Tuesday, 30 May 2017

THE SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM (1933) Directed by Kurt Nuemann. and THE SECRET OF THE CHATEAU (1934) Directed by Richard Thorpe.

These two rarities from the Universal stable are often listed as horror movies, Neither really fits neatly into that genre. It is easy to dismiss THE SECRET OF THE CHATEAU which is a pretty dull detective story about the theft of a valuable Guttenberg Bible. I found it dull in the extreme, The advertising for the film is more than slightly misleading. Rating *. THE SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM is another thing altogether. Not a horror film as such, it is a remake of a German film made the previous year which is listed on IMBd as "Horror" although that is not always a reliable source. This version has a lot going for it. It belongs to the locked room murder genre and tells of a room where murders were once committed where quests are mysteriously vanishing again. The room is situated in the castle of Robert von Hellsdorf (played by Lionel Atwill - another reason for its close association with the horror movies). The supporting cast is above average and includes the Gloria Stuart, Paul Lukas, Edward Arnold and Onslow Stevens. Atwill is usually worth the time spent watching a film and this is no exception. The film was remade again in 1938 and again in 1944 (as a musical!). Rating **

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