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1  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: Yesterday at 12:16:27 AM
I don't have a favourite Chan actor. All the ones I've seen did a good job:

Warner Oland

Sidney Toler

the actor from Eran Trece

Peter Sellers from Murder by Death

....and I'm sure that I've forgotten someone here.
2  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: February 14, 2018, 01:36:03 AM
Thanks for your link. By the way, have you seen any version of Seven Keys to Baldpate? The novel was written by Earl Derr Biggers, author of the Charlie Chan mysteries. Lots of Chan films out there, but Seven Keys to Baldpate is his most-filmed story.

It's about a mystery author who has a bet going with someone: he is to write a mystery story in 24 hours in a very isolated inn called Baldpate Inn. Once he arrives at the inn, some unusual things start to occur.

Of the versions I've seen, I'd rank them as follows:

1929 - my favourite and I watched it again just now.

1917 - tied for second place.

1935 - I've never actually been able to finish this version. It's unusually dull for a 1930s mystery.

1947 - a film noir take on the story. I felt that the main character was made to be a bit too Ellery Queen-ish in this version.

1983 - titled House of the Long Shadows - tied for second place. For an 80s film, they did a VERY good job of this mystery. Supporting actor Vincent Price steals the show here. This one's just as good as the 1917 film.

If you see these films, you'll notice two different "types" of endings. The one used in the 1929 film is the one I prefer.  It actually makes more sense for this type of story.
3  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: February 09, 2018, 11:55:50 PM
I hope you'll still mention which 1930s thrillers you saw, even if they aren't whodunits. I admit that some of the films I've mentioned aren't whodunits, like Midnight Mystery. It's just that some of them are isolated location mysteries, with secret passages and all that. So I think of them as whodunits, even though they aren't. That probably makes zero sense. But anyway, I'd like to know what you've been watching.  Smiley
4  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Natalie Wood death investigation re-opened on: February 08, 2018, 01:44:28 AM
If Wagner really murdered her, how on earth would they be able to prove it?

I have no theories, but I can't help but wonder why he would have murdered her with others on board (if he murdered her). If he was going to kill her, why not do it in such a way that he wouldn't be the prime suspect?

Okay, maybe I've been watching too many whodunits.... Grin
5  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: February 08, 2018, 01:40:39 AM
Yup, I have seen Shadow on the Stairs. I wasn't bothered by THAT sort of ending, but I remember thinking that the film itself wasn't all that interesting.

I absolutely adore Charade. I always watch it back to back with The Pink Panther (from the same year). I love the music (Henry Mancini) in both films, along with the clothes, cinematography, hairdos, storylines...

The first part of Charade which I saw was the ending, where the killer is revealed. So when I first saw the entire movie, I knew whodunit. Doesn't matter. It's still a film which I can watch over and over again.

By the way, I've been busy re-watching some of my newest discoveries, such as:

One Frightened Night

Midnight Mystery

The Rogues' Tavern

The Witness Vanishes


For those who are wondering about titles of obscure mysteries of the 1930s, I recommend you do a search for authors such as Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, John Dickson Carr, Stuart Palmer, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Mignon Eberhart, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ethel Lina White, Earl Derr Biggers, S. S. Van Dine, Dorothy Sayers...and look up which of their stories were made into movies in the thirties.

For other titles, do a search using key words like "murder", "mystery", "13th" (and other numbers), "night", "terror", "death", etc.

Happy searching! The movies are well worth seeing. Well, most of them are.  Smiley
6  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: January 31, 2018, 06:41:39 PM
I think I've seen the British film which you mention. Here are my recent viewings, by the way...:

More 1930s mysteries:

The Black Doll

The Mystery of the White Room

The Witness Vanishes

I'm just amazed at how many obscure mysteries I've seen this past month alone! It's too bad that the 1930s isolated mansion genre isn't better known to the general public.

