Sunday, 24 September 2017

SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE (1935) Directed by William Hamilton and Edward Killy,

This is based on a play by George M.Cohan which in turn was based on a novel by Earl Derr Biggers who was better known as the creator of the Chinese detective Charlie Chan. It was originally filmed in 1917, starring Cohan himself, again in 1925 and several remakes followed including one 1947 and again, in 1983, under the title of HOUSE OF LONG SHADOWS which boasted Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine. The version discussed here dates from 1935. A writer accepts a bet that he can write a mystery novel in twenty-four hours while staying overnight in a creepy old deserted hotel. His efforts are continually interrupted by various characters including a gangster, a damsel in distress and the local hermit. Although dated this is quite entertaining if one is able to tune into this kind of old dark house mystery. The lively cast is led by Gene Raymond (bearing a startling resemblance to a young Danny Kaye), Margaret Callahan, Moroni Olsen, Eric Blore, Henry Travers and Walter Brennan. Rating **

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