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The Thirteenth Guest
Girl Beware

USA 1932
produced by
M.H. Hoffman for Monogram (Equity)
directed by Albert Ray
starring Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, J. Farrell MacDonald, Paul Hurst, James C. Eagles, Eddie Phillips, Erville Alderson, Frances Rich, Ethel Wales, William B. Davidson, Robert Klein, Phillips Smalley, Crauford Kent, Tom London, Al Bridge, Henry Hall, Bob Burns, Kit Guard
based on the novel by Armitage Trail

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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13 years after the death of her father at a dinnerparty with 12 (or 13) guests, Marie Morgan (Ginger Rogers in her first starring role) returns to her old home to receive her inheritance in a mysterious way ... then a shot ... then Mary has turned a stiff (but not by a gunshot but by electrocution as the autopsy shows).

Detective Ryan (J.Farrell MacDonald) & hobby detective Winston (Lyle Talbot) soon link the killing to the dinner 13 years ago, & they soon come up with a taylormade suspect too, Barksdale (Robert Klein), the lawyer of Marie's father who seems to have acted mighty crooked, & indeed, soon in an unguarded moment he sneaks into the #Morgan house ... & is electrocuted by a hooded man ...

Then though Marie turns up, very much alive, as the dead woman was actually a double who was operated to look just like her (as Winston has suspected) & soon everybody who has joined the dinner 12 years ago ia a) in danger of getting knocked off, & be) under suspicion.

Soon, Winston has collected all but one - the Morgan family & a few friends, including Marie's brother Bud (James C.Eagles), his best friend Jensen (Eddie Philips), her hated cousin Marjorie (Frances Rich) & her undle, the lo vable rogue Adams (Erville Alderson)  - but they are a mighty annoying & spoilt bunch, so after Winston fails to convince them of the graveness of the situation, he has them all locked up for the night ... but of course the one man missing turns up electrocuted in the Morgan house the next morning.

Winston now changes his tactics & lets all the Morgans & friends loose again, but has them all followed, in hopes that someone reveals himself ...

Soon, a plastic surgeon shows up who claims he has operated on the phony Marie, & he soon identifies Jensen as his employer, & soon Jensen is even arrested, as he really did plan to substitute Marie for her double to get his hands on Marie's heritage, but then why would he have killed the double ? &, even more important, who has kidnapped Marie & is now trying to get her father's safe's combination from her ?

Why, after Marie has turned the tables on him & has him locked up in the safe he so desperately tried to open, the killer is revealed to be ... loveable rogue uncle Adams !

 

Despite the occasional leap of reason & the fact that the killer is rather pulled out of the hat in the end rather than the result of a series of deductions, this is an extremely fine murder mystery, that features some lively central performances, moves at a fast pace, & is never taking itself too seriously (without being downright silly, though),

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD