Wednesday, December 12, 2001


Definitely not to be confused with the horror classic from the 30's with Karloff and Lugosi, this B-movie is worth seeing but is certainly nothing like its earlier namesake. Despite the title and the presence of Lugosi (in one of his red herring roles), and a silly, last-minute attempt to tie the plot to the Poe story, this isn't a horror movie, but a more traditional "gathering to read the will in a spooky old house" mystery. It was OK but had too much comic relief from the stuttering, giggling Hugh Herbert--I can usually take a fair amount of Herbert, but he got on my nerves in this one. Broderick Crawford, looking quite young and several pounds lighter than in his later years, is the hero (and the comic relief partner of Herbert), and he even manages to get the girl--in the trailer, he is billed as "Brod Crawford." It's more worth watching for a couple members of the supporting cast: Gale Sondergaard (looking a lot like Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers) and one of my favorite overlooked actresses, Gladys Cooper, looking quite young and playing very much against type. Alan Ladd has a small part and Basil Rathbone adds some atmosphere to a movie that sorely needs more spookiness to balance out the abundant comic relief.

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