The ending of The Witness Vanishes really floored me. Wow!
7  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: January 28, 2018, 08:42:22 PM
I didn't realize that "they" highly regarded any of the serious 1930s mysteries. Seems to me that "they" just rant and rave about the "humor"-filled junk like The Thin Man.  I have given those Thin Man films several chances each and I have never been able to finish them. A pity that so many of the mysteries which followed had idiotic humor thrown in, probably because the films were supposed to be like The Thin Man.

To greenbudgie: yup, six Perry Mason stories were filmed in the thirties. If you're only going to see a couple of them, I recommend Howling Dog and Black Cat.  Perry Mason was played by Warren William and Ricardo Cortez, respectively, in those films. Both of them did a good job. I'm fond of both actors. I've seen each of them in a handful of mysteries and I like them both.

By the way, recently I saw a handful of early 1930s short films based on short stories written by S. S. Van Dine. These films were nicely done.

8  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: January 23, 2018, 11:56:16 PM
Thanks for the recommendation, greenbudgie!

Here are my recent viewings:

The Case of the Black Cat: my second favorite of the 1930s Perry Mason films, but it's not nearly as good as The Case of the Howling Dog. I think that The Howling Dog is an absolute classic.

The Case of the Velvet Claws: my third favorite of the 1930s Perry Mason films, but it's quite weak compared to my top two. Too much idiotic humor introduced.

The Hidden Hand: fun early 1940s isolated house mystery. I like the eyes in the portraits, trap doors, secret passages, etc.

Grizzly's Millions: a terrific 1940s whodunit-thriller. I admit that I didn't guess the killer in this one!

Le Mystere de la Chambre Jaune: also a great early thirties isolated mansion thriller (French language), complete with mysterious characters, secret passages, creepy masks, etc.

9  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: January 22, 2018, 06:12:32 PM
I was talking about the 1933 film Murder on the Campus.

Thanks for your contributions, greenbudgie and cigarjoe!  Afro
10  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Caught (1949) on: January 18, 2018, 10:47:12 PM
Bogart also played detectives and gangsters. And then there was that film in which he played a man who joins a club aimed at getting rid of immigrants who were getting hired for jobs which the USA-born folks wanted. I can't think of the film's name now.
11  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: January 18, 2018, 10:43:59 PM
More 1930s thrillers-whodunits...I can't seem to get enough of those:

Murder on the Campus

Murder With Pictures

The 13th Man

The King Murder

Murder by the Clock
12  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Caught (1949) on: January 15, 2018, 01:47:11 AM
Thanks for refreshing my memory on those three titles.  Afro

I think I've seen a couple of the films you recommended, but I can't recall them. Maybe they didn't make much of an impression on me, although I'm sure that I would have noticed Robert Ryan's acting.

Robert Ryan vs Humphrey Bogart? They were both fantastic, talented actors. They just had very different styles and they played different sorts of characters. Hard to compare the two of them, in my opinion.
13  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Caught (1949) on: January 13, 2018, 01:16:45 AM
You're all right. I don't care what the other board members say about you.

Thanks...but why? Is it because I complimented Robert Ryan? He sure deserves to be complimented. He was a top-notch actor, from what I've seen of him.

Besides this film, I thought that his work in On Dangerous Ground was superb. Other films, too...but I can't think of their names. There's the one where he's a boxer, and the one about a Jew who is murdered (for being Jewish), and one film starring (I think) Van Heflin, but I'm too tired to think of any of the titles.
14  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What whodunits did you see/hear/read? on: January 13, 2018, 01:11:49 AM
Thanks for the heads up, greenbudgie!  Afro
15  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Caught (1949) on: January 12, 2018, 12:48:08 AM
I'm watching this now (about an hour into the film) and it's definitely a first-time view for me. Personally, I think that Robert Ryan is by far the best part of the film. He was an exceptional actor and his work in this film sure proves it.  I have to admit that the other characters put me to sleep ages ago. I'm just waiting patiently for more scenes with him. The storyline is a good one, and it would have been better with different actors (except for Robert Ryan, who was perfectly cast).
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