammer's 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' in the late 1950s.

I hope you do give Massey's 'Speckled Band' a try. I grabbed it with glee when I saw it on a DVD set that also includes some Wontner Holmes versions. The sound is horrible on some of the films but that is worth enduring to see those early Holmes' movies.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: noirjoe on April 09, 2017, 07:58:34 AM
I just finished the 1930s film Murder by Television. I have to admit that I liked it the best when I first saw it a few years ago. Since then, the film has seemed to be weaker and weaker each time I've tried to watch it.

The best part of it is the scene when the TV set is the main attraction. I've always enjoyed the glimpse into very early television. After that, unfortunately, the movie does go a bit downhill.
Murder by Television is the shortened feature film version of the 12 chapter Mascott serial THE WHISPERING SHADOW. I ordered it a few days ago, mainly because of Bela Lugosi who was good in a number of 30s serials. So I'll be finding out whether such a long telling of this story will be too much.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 09, 2017, 02:03:54 PM
You always surprising me by coming up with films that I have never heard of before. There is a huge wealth of 1930s films for me to discover.

I'm going to look at 'Murder By Television' when I get the chance. I've just checked it out on Wiki. I like watching Bela Lugosi and Hattie McDaniel anytime. I notice Hattie is a domestic again; a cook this time. Television was still a new medium at thAT time so I wonder if it was one of the first films to feature a TV?

I listed a bunch of 1930s mysteries on the whodunit thread on the other forum when the boards were still around. I can certainly compile a list for this forum, too.  :)

Yes, Lugosi and McDaniel are always a treat to see in films. Unfortunately, the roles were limited for Hattie McDaniel and a number of other non-Caucasian actors of the time.

There are a couple of other films from the 30s which feature TV sets, but I forget their titles.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 09, 2017, 02:07:24 PM
I watched 'The Blue Carbuncle' last night and I was actually repulsed this time. I'm a veggie and I love all birds so the sight of those poor geese has really offended my sensitivities for sure now. I'm blacklisting that story from my viewing from now on.

'The Greek Interpreter' is much better. The villain with the glasses seemed to be impersonating Peter Lorre. He had got Lorre's voice to a T.

The Blue Carbuncle is such an idiotic story. And didn't the author think that doing this to a goose would KILL the goose? Seriously. Usually I have no problems with far-fetched mystery plots, but this was just ridiculous.

I think the author should have stayed away from stories where animals play a big part of the plot. For example, in The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Copper Beeches, the characters should have just FED those beasts!

Interesting observation about the villain in The Greek Interpreter....


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 09, 2017, 02:08:11 PM
Murder by Television is the shortened feature film version of the 12 chapter Mascott serial THE WHISPERING SHADOW. I ordered it a few days ago, mainly because of Bela Lugosi who was good in a number of 30s serials. So I'll be finding out whether such a long telling of this story will be too much.

I had no idea that this is where Murder by Television came from! Thanks for the info!

 O0


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 10, 2017, 03:33:51 AM
'The Whispering Shadow' sounds good. Any mystery serials are of interest. Watching them all at once is going to be full of cliff-hangers as each episode ends. I think that 'The Invisible Ghost' is an entertaining Lugosi thriller as a feature.

I think that Hattie McDaniel give up acting in the end because she was getting nothing but domestic parts. Clarence Muse is another non-Caucasian actor the gave entertaining performances. He appears in 'The Invisible Ghost.'



Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 10, 2017, 03:38:24 AM
I will have a look at 'The Copper Beeches' tonight. I don't like the way that animals are treated in the Holmes stories generally.

I had a look at 'The Eligible Bachelor' from one of the later series yesterday because it was being aired on TV. That's  a really creepy Brett episode.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 10, 2017, 05:32:00 PM
I will have a look at 'The Copper Beeches' tonight. I don't like the way that animals are treated in the Holmes stories generally.

I had a look at 'The Eligible Bachelor' from one of the later series yesterday because it was being aired on TV. That's  a really creepy Brett episode.

I agree with you about animals in the Holmes stories. I wonder why Sir Arthur Conan Doyle treated animals this way in his literature?

I've seen the later episodes and I don't recall really enjoying any of them. Sad that this series went downhill so much after season one. I don't recall the story The Eligible Bachelor at all.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 11, 2017, 03:30:39 AM
I have been thinking that you do have a point about feeding the animals to avoid attacks in the Holmes stories. I had never thought of that. So much for Holmes deductive powers.

Conan Doyle was a doctor by profession but I don't know much about his attitude to animals. He may have been frightened of them or perhaps it was just his way of being the typical macho Victorian male. I know a retired policeman who has an absolute fear of dogs. I can't imagine how he carried out his work at times.

'The Eligible Bachelor' is from the third series ('Casebook of Sherlock Holmes'). In it Holmes has disturbing dreams which he takes as presentiments on a case. So this one is a psychologically creepy piece. Simon Williams is great as the beastly and sadistic Lord Robert. I recommend this one.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 11, 2017, 05:53:07 PM
Last night I shifted gears a bit and I watched two faves from the early sixties: Charade and The Pink Panther. I just have to watch these about once a month or so!

