kjrwe

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Everything posted by kjrwe

  1. Thrillers which are radio plays

    Anyone here familiar with the Ellery Queen radio plays...in particular, the Ellery Queen minute mysteries? Those are the radio plays which I've been enjoying lately.
  2. I can't seem to find any threads here about radio plays, so I'll start one about radio play thrillers. Here are some favourites of mine which I have heard a number of times (and again recently): From Suspense: Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr, starring Peter Lorre. Here, an evil math prof explains to his wife what exactly he has in store for her. From Suspense: The Devil's Saint by John Dickson Carr, starring Peter Lorre. A young man wants to marry a woman he's just met, but first he has to "get past" her eccentric and creepy uncle by following certain instructions which he has for the young man. From Suspense: Will You Make a Bet With Death? by John Dickson Carr. A man is on a slow boat ride at a carnival with a woman, and he is explaining to her a bet which he made with his nasty stepfather...a bet about death. From Suspense: Want Ad, starring Robert Cummings. Brilliant inverted whodunit about a crook who gets exactly what's coming to him. Of all the inverted whodunits I've seen, or read, or heard on radio, this one I think has the best ending. Highly recommended. From Suspense: The Doctor Prescribed Death, starring Bela Lugosi. A doctor has an unusual psychological theory: someone who is suicidal can be convinced to murder someone else, and he decides to find someone suicidal to "convert", so to speak. From Suspense: The Fountain Plays, by Dorothy Sayers, starring Edmund Gwenn. A terrific story about blackmail and skeletons in the closet of a rich British homeowner. One of her best, for sure. From Campbell's Playhouse: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie. Orson Welles plays both Poirot and Doctor Sheppard. Edna May Oliver plays the doctor's sister. I really like Orson Welles' introduction: he has some kind words to say about murder mysteries! From The Weird Circle: A Terrible Night. Here's an example of what can happen to those who get lost in the Canadian wilderness... haha. Be aware! From Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire. A widow on an island is being terrorized by mysterious phone calls where the same person keeps telling her that she only has a few hours to live.
  3. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Anyone here familiar with any of the versions of Seven Keys to Baldpate? Lots of versions kicking around, and the 1929 version is my favourite (of the ones I've seen). In fact, I watched it just now (first viewing in several years). If you see several of these films, you will likely notice two different "types" of endings to this story. I prefer the ending of the 1929 film over the other ending. The storyline is as follows: a mystery author has a bet going with (I think) his publisher (or someone) that he can write a mystery story in 24 hours at a very isolated hotel called Baldpate Inn. Once he's at the inn, strange things start to happen....
  4. Obscure Pre Code movies

    I think that Murder at the Vanities needs to be better known. That film is a perfect example of a pre-Code-post-Prohibition movie.
  5. What--No Beer?

    I saw that film about 12 or 13 years ago. Fun film! Even though it's a pre-Code film, I don't recall a lot of pre-Code elements to it. Maybe I just need to see it again...
  6. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    I've been busy rewatching some of my newest discoveries, such as One Frightened Night Midnight Mystery The Rogues' Tavern The Black Doll etc. For those who are wondering about titles of obscure mysteries of the 1930s, I recommend you do a search for authors such as Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, John Dickson Carr, Stuart Palmer, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Mignon Eberhart, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ethel Lina White, Earl Derr Biggers, S. S. Van Dine, Dorothy Sayers...and look up which of their stories were made into movies in the thirties. For other titles, do a search using key words like "murder", "mystery", "13th" (and other numbers), "night", "terror", "death", etc. Happy searching! Cheers....
  7. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    More 1930s fun: The Black Doll The Mystery of the White Room The Witness Vanishes The films I've mentioned this past month or so have mostly been isolated mansion mysteries, complete with secret passages, hidden staircases, portraits with eyes that move, killers wearing masks to scare people, etc. Some exceptions to the rule....The Mystery of the White Room is set in a hospital, for instance. The Witness Vanishes is more of a thriller, but its ending really floored me.
  8. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Recently: a handful of early 1930s short films based on short stories written by S. S. Van Dine (creator of Philo Vance, though this detective doesn't appear in any of the stories).
  9. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Recent ones: The Case of the Black Cat: my second fave of the 1930s Perry Mason films, but it's not nearly as good as The Case of the Howling Dog. The Case of the Velvet Claws: my third fave of the 1930s Perry Mason films, but it's quite weak compared to my top two. The Hidden Hand: fun early 1940s isolated house mystery. Grizzly's Millions: a terrific 1940s whodunit-thriller. Le Mystere de la Chambre Jaune: also a great early thirties isolated mansion thriller, complete with mysterious characters, secret passages, creepy masks, etc.
  10. There are two Disney films from the sixties which I really enjoy: The Parent Trap and That Darn Cat. Any other fans of these two films? A big thanks to Hayley Mills (star of both movies) for doing such a great job, especially at playing two characters in The Parent Trap.
  11. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    More 1930s mysteries: Murder on the Campus Murder With Pictures The 13th Man The King Murder Murder by the Clock
  12. "The House on Telegraph Hill" (1951)

