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Deadly Mysteries Collection [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Jamaica Inn
Alfred Hitchcock directed this disappointing misfire, memorable solely for the fact is that it is the final film from Hitchcock's early British period before he left for the Hollywood studio system and David O. Selznick. In the England of the 1800s, a group of ruthless smugglers, led by Sir Humphrey Pengallon (Charles Laughton), prey on ships by blacking out warning signals. When the ships crash on the rocks, the nefarious group loots the remains and kills the sailors. The plot kicks in when the beautiful orphan Mary Yelland (Maureen O'Hara) goes to visit her uncle Joss Merlyn (Leslie Banks) at a creepy hotel called the Jamaica Inn, the home of the gang of smugglers. Mary doesn't realize that Uncle Joss is one of them. Meanwhile, Lloyd's of London sends one of their ablest men, Jem Trahearne (Robert Newton), to investigate the recurring shipwrecks. Jem checks in to the Jamaica Inn, and when the coven of smugglers finds out who he is, they capture him and attempt to kill him. But Mary comes to his rescue and saves him. Through the inn, the smugglers try to recapture Jem -- along with Mary. Thrown together by dire circumstances, the two fall in love. Meanwhile, all the shenanigans occurring at the Jamaica Inn appear to be driving Pengallon insane. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

The Black Book
Also known as Reign of Terror, The Black Book is a bold effort by director Anthony Mann to film a French Revolution epic on a "B" detective picture budget. Robert Cummings stars as Charles D'Aubigny, who has been engaged by a group of political moderates to retrieve a little black book from Revolutionary leader Robespierre (Richard Basehart). The book allegedly contains evidence that Robespierre has been acting in his own interest rather than on behalf of the new government. D'Aubigny is compelled to deal with the tangible threat of Robespierre's chief henchman (Charles McGraw) as well as his uncertainty concerning the loyalties of those working with him. The Black Book is retrieved, but not before Robespierre has self-destructed on his own. The cheapness of The Black Book works in its favor, especially its overuse of shadows; while this photographic device was intended to disguise the seediness of the sets, it accurately conveys a "dark" period in French history that here is literally as well as figuratively dark. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Capture
Virtually ignored at the time of its release, Capture has built up a small but enthusiastic following since its lapse into public domain. American oil man Lew Ayres kills a coworker whom he suspects of robbery. Thinking it over, Ayres wonders whether or not the man was innocent. He seeks out his victim's widow, played by Teresa Wright. They fall in love and marry, which does nothing to soothe Ayres' guilty conscience. When he discovers who was actually behind the robbery, Ayres goes after the real culprit, who is accidentally killed before justice can be done. Falsely accused of murder, Ayres now fully understands the untenable position of the man he'd killed so long before. The Capture was produced by Niven Busch, the then-husband of Teresa Wright. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Green Glove
When German sympathizer Count Paul Rona (George MacReady) pilfers a valuable jeweled glove from a French church during World War II, it is up to American Michael Blake (Glenn Ford) to outwit his enemies and recover the artifact. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

Bluebeard
Bluebeard casts the saturnine John Carradine as Gaston, a popular painter in 19th century Paris. Unbeknownst to the authorities, Gaston is also the serial killer of beautiful young women who they have been seeking for several months. Whenever a girl fails to come up to Gaston's standards of perfection, she is summarily strangled to death. Gaston's latest model is the gorgeous Lucille (Jean Parker), who once she learns her employer's horrible secret courageously vows to bring him to justice. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Man in the Attic
Man in the Attic is a sweat-stained remake of the oft-filmed Mary Belloc Lowndes suspense story The Lodger. Jack Palance plays a mild, secretive pathologist who rents an attic apartment in the heart of London. Palance falls in love with dancer Constance Smith, daughter of the landlady, but she doesn't seem interested. Meanwhile, several unsolved murders of women have been committed on the fogbound London streets--and all of the victims are showgirls. Unlike Hitchcock's 1926 version of The Lodger, the most likely suspect is indeed the "Jack the Ripper" character hunted by the police. The only surprise in Man in the Attic is that the London bobbies didn't arrest Jack Palance on sight long before the movie started. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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