Charade is a great thriller-whodunit - a serial killer is out to get certain characters.

The Pink Panther seems to be sort of an inverse whodunit-thriller. The viewers know from the start that Sir Charles is the culprit, but it's up to the inspector to figure this out...and to figure out his wife's role in all of this.

Later this week, I plan on watching the 1930s Torchy Blane films. Haven't seen those in a couple of years, at least.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 13, 2017, 03:30:19 AM
I haven't seen 'Charade' yet. I normally like Cary Grant so I will look out for that one.

I like the Mancini music for 'The Pink Panther' especially 'It Had Better Be Tonight' which keeps turning up in various points in different forms during the film. I often quite like when you know the perpetrator (as opposed to the whodunit mystery) in films. After all Hitchcock movies are mostly in that form.

I haven't seen any of the Torchy Blane series. The only time I've seen Glenda Farrell is in 'Mystery of the Black Museum' with the great Lionel Atwill in 1932.

I've put Hitchcock's 'Murder' into my DVD player but that is as far as I've got. That will probably be my next film to view if I don't get into any of the movies being aired on TV.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 13, 2017, 08:14:08 PM
I haven't seen 'Charade' yet. I normally like Cary Grant so I will look out for that one.

I like the Mancini music for 'The Pink Panther' especially 'It Had Better Be Tonight' which keeps turning up in various points in different forms during the film. I often quite like when you know the perpetrator (as opposed to the whodunit mystery) in films. After all Hitchcock movies are mostly in that form.

I always seem to associate those two films with each other. Both from the same year, both stylish thrillers with a heavy emphasis on cinematography & music, both with plenty of stylish ladies clothes to admire....

Shouldn't be hard to find a copy of Charade somewhere.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: XhcnoirX on April 14, 2017, 03:31:42 AM
Later this week, I plan on watching the 1930s Torchy Blane films. Haven't seen those in a couple of years, at least.

Have you read any of the stories by Frederickk Nebel that the movies are based on? I've not yet seen the movies (I should!), but read some of the Nebel stories, and they're pretty entertaining, but quite racy & pulp-y. I'm wondering how they compare to the movies, also because the main character was changed from a man to a woman :D


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 15, 2017, 12:11:35 AM
Have you read any of the stories by Frederickk Nebel that the movies are based on? I've not yet seen the movies (I should!), but read some of the Nebel stories, and they're pretty entertaining, but quite racy & pulp-y. I'm wondering how they compare to the movies, also because the main character was changed from a man to a woman :D

I haven't, I'm afraid. I try to find the original source material wherever possible, but I haven't actually looked for these stories.

I'll be postponing the Torchy Blane mysteries until next week.

Last night, I ended up watching a wonderful mystery from the 20s called The Unholy Night, which I've seen a few times already. Wonderful whodunit-thriller about a group of WWI vets who are being targeted by a killer. An attempt is made at the start of the film to kill one of these war vets. When he finds out that several of his friends had already been killed this way, he offers to have the rest of the soldiers from that regiment stay at his home until the mystery is solved. Look for Boris Karloff in an uncredited appearance as a lawyer responsible for reading a certain will.

Also, last night, I heard a terrific radio play: Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, part of the Campbell Playhouse series. This one stars Orson Welles and Edna May Oliver. Released in 1939. Highly recommended. It's quite faithful to the novel, with some of the subplots taken out.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 15, 2017, 02:56:25 AM
I watched 'Murder By Television' on YT the other day. I had to have the sound down so I put on the subtitles only to find that they were in Spanish. So I'll be trying it with the sound up when I can. Some pitch black scenes in it so I couldn't tell what was going on at times. But it was great to see Bela Lugosi.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on April 15, 2017, 04:47:32 AM
And Then There Were None (1945) Directed by René Clair with Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Roland Young, June Duprez.    
Vera Claythorne. Long time since I watched this, was on TCM the other day. 7/10


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on April 15, 2017, 05:59:07 AM
And Then There Were None, you'd rate that higher than I would. I love the book, but so far I don't think any adaptation has done it justice, including the latest BBC series.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 15, 2017, 09:40:23 PM
I watched 'Murder By Television' on YT the other day. I had to have the sound down so I put on the subtitles only to find that they were in Spanish. So I'll be trying it with the sound up when I can. Some pitch black scenes in it so I couldn't tell what was going on at times. But it was great to see Bela Lugosi.

I don't know your situation, but do you have the option of buying headphones to plug into your computer so that you can still have the sound up?


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 15, 2017, 09:41:46 PM
And Then There Were None (1945) Directed by René Clair with Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Roland Young, June Duprez.    
Vera Claythorne. Long time since I watched this, was on TCM the other day. 7/10

I would have liked this film a lot more if they had stuck to the REAL ending and if they hadn't turned it into a lighthearted comedy. I know that Agatha Christie herself changed the book's ending. I wish she hadn't. The book's ending is perfection.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 15, 2017, 09:42:54 PM
And Then There Were None, you'd rate that higher than I would. I love the book, but so far I don't think any adaptation has done it justice, including the latest BBC series.