    Count me in as a big fan of this film! I love Valentina Cortesa's performance, and the gothic feel to this film.
  13. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    I haven't been posting because I've been watching 1930s isolated mansion mysteries: Midnight Mystery 1930 Murder at Midnight 1931 The Wayne Murder Case 1932 The Riverside Murder 1935 Night of Terror 1933 The Ghost Walks 1934 The Moonstone 1934 One Frightened Night 1935 The Rogues Tavern 1936
  14. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    I watched two 1930s mysteries tonight, both of which I've seen before. The Crime Nobody Saw: three authors have been hired to write a murder mystery play, and they're out of ideas. Then, things start to happen with a couple of neighbors, events which might provide these three men with some ideas for their play. Very clever ending here! The Murder Man: a big-shot financial-type guy is murdered and his partner is charged with the murder. This mystery is quite unusual because the stars are mostly big-name actors: Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Virginia Bruce. Also starring is Robert Barrat, who always gave terrific performances in 1930s mysteries. Spencer Tracy's acting in particular is top-notch here, especially in the last 15 minutes of the movie. The only problem I have with this film is that it's too predictable. Still, it's a fine mystery-drama set in a newspaper office environment. I recommend both films.
  15. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Dorothy McGuire also starred in the radio play The Spiral Staircase. Must have been tough playing a mute character on radio, but she did it. I think I mentioned this fact somewhere on this forum, but I forget where.
  16. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Next up - The Spiral Staircase. Who else is a fan?
  17. So what are your favourite Christmas films, or at least, films with some longer scenes set over Christmas? Mine: Christmas Vacation Period of Adjustment The Shop Around the Corner In the Good Old Summertime (don't let the title fool you) Little Women (1933 and 1949 versions) The Polar Express The Trouble With Angels A Christmas Carol (starring Alastair Sim)
  18. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    I took a bit of a break from whodunits to watch noirs and Christmas films (all of which I'm too lazy to review). Tonight I want to watch the following whodunits (both of which I've seen many times): The Verdict (1940s)....a very underrated Lorre-Greenstreet collaboration. A high-ranking officer of Scotland Yard realizes that he sent the wrong man to the gallows for the murder of an elderly lady. He's dismissed and he decides to watch with some enjoyment as a younger man takes over his job...and has the tough task of trying to solve the murder of the elderly lady's nephew. Lovely gothic locked-room mystery which also works as film noir. This movie really really needs to be better known! One of the best conclusions ever, in my opinion. Green for Danger (1940s)....a couple of murders take place at a hospital in war-torn Britain, and it's up to Inspector Cockrill (the great Alastair Sim) to figure out whodunit and how it was done. I especially like the final 15 minutes of this film, and the final couple of lines as well.
  19. Who would you marry?

    Jim Hutton....my big crush. He was so incredibly sexy as Ellery Queen. (Does anyone here remember that show?) If I were a lesbian, I would have a huge crush on Gene Tierney. She was a stunning woman. I suspect that a lot of guys and lesbians were drooling over her back in the day. It's too bad about what happened to her.
  20. Favourite Christmas films

