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Mystery, Vol. 1 [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Interactive menus
  • Scene index
  • Digitally mastered
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

A Shriek in the Night
The second of two low-budget murder melodramas starring Ginger Rogers and Lyle Talbot, A Shriek in the Night is not quite as good as the first (The Thirteenth Guest), but it far outclasses most other poverty-row thrillers of its period. The titular nocturnal shriek is heard just before a wealthy philanthropist falls from his penthouse balcony to his death. Virtually everybody in the apartment building comes under suspicion when it is determined that this "accidental" death was no accident. Rival reporters Pat Morgan (Rogers) and Ted Rand (Talbot) spend most of the picture snooping around where they don't belong, the better to outscoop one another. Meanwhile, the already baffled police become more flummoxed when three additional murders occur -- each preceded by a cryptic letter sent to the victim, stating "You Will Get It!" The method of execution turns out to be asphyxiation, but how is this being done? And better yet, why is this being done, and by whom? The solution was unfortunately tipped off in the film's lobby posters, which showed the unconscious heroine being carried off by the actor who turns out to be the killer. Even so, A Shriek in the Night remains an entertaining whodunit, with a pre-Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers doing a great job exhibiting stark, screaming terror. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Scream in the Night
Although released after The Shadow of Silk Lennox, this ultra low-budget mystery thriller was the first film in which Creighton Chaney used the billing Lon Chaney, Jr. The actor was persuaded to change his name by producer Ray Kirkwood, who promised to make 24 action melodramas with him as the star. Only two were actually made, however, and Scream in the Night did not enjoy a wide release until 1943, when Chaney had become Universal's newest horror sensation. Detectives Jack Wilson (Chaney) and Wu Ting (Philip Ahn) are tracking the famous jewel thief Johnny Fly (Manuel Lopez) to Singapore, where Fly has stolen a priceless ruby belonging to lovely Edith Bentley (Sheila Terry). Wu Ting is murdered by one of Fly's underlings, the deformed Butch Curtain (also Chaney), and Edith gets herself kidnapped. Bearing some resemblance to the killer, Wilson manages to infiltrate the gang and free the girl. Kirkwood and director Fred Newmeyer obviously counted on Chaney, Jr. to deliver the goods as the deformed Butch Curtain, but Lon was not in a league with his legendary father no matter how hard he tried. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Mr. Moto's Last Warning
Japanese detective Mr. Moto finds himself hip-deep in international espionage in this adventure tale. In Port Said, a pair of rogues -- French-born Fabian (Ricardo Cortez) and Englishman Norvel (George Sanders) -- are working for a nameless foreign government and devise a scheme to sabotage French ships passing through the Suez Canal. The criminals plan to leave false clues implicating British agents in hopes of sparking a war between the two nations. Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre), posing as a local shopkeeper after faking his own death to avoid suspicion, is assigned to stop them before any lives (or vessels) can be lost. John Carradine and Virginia Field also appear in this, the sixth of eight films that would feature Peter Lorre as Mr. Moto. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes
The fourth of Arthur Wonter's quintet of Sherlock Holmes films, Triumph of Sherlock Holmes was a fairly faithful adaptation of Conan Doyle's The Valley of Fear. This time, Holmes (Wontner) and Dr. Watson (Ian Fleming -- not the James Bond author!) investigate a mysterious murder at Birlstone Castle. The killings seem to be tied in with a secret American society of coal-miners called the Scowlers. The architect of all this skullduggery is that "Napoleon of Crime," Professor Moriarty (the magnificent Lyn Harding), who has conspired with an American gangster (Ben Welden) to assassinate the Pinkerton agent responsible for breaking the back of the Scowlers. There's very little in the way of mystery in Triumph of Sherlock Holmes, but it scores on its full quotient of thrills and chills. Originally 84 minutes, the film was cut to 75 for its American release. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Ginger Rogers
    Ginger Rogers - Patricia Morgan
  • Lyle Talbot
    Lyle Talbot - Theodore Rand
  • Arthur Hoyt
    Arthur Hoyt - Wilfred
  • Image coming soon
    Purnell Pratt - Inspector Russell
  • Image coming soon
    Harvey Clark - Janitor
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.