The 1980s Russian version comes pretty close to capturing the mood of the novel, as well as the correct ending. But even that film isn't perfect.

I haven't seen the new BBC series.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on April 17, 2017, 04:42:32 AM
Watching in occasional sitdowns the complete A Nero Wolfe Mystery TV Series (2000) originally on A&E Television, with Timothy Hutton, Maury Chaykin, and Colin Fox. Very entertaining, check it out.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: dave jenkins on April 17, 2017, 05:34:59 AM
Watching in occasional sitdowns the complete A Nero Wolfe Mystery TV Series (2000) originally on A&E Television, with Timothy Hutton, Maury Chaykin, and Colin Fox. Very entertaining, check it out.
I liked the idea of using a stock company for all the episodes. Aside from the principal roles, all the parts are played by a finite group of performers who return in various roles. That means the actor who, in one episode, turns out to be the villain, in another is just an innocent bystander. It confused me a little at first, but once I got the hang of it I really enjoyed it.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 17, 2017, 06:35:50 PM
Watching in occasional sitdowns the complete A Nero Wolfe Mystery TV Series (2000) originally on A&E Television, with Timothy Hutton, Maury Chaykin, and Colin Fox. Very entertaining, check it out.

I've seen some episodes of it. Very stylish...they sure paid close attention to period detail! The soundtrack is absolutely amazing, too.

Unfortunately, the stories themselves aren't that interesting. I've never been a fan of Rex Stout work. Even the finest acting couldn't save the storylines.

Besides, from what I remember of the series, there was something which they did with the episodes which made it too easy to figure out who the criminal is. Spoilers ahead.......... I think it had something to do with the women the assistant was involved with. If memory serves me right, if he showed an interest, she was either killed off or she turned out to be the killer. Something like that. This is poor storytelling.

Still, I appreciate the fact that they paid so much attention to the costumes, hairdos, cinematography, and especially the soundtrack. Not many TV series have a memorable soundtrack.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 23, 2017, 02:40:30 AM
Currently watching some of the Torchy Blane films from the 30s. Fun mysteries about a feisty reporter who get involved with solving the crimes.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: stanton on April 23, 2017, 04:13:15 AM
I always seem to associate those two films with each other. Both from the same year, both stylish thrillers with a heavy emphasis on cinematography & music, both with plenty of stylish ladies clothes to admire....


But The Pink Panther is a slapstick comedy, and not much of a thriller. But yes, the girls are pretty.

The companion film to Charade is Donen's Arabesque (1966). Less good cast, but also fun to watch.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 23, 2017, 06:20:32 PM
But The Pink Panther is a slapstick comedy, and not much of a thriller. But yes, the girls are pretty.

The companion film to Charade is Donen's Arabesque (1966). Less good cast, but also fun to watch.

I think that The Pink Panther is a comedy-thriller.

Thanks for the heads up on the companion film. I hadn't heard of it until now.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 23, 2017, 06:29:18 PM
In the next few days, I plan on watching a couple more of the Torchy Blane films, along with some early 1930s British mysteries/thrillers:

The Mystery of Mr. X: a serial killer is on the loose, and his/her criminal acts interfere with those of a professional thief's.

The Ghost Camera: a series of pictures help two young sleuths get to the bottom of a murder-mystery.

Charlie Chan in London: I've already seen it a couple of times recently, and reviewed it here. This film always makes me think of Agatha Christie mysteries - isolated mansion, a killer who likely isn't the one in jail for the crime, blackmail, a detective who is smarter than the local cops, etc.

The Shadow: this one also makes me think of early 30s Agatha Christie mysteries. In this case, it'a a serial blackmailer who is on the loose, and his/her actions have led to some suicides. An isolated mansion and possible red herrings are also involved.

The Terror: a couple of thieves are thrown in jail for 10 years for the crime and they want to seek revenge on the anonymous boss who hired them (and who turned them in). This takes them to an isolated mansion, in which murder takes place. Great secret passage/room in this one!

Oh, if only more Agatha Christie mysteries had been filmed in the early thirties....wishful thinking......................


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on April 24, 2017, 04:22:04 AM
It's some time since I saw Warner Orland's Charlie Chan films. I think that 'In London' is supposed to be the most popular. I like him 'Werewolf Of London' and 'Shanghai Express.'


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on April 24, 2017, 07:04:38 PM
It's some time since I saw Warner Orland's Charlie Chan films. I think that 'In London' is supposed to be the most popular. I like him 'Werewolf Of London' and 'Shanghai Express.'