    Hmm...I think I forgot to mention Grumpy Old Men. That one, along with Grumpier Old Men, is one which I generally watch in November. They're both very funny films. I liked Elf when I saw it in the theaters, but I haven't seen it since then. I used to like Love Actually, but these past few years, I haven't been able to stomach it. Not sure why. I think I keep comparing it to Period of Adjustment (a superior film, in my opinion). Last time I saw A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas was when I was a kid in the eighties. (The Jim Carrey version was absolutely horrible.) Home Alone is one of those films which I enjoyed in the early nineties (what teen didn't?), but it's not something I'd watch now. There are a couple of Christmas films starring Barbara Stanwyck which I need to revisit. I tried to watch them about 10 years ago and I couldn't get into them. Most likely I was just in the wrong mood. I love Stanwyck. I'll give them another look one of these days.
  21. Favourite Christmas films

    Nice to see at least one other person mention Period of Adjustment! It's a Wonderful Life is one of those films which I've tried to watch a few times, but I've never been able to finish it. Not sure why, since the storyline is a good one and I like James Stewart. I haven't seen a lot of the films mentioned in this thread. I'm sure that they're good ones.
  22. Thrillers which are radio plays

    Oh yes, I like that radio play, too. After the movie Sorry Wrong Number was released, the movie script was shortened and adapted for radio. Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster star in the radio play as well. I think it's part of Lux Radio. (I can't remember.)
  23. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Some more from the 1920s and 1930s: Before Dawn Murder at Glen Athol The Thirteenth Chair (1930s version) The Thirteenth Guest The Cat and the Canary (1920s and 1930s versions) These films offer at least some of these features: isolated mansions, hidden treasures, seances, portraits with eyes that move, blackmailers, bizarre characters, secret passages. Regarding The Cat and the Canary: normally I like the 20s version better than the 30s version. This time around, I found myself enjoying the 1930s film a lot more. Before Dawn: a little "treat" awaits certain characters at the end of a hidden staircase....they really should watch where they walk! The 13th Chair: Dame May Whitty really steals the show here.
  24. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    I've been watching some 1930s mysteries set in Britain. Each time I watch these, I keep wishing that more Agatha Christie mysteries had been filmed back in the 30s. Charlie Chan in London: a young man is about to be hanged for the murder of another man. This man's sister gets Charlie Chan to help find the real killer. The Terror: two crooks help an anonymous boss steal a lot of money. The boss betrays them and they wind up in jail. Once they're out, they go to an isolated mansion where they're convinced the boss is hiding. The first part of this film is gangster-style, but soon it turns into an isolated country house whodunit when someone is murdered. The secret room and the noises which are probably coming from it are a nice touch, too. Alastair Sim steals the show here as one of the crooks. The Shadow: all the elements of a typical 1930s British mystery here - a blackmailer needs to be caught, and this person is likely hiding in the isolated mansion where most of the film takes place. Some red herrings, too. A lot like Agatha Christie, though she came up with much more elaborate endings. The Mystery of Mr. X: clever story about a serial cop killer on the loose. A diamond thief is at the wrong place at the wrong time (and therefore a suspect in the murders) and he has some work to do to get Scotland Yard off the trail of the stolen diamond (which he wants to cash in ASAP). Lots of VERY clever twists and turns in this gem. The Ghost Camera: a fellow comes home and finds that a camera had been tossed into his car. He develops some of the pictures and he gets curious about the pics and the camera's owner. Meanwhile, the camera is stolen from his home. This fellow goes off in search of the camera's owner and later, he attempts to solve the mystery of other pictures which he developed. The Ghost Camera is based on a story by an author who wrote a couple of novels which I've read. In one of these other novels, a man who lives alone locks up his house and goes on holidays. At a train station (or somewhere), he overhears someone asking the operator for HIS phone number...and he hears this person talking to someone at his own home! But no one is supposed to be at home! Interesting novel.
  25. Recently Watched Mystery/Crime/Noir/Etc.

    Murder at the Vanities (1934): I've lost track how many times I've seen this wonderful whodunit-musical. While a show is going on (on stage), a couple of murders take place behind the scenes. I admit that the mystery itself is a bit on the weak side, but combined with the excellent musical numbers, the mystery is just right. The mystery keeps the musical from getting too cheesy (as many musicals are, unfortunately). Be on the lookout for: -numerous pre-Code elements (example: nearly naked women in a couple of the early performances) -a musical tribute to mark the end of Prohibition -Duke Ellington and his orchestra in one of the musical numbers Very highly recommended. I've only seen a handful of musical-whodunits. If only more of them had been filmed.

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