Something a little different this Friday – Old Dark House Mystery reviews. Old Dark House mysteries are dramas and comedies that take place primarily in an old house, mansion, or castle, and involve a number of suspects, secret passages, with spooky hands trying to grab you. Bad weather, reporters, cops without a clue are all components of this movie genre.
If you’ve read Knight of Cups (and if you haven’t what are you waiting for?) I draw upon a lot of Old Dark House themes for that modern story retelling of the Holy Grail.
Filmed mostly in black and white, most were slapped together quickly to make a buck. For a more definitive definition check out this post.
After watching the parody A Dark and Stormy Night, and the Riff Trax of The House on Haunted Hill I was pretty much hooked and wanted to know more about Old Dark House shows. Both of these parodies have become cult classics in this house.
To watch some Old Dark House mysteries for free – travel this link – lots of fun stuff! Check out The House on Haunted Hill, The Bat, and The Cat and the Canary.
Besides it makes a cheap date night….
Thirteen years after her grandfather died suddenly at a dinner party he had hosted for 13 guests, Marie Morgan is a target for murder.
Dick Purcell stars in this movie which draws heavily upon more successful shows like Laura, and Dashiell Hammett storylines. The police are idiots, the love interest a bit weak, and lots of doors open and close.
A rich old lady dies in bed (all off screen) and leaves her money to her recently adopted daughter, who is quickly accused and exonerated of her murder. But did she really do the murder? And if she didn’t, who did? (1953; B&W)
The arrow part of this mystery was the stupidest part of the show but the acting was top notch. Oskar Homolka as the French sleuth steals the show.
A wealthy gentleman is shot dead in his study days before he will be sharing his wealth with three other men in a handshake deal made years ago.
The best thing about this one is the comedic female reporter (whose character obviously borrowed upon Katherine Hepburn) and the detective. Some fun comedy action between these two characters with an added light romance that is pretty acceptable to today’s standard (except for the part where she’s going to give up her career at the end – boo!)
Jean is left a house and hopes it will be the fresh start she and her husband needs but the house has other ideas.
The haunted house part of this story is very weak but the acting is top notch. Adapted from a book so there is actually some plot going on here, something not seen in a lot of Dark House mysteries.
Hope you have a wonderful Halloween!