The only ones I've seen recently are The Black Camel, CC in London, and Eran Trece. The others I haven't seen in about 3 or 4 years. Time for a rewatch, for sure!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on May 13, 2017, 02:46:52 AM
Just to let you now that I have bought a whole load of books from a charity shop. They are all from a series presented by the Crime Mystery Guild in the 1960s. I can't say that I have heard of any of the authors but at first glance they look to be a selection of reprints of whodunits and chase thrillers. So that's my Sunday mornings sorted for the rest of the year and probably beyond.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on May 13, 2017, 11:19:40 AM
Greenbudgie, can you name a few authors? Just out of interest.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on May 13, 2017, 09:27:05 PM
Just to let you now that I have bought a whole load of books from a charity shop. They are all from a series presented by the Crime Mystery Guild in the 1960s. I can't say that I have heard of any of the authors but at first glance they look to be a selection of reprints of whodunits and chase thrillers. So that's my Sunday mornings sorted for the rest of the year and probably beyond.

Wow! Sounds great!  :)  O0

Please keep us posted about what you've been reading!

Enjoy all that literature!

Cheers.  :)


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on May 14, 2017, 03:38:20 AM
Greenbudgie, can you name a few authors? Just out of interest.

I haven't got the books handy with me at the moment Jessica. I will put the full list of authors on tomorrow. I do know there are some Scottish authors among them and I think one author was also a TV presenter back in the day.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on May 15, 2017, 03:11:58 AM
I haven't got the books handy with me at the moment Jessica. I will put the full list of authors on tomorrow. I do know there are some Scottish authors among them and I think one author was also a TV presenter back in the day.

Here are the authors from my charity shop purchase the other day. And the number of titles by the author when there are more than one:-

Jeffrey Ashford
Jay Barbette
Richard Butler
Guy Compton
Harry Hossent 2
Bill Knox 2
Ed McBain
Robert McLeod 2
Hugh McCutcheon
Allan McKinnock
Peter Malloch
W. Murdoch Duncan 4
Gerald Sindstadt

I've started on 'The Mugger' by Ed McBain. It is an 87th Precinct novel from 1956. It's about the search for a disguised mugger who bows to his female victims.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on May 15, 2017, 08:10:30 AM
Greenbudgie, I must say I only know Ed McBain who's obviously good. I think I read them all at some time. Happy reading.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: greenbudgie on May 16, 2017, 03:09:34 AM
I am enjoying 'The Mugger' Jessica. Mostly those authors are British and mainly Scottish at that so perhaps not so well known as Ed McBain.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on May 22, 2017, 12:02:24 AM
I am enjoying 'The Mugger' Jessica. Mostly those authors are British and mainly Scottish at that so perhaps not so well known as Ed McBain.

Thanks for all this information! Enjoy!  :)
 O0


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on May 23, 2017, 03:06:23 AM
Tonight: the 1946 gothic noir-mystery-thriller-locked room mystery The Verdict.

It's really a pity that this movie isn't better known.

The film starts out with a hanging of a man who supposedly killed an elderly lady. Shortly after, it's revealed that the man was completely innocent of the crime. The cop responsible for the case is asked for his resignation and he is determined to see his successor fail at finding the real killer.

Before the case gets really underway, the lady's nephew is found murdered in his bed. He had been stabbed, but how was it done? All the windows and the door were locked. How did the killer get to him?

I've seen this film many times and the ending never ceases to amaze me. This is probably one of the most underrated Peter Lorre-Sydney Greenstreet collaborations, too. I'll take this movie over The Maltese Falcon any day.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on June 07, 2017, 03:06:25 AM
Recently, I watched Green for Danger (probably my 30th or 40th viewing).

I love this film. Alastair Sim is so good as the detective here. It's a wartime mystery, set in a hospital during WWII.  A mail carrier is injured while delivering letters (a bomb nearly kills him) and he dies during the operation. Later, one of the nurses claims that he was murdered, and she is found murdered. It's up to the inspector (Sim) to figure out who is the culprit. Highly recommended whodunit-noir!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on July 06, 2017, 11:49:47 PM
Geez, I've been neglecting my own thread, probably because it's hard to concentrate on mysteries these days, because of the annoying 17 hours of sunlight which we are getting each day these days. Hard to watch mysteries/whodunits when it's still not completely dark at 11 pm!  >:(

Recently, I did manage to watch two Father Brown mysteries from the seventies (starring Kenneth More):

The Eye of Apollo

The Three Tools of Death


I like both stories, especially The Eye of Apollo, which is an absolutely brilliant short story (one of the best ever). Very extremely clever ending...even better than what Agatha Christie came up with for all of her short stories!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on July 07, 2017, 05:21:21 AM
Geez, I've been neglecting my own thread, probably because it's hard to concentrate on mysteries these days, because of the annoying 17 hours of sunlight which we are getting each day these days. Hard to watch mysteries/whodunits when it's still not completely dark at 11 pm!  >:(

What part of the Great White North are you in? I used to live at the Western Border of Montana & Idaho right at the time zone and it used to stay light out until 10:30 PM.



Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on July 08, 2017, 12:05:53 AM
What part of the Great White North are you in? I used to live at the Western Border of Montana & Idaho right at the time zone and it used to stay light out until 10:30 PM.



