Mystery Classics, Vol. 6 [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally mastered
  • Interactive menus
  • Chapter selections
  • Digitally enhanced audio 5.1

Synopsis

Mystery Liner
A rather nifty little science fiction-thriller/murder mystery from Poverty Row company Monogram, Mystery Liner was based on a Saturday Evening Post story by British pulp writer Edgar Wallace. Noah Beery starred as John Holling, the captain of an ocean liner equipped with a powerful scientific gadget, the S-505, capable of steering the vessel by remote control. The captain is taken unaccountably ill and replaced by First Mate Downey (Boothe Howard), who might or might not have poisoned him to get the job in the first place. But then the inventor of the S-505 (Ralph Lewis) is found strangled and all hell breaks loose. During the voyage, Downey suffers the same fate as the professor and foreign agents attempt to sabotage the steering device. The liner is virtually overrun with murder suspects -- from a mysterious foreigner (Gustav von Seyffertitz) to a cantankerous elderly passenger (Zeffie Tilbury) -- and the sudden reappearance of Captain Holling complicates matters to no end for the detective in charge (Edwin Maxwell). The culprit, needless to say, proves to be the least likely among the suspects although director William Nigh and screenwriter Wellyn Totman tip their hands a little too early. Typical low-budget fare, Mystery Liner is nevertheless well photographed by Archie Stout and for the most part capably acted. Astrid Allwyn (billed, for some reason, "Astrid Allyn") and mustachioed Cornelius Keefe, often seen as society snobs or outright villains, are pleasantly cast against type as the ship's nurse and second mate, respectively. A clean-shaven George "Gabby" Hayes lurks about in the background as the ship's watchman and British character actor Olaf Hytten pulls various scientific-looking levers and knobs as the professor's harried assistant. Top-billed Noah Beery has only two scenes and his casting seems to have been for name recognition only. Amazingly, despite its overall look of poverty, Mystery Liner was entered as a feature attraction at the 1934 International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art in Venice, Italy, the forerunner of the Venice Film Festival. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Shock!
In this thriller, psychiatrist Dr. Cross (Vincent Price) kills his wife and expects to get away with murder, until he discovers that the slaying was observed by a next-door neighbor, Janet Stewart (Anabel Shaw). As Janet attempts to convince her husband (Frank Latimore) of the doctor's dastardly deed, Cross shows up to advise him that Janet is in dire need of some in-depth counseling. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

Doomed to Die
In his final "Mr. Wong" mystery, Boris Karloff solves the case of who killed shipping magnate Cyrus P. Wentworth (Melvin Lang). Wentworth's flagship "The Wentworth Castle" had tragically caught on fire with a tremendous loss of life. Near suicidal, the shipping tycoon is helped into the next world by persons unknown but dunderhead police captain Bill Street (Grant Withers) points the finger at Dick Fleming (William Stelling), the son of a rival tycoon and in love with Wentworth's daughter Cynthia (Catherine Craig). Promising to eat his hat if young Fleming isn't the killer, Street can only watch as enterprising cub reporter Bobby Logan (Marjorie Reynolds) assigns Mr. Wong (Karloff) to solve the case. Which the eminent Oriental sleuth does to the point where Bobby can gleefully add salt to Street's less than edible headgear. The burning of the fictional "Wentworth Castle" was actual footage from the infamous 1934"Morro Castle" fire, a tragedy that took the lives of 137 passengers. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Dick Tracy, Detective
Dick Tracy, Detective (originally just Dick Tracy) was the first of four RKO Radio B-pictures based on Chester Gould's classic comic strip. Though Ralph Byrd is most closely associated with the role of Tracy, the title character is played herein by Morgan Conway (Byrd would be seen as Tracy in the last two series entries). The jut-jawed detective takes on a vicious criminal named Splitface (Mike Mazurki), who upon escaping from jail vows to murder the jurors who found him guilty and their alternates. He manages to knock off three before the police force figures out what's happening. Galvanized into action, Dick Tracy and his partner Pat Patton (Lyle Latell) track Splitface to a deserted riverboat (a leftover set from the 1945 RKO feature Man Alive) where the villain is holding Tracy's girlfriend Tess Truehart (Anne Jeffreys) and adopted son Junior (Mickey Kuhn) captive. When asked about Dick Tracy Detective in 1990, Anne Jeffreys flatly denied she'd ever played Tess Trueheart until she caught up with the film on videotape. She'd completely forgotten the whole experience. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Cornelius Keefe - Cliff Rogers
  • Gustav VonSeyffertitz
    Gustav VonSeyffertitz - Von Kessling
  • Edwin Maxwell
    Edwin Maxwell - Maj. Pope
  • Image coming soon
    Boothe Howard - Downey, 1st Mate
  • Image coming soon
    John Maurice Sullivan - Watson
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.