I live in Edmonton. That's about an 8 hour drive from the northern edge of Montana. I think it's a dump of a city (except for the river valley), but at least it's close to the Canadian Rockies.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on July 08, 2017, 03:35:19 AM
I live in Edmonton. That's about an 8 hour drive from the northern edge of Montana. I think it's a dump of a city (except for the river valley), but at least it's close to the Canadian Rockies.

Yea the further North and the closer to a time zone the longer your daylight. We used to go up to Fernie a lot is was roughly 90 miles from us.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on July 09, 2017, 12:35:21 AM
Yea the further North and the closer to a time zone the longer your daylight. We used to go up to Fernie a lot is was roughly 90 miles from us.

I'm not close to any of the time zone borders. In fact, I'm probably about equidistant from the ones east and west of this city.

Still, I'm quite far north, hence the annoying 17 hours of sunlight these days. We have lost about 20 minutes of sunlight since June 21st, so that's a good thing.

Could be worse. In places like Alaska, they get round-the-clock sunlight these days. Ick! When the sun sets around 11 pm and rises at 1 am, there's no chance of it getting dark outside.

I just wish that it would cool off big-time. I'm tired of the heat and of the heat warnings which Environment Canada has issued most of the province. If it keeps up, we'll end up with major forest fires, kind of like the ones burning in the Province of British Columbia. They have declared a state of emergency because of all the wildfires. Very dangerous. And yet...not a single thing we can do about it!  >:(

It will be so much nicer in the fall when the days are short and I can watch my beloved mysteries again! As the song goes..."Think I'll go out to Alberta. Weather's good there in the fall." Yup, that's the only time we get good weather IMHO. I used to love summers, back when I was a kid and we'd go on the waterslides. No more. *sigh*


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on July 27, 2017, 03:45:08 AM
I'm back to watching some of the David Suchet Poirot mysteries. I used to love them so much, but I gave them up for a few years. I'm happy to be back to those episodes now.

Tonight I watched Death on the Nile and Poirot's Christmas. Both are extremely well done, but I think that Death on the Nile was extremely rushed. They should probably have done that one in three 50 minute episodes instead of the usual 100 minutes. (For that series, they took 50 minutes to tell the short stories and 100 minutes for the novels.) At least with Death on the Nile, they were faithful to the novel, unlike the Ustinov version.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on August 08, 2017, 04:15:13 PM
Lately I've been watching:

--- the David Suchet Poirot mysteries

--- the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes mysteries

and this week I'm going to get cracking on the wonderful Ellery Queen (1970s) episodes.  :) I haven't seen them in awhile.  :'(

Next week, I hope to watch the 1930s Charlie Chan films, and next month - more 1930s whodunits.

There's something about those 1930s mysteries which even the most authentic retro-1930s episodes can't capture.

If only more Agatha Christie novels had been filmed in the 30s and 40s.....wishful thinking.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on August 18, 2017, 12:05:04 AM
Okay, I admit that I have been watching the Poirot mysteries and the Ellery Queen episodes longer than expected, but now I'm more than ready for some Charlie Chan. There's something about those 1930s and early 1940s mysteries which the retro episodes just can't capture. Maybe that's why I like it when I find out that a classic mystery was filmed shortly after the story was written.

I won't review each film, but if I have any random comments to make about any of the movies, I'll be sure to say a few words here.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: XhcnoirX on August 18, 2017, 02:26:00 AM
I'm more than ready for some Charlie Chan.

As with any popular character played by multiple actors, I usually find it interesting to know/see if their portrayals/movies are different... Do you have a preference for Warner Oland or Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan (or another actor), and do you find their portrayals or their respective CC movies different? Just curious & interested :)


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on August 20, 2017, 12:54:37 AM
As with any popular character played by multiple actors, I usually find it interesting to know/see if their portrayals/movies are different... Do you have a preference for Warner Oland or Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan (or another actor), and do you find their portrayals or their respective CC movies different? Just curious & interested :)

The only actors I've seen in this role are Warner Oland, Sidney Toler, and Peter Sellers (in Murder by Death, under a different character name). I think that all three were perfect in this role. I didn't see much of a difference between the Warner Oland CC films and the Sidney Toler CC films...except that, by the mid-forties, I think they were starting to run out of ideas. I love the films which were based on the books...namely The Black Camel and the Spanish language Eran Trece. Oh, so I should have also mentioned the Spanish language actor from Eran Trece. I liked him as Chan, too.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on August 24, 2017, 08:08:57 PM
I'm watching some of the Warner Oland Charlie Chan films these days.

I really like:

The Black Camel

Eran Trece

Charlie Chan in London

Charlie Chan at the Opera


...and I wonder if I'll ever be able to finish Charlie Chan at the Circus? Honestly, that one's such a stinker.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on August 28, 2017, 06:19:52 PM
I have two more faves now, two films which work well as both thrillers AND whodunits:

Charlie Chan in Paris

Charlie Chan in Shanghai


Any other fans of these two films?


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on August 30, 2017, 05:01:04 AM
I have two more faves now, two films which work well as both thrillers AND whodunits:

Charlie Chan in Paris

Charlie Chan in Shanghai


Any other fans of these two films?

I've seen a bunch of these years ago, but not many recently. I believe one or two were on TCM within the last year. I'm curious are they being cablecast or are they in a collection?


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on September 01, 2017, 01:59:56 AM
I've seen a bunch of these years ago, but not many recently. I believe one or two were on TCM within the last year. I'm curious are they being cablecast or are they in a collection?

They're on DVD. I know someone who watched them on youtube a few years ago, too. Not sure if they're still posted.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on September 16, 2017, 12:20:41 AM
I haven't been watching too many movies lately. The ones I've seen have been the retro mysteries, (Poirot, Ellery Queen, Marple).

I'll come back to this thread when I've mixed it up a bit.  :)


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: Spikeopath on October 23, 2017, 02:42:25 AM
The Unseen (1945) - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038205/reference

Salem Alley Shenanigans.

The Unseen is directed by Lewis Allen and collectively written by Hagar Wilde, Ken Englund and Raymond Chandler. It's adapted from Ethel Lina White's novel "Her Heart in Her Throat". It stars Joel McCrea, Gail Russell, Herbert Marshall, Phyllis Brooks and Isobel Elsom. Music is by Ernst Toch and cinematography by John F. Seitz.

Elizabeth Howard (Russell) is hired as a governess for David Fielding's (McCrea) two children. With David being secretive and strange occurrences happening, she begins to unravel the mystery of the empty house next door.

Foolishly seen as a follow up to the far superior The Uninvited (1944), The Unseen is efficient without really rising to thrilling heights. Taken as a mood piece it scores favourably, lots of shadows, cobbled streets, darkened rooms and plenty of suspicious goings on, but as a mystery it falls flat. It gets off to a mixed start, with a grisly murder bogged down by a clumsy narration, from there we are on board with Russell's governess who gets more than she bargained for in her new employment. A number of characters drift in and out of proceedings, but the villain of the piece is evident from the get go, and it builds to a disappointingly flat finale.

A sort of weak companion piece to Gaslight (original and remake) and The Innocents, it's not recommended with any great confidence. Those looking for better and similar tonal fare from Lewis Allen are advised to seek out the aforementioned The Uninvited and So Evil My Love (1948). 5/10


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on October 23, 2017, 08:05:55 PM
Regarding The Unseen:

I wonder if I'm the only mystery lover who likes this movie....

I do admit, though, that it is weaker than a lot of the 1930s whodunits which I like so much. Still, I really like the atmosphere in this one...especially the spooky dark alley. Reminds me of a John Dickson Carr novel in which a mysterious alley is part of the mystery. And it's kinda neat that they used kids as a big part of this story. I'll just say that this is a case where the father should have had a better idea of what his kids were up to...

I've heard some mystery lovers compare this movie to The Uninvited. Personally, I don't see any connection between the two movies (except for the leading lady).

Thanks for the review, Spike, and sorry that you didn't enjoy this movie a lot more!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: Spikeopath on October 24, 2017, 06:51:49 AM
Regarding The Unseen:

I've heard some mystery lovers compare this movie to The Uninvited. Personally, I don't see any connection between the two movies (except for the leading lady).

Same director as well of course, and they both have the initials T U, but that's it really, The Uninvited is a completely different film.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on October 24, 2017, 11:41:58 PM
Same director as well of course, and they both have the initials T U, but that's it really, The Uninvited is a completely different film.


Oh yes, that too.

Now that I think about it, I remember someone on IMDb saying that the director wanted to take advantage of the popularity of The Uninvited in order to come up with another instant hit, and he thought that The Unseen would work. It didn't. I remember that this person (on the boards) seemed to think that the director was being so ridiculous and got what he deserved and all that. My question is: why on earth would it matter NOW? These films were released years ago. Why would their box office numbers, popularity, etc. even be relevant now?

By the way, one of the creepiest scenes IMHO in this film is where the little girl is showing the governess her scrapbook. There's a picture of Snow White, and suddenly it's followed by a pic of the murder victim. Nicely done by the director! What a contrast!

Time for a rewatch, for sure.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on October 31, 2017, 01:26:44 AM
I've been so busy with other things, but I'm finally back into the movie-watching groove. I'll be watching the ones I reviewed below (months ago). I watch these about once or twice each year:

These next couple of days, I'll be watching several 1930s mysteries based on Mignon Eberhart mystery novels.

Some of Eberhart's stories feature Nurse Sarah Keate (sometimes renamed as Sally Keating in the films), along with detective Lance O'Leary.

The films are generally set in isolated locations (either a house or hotel), and they contain at least one of the following: secret passages, secret rooms, bizarre characters, blackmailers, wills, family matriarchs/patriarchs, etc. The only thing missing from all the films is the portrait with the moving eyes.

The ones I'll be watching are:

The White Cockatoo

While the Patient Slept

Mystery House

Murder by an Aristocrat


I've seen each of these a number of times.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 01, 2017, 04:25:35 PM
I'm done with the Mignon Eberhart adaptations, and now it's time for some Philo Vance mysteries.

There are really just three which appeal to me, so I'll watch those:

The Greene Murder Case, The Dragon Murder Case, The Kennel Murder Case.

I'm also okay with the first part of The Canary Murder Case, but the story really goes downhill quickly and I remember having NO trouble figuring out whodunit.

Any other fans here?


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on November 01, 2017, 04:52:59 PM
I'm done with the Mignon Eberhart adaptations, and now it's time for some Philo Vance mysteries.

There are really just three which appeal to me, so I'll watch those:

The Greene Murder Case, The Dragon Murder Case, The Kennel Murder Case.

I'm also okay with the first part of The Canary Murder Case, but the story really goes downhill quickly and I remember having NO trouble figuring out whodunit.

Any other fans here?

I've seen them, they star William Powell right, or at least a couple do.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 04, 2017, 11:44:31 PM
William Powell doesn't star in The Dragon Murder Case.

Warren William got the part.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 08, 2017, 07:39:34 PM
A handful from the 30s and 40s which I've seen these past couple of days:

The Case of the Howling Dog: this is my favourite of the 1930s Perry Mason films. I love the storyline! I think I reviewed it last year. I make a point to watch it at least once a year.

The Ninth Guest: I'm guessing that this film was the inspiration for Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. A handful of guests (all known to each other in some capacity) are invited to a penthouse suite, and one by one, they are murdered. Definitely an unusual setting for such a story! Normally these types of stories are set in some isolated location.

....and three (out of four) films based on the same source material (I wish that I could see the original German film):

Secret of the Blue Room: the best of the three films. Terrifying film about three men (they all love the same young woman) who want to prove how brave they are by taking turns sleeping in a room in which three tragedies took place 20 years earlier. The room is in the home where the young woman lives, and they want to prove their bravery to her.

The Missing Guest: the worst of the three films. I really had trouble getting through this one this time around.  It would have been much better if they had laid off the annoying humor. However, this is a 1930s film with a reporter as a main character, so of course the mood is going to be loud, obnoxious, with bad humor. In other 1930s films revolving around newspaper offices, it's fine, but here, this sort of mood is really out of place. Also,  I recommend skipping the first five minutes of this movie. Seriously.

Murder in the Blue Room: almost as good as Secret of the Blue Room. Despite the fact that this is a musical, it was much more atmospheric than The Missing Guest. Not many whodunit-musicals out there! This is one of them.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 12, 2017, 03:27:48 PM
Murder at the Vanities (1934):

I've lost count how many times I've seen this terrific whodunit-musical. Probably at least 20 times by now!

While a live performance on stage is going on, a couple of murders take place backstage.

I admit that the mystery itself isn't one of the best I've seen, but combined with the memorable musical numbers, the mystery is just right. The whodunit keeps the musical from getting too sugary-sweet (as many musicals are, unfortunately).

If you see this movie, be on the lookout for:

-several pre-Code elements (example: scantily-clad women in a couple of the early performances)

-a musical number which basically says, "Thankfully Prohibition is over!"

-Duke Ellington and his orchestra in one of the musical numbers (about an hour into the film)

This movie comes very highly recommended by me.  :)

I've only seen a handful of musical-whodunits. If only more of them had been filmed! Off-hand, I can only think of four of them, including this movie. It's a very interesting combination, and tough to pull off.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 17, 2017, 01:12:22 AM
Lately, I've been watching a few 1930s mysteries set in Britain (some British films, some not). Each time I watch these movies and a few others, I keep wishing that more Agatha Christie mysteries had been filmed back in the 30s. What I wouldn't give to see a 1930s version of Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, etc. Wishful thinking!

Charlie Chan in London: a young man is about to be executed for the murder of another man. This man's sister is convinced that her brother is innocent and she gets Charlie Chan to help find the real killer. Most of the film takes place in an isolated mansion, which is always a bonus.

The Terror: two crooks help an anonymous boss steal thousands of dollars. The boss betrays them and they wind up in jail for ten years. Once they're out, they go to an isolated mansion where this anonymous boss is supposedly lurking about. The first part of this film is gangster film-style, but after about 10 minutes, it turns into an isolated country house whodunit, as well as a murder mystery. The secret room and the spooky noises which are probably coming from it are a nice addition to the movie, too. Some parts of the film are a bit slow, but overall it's worth a look.  Alastair Sim really steals the show here as one of the crooks. No wonder he became such a big name later!

The Shadow: all the elements of a typical 1930s British mystery here - a blackmailer is on the loose, and this person is likely hiding in the isolated mansion where most of the movie takes place. Some red herrings thrown in, too. A lot like Agatha Christie, though she came up with much more elaborate and surprising endings. This one might be a bit too easy for modern audiences to figure out.

The Mystery of Mr. X: clever story about a serial cop killer who is terrorizing Scotland Yard. A diamond thief is at the wrong place at the wrong time, and he has some work to do to get Scotland Yard to stop thinking that the diamond thief is also the killer. He wants to sell the diamond ASAP and get in with stealing jewelry, etc. Lots of VERY clever twists and turns in this gem.

The Ghost Camera: a young man comes home and finds that a camera not belonging to him is in his car. He develops some of the pictures and he gets curious about the pics (which hint at a mystery) and the camera's owner. Also, the camera is stolen from his home. This man searches for the camera's owner and later, he attempts to solve the mystery of other pictures which he developed. Oh yes, there's murder here, too.

The Ghost Camera is based on a story by an author who wrote a couple of novels which I've read. In one of these other novels, a man who lives alone locks up his house and goes on holidays. At a train station (or somewhere), he overhears someone asking the operator for HIS phone number...and he hears this person talking to someone at his own home! But no one is supposed to be at home! Interesting novel. Too bad it was never filmed.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 22, 2017, 11:42:01 PM
A handful from the 1920s and 1930s:

Before Dawn

Murder at Glen Athol

The Thirteenth Chair
(the one from the thirties)

The Thirteenth Guest

The Cat and the Canary
(the ones from the twenties and thirties)

These movies offer at least some of these mystery story features: isolated mansions, hidden loot, seances, portraits with eyes that move, blackmailers, bizarre characters, secret passages.

Regarding The Cat and the Canary: normally I like the 20s silent version better than the 30s "talkie" version. This time around, I found myself enjoying the 1930s film a lot more.

Before Dawn: a little surprise awaits certain characters at the end of a hidden staircase....they really should watch their step!

The 13th Chair: Dame May Whitty is the highlight of this film. What a wonderful actress!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on November 26, 2017, 08:05:30 PM
The Fat Man (1951) P.I. crime film directed by William Castle. Based on a radio drama of the same name, with J. Scott Smart. It's sort of a rip off of Nero Wolfe but it has a nice cast.  Julie London, Rock Hudson, Jayne Meadows, John Russell, and Emmett Kelly. 6-7/10.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 27, 2017, 01:22:09 AM
Finally...I've gotten around to hearing some radio plays! I started with my faves, which I've heard a number of times already:

From Suspense: Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr, starring Peter Lorre. In this brilliant radio play, an evil math prof explains to his wife what exactly he has in store for her, and it ain't pretty.

From Suspense: The Devil's Saint by John Dickson Carr, starring Peter Lorre. A young man wants to marry a woman he's just met at a party, but first he has to deal with her eccentric/creepy uncle by following certain instructions which he has for the young man. This involves spending the night in a rather creepy room...

From Suspense: Will You Make a Bet With Death? by John Dickson Carr. A rather terrified man is on a slow boat ride at a carnival with a woman he meets at the carnival, and he is explaining to her a bet which he made with his nasty stepfather...a bet about death.

From Suspense: Want Ad, starring Robert Cummings. Brilliant inverted whodunit about a thief-murderer who gets exactly what's coming to him. Of all the inverted whodunits I've come across, this one I'm sure has the best ending. Highly recommended.

From Suspense: The Doctor Prescribed Death, starring Bela Lugosi. A doctor has an unusual psychological theory: someone who is suicidal can be convinced to murder another human being (instead of committing suicide), and he decides to find someone suicidal to prove his theory.

From Suspense: The Fountain Plays, by Dorothy Sayers, starring Edmund Gwenn. A excellent example of the kinds of skeletons which can exist in the closet of a fancy British mansion. All that comes with blackmail, of course! One of her best, for sure.

From Campbell's Playhouse: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie. Orson Welles plays both Poirot and Doctor Sheppard. Edna May Oliver plays Caroline Sheppard. I really like Orson Welles' introduction: he has some kind words to say about murder mysteries! The Citizen Kane crowd might want to take note.

From The Weird Circle: A Terrible Night. Here's an example of what can happen to people who get lost in the Canadian wilderness. Moral of the story: don't get lost in the Canadian wilderness.

From Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire. A widow on an island is being terrorized by mysterious phone calls where the same mysterious person keeps telling her that she only has a few hours to live.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 27, 2017, 01:24:05 AM
The Fat Man (1951) P.I. crime film directed by William Castle. Based on a radio drama of the same name, with J. Scott Smart. It's sort of a rip off of Nero Wolfe but it has a nice cast.  Julie London, Rock Hudson, Jayne Meadows, John Russell, and Emmett Kelly. 6-7/10.

That is a nice cast, for sure. Maybe I'll head the radio play first. Thanks for posting!


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: cigar joe on November 27, 2017, 04:28:51 AM
That is a nice cast, for sure. Maybe I'll head the radio play first. Thanks for posting!

It's on Youtube.


Title: Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read?
Post by: kjrwe on November 30, 2017, 01:31:38 AM
It's on Youtube.

These days, I'm watching some old film noir faves. I haven't been reviewing them because I have reviewed them in the past on IMDb, and I'm just bored of reviewing them.

(By the way, cigar joe, regarding the tcm messages boards: when the threads get too big there, they take forever to open. That's why I had to unsubscribe from your film noir thread and from a few other threads there. Frankly, I don't see why threads have to get so big anyway.)