Strange Adventure, A (1932)

An old dark house and a hooded figure, oo-er!

vt The Wayne Murder Case
US / 60 minutes / bw / Chadwick, Monogram Dir: Phil Whitman Pr: I.E. Chadwick Scr: Lee Chadwick, Hampton Del Ruth Story: Arthur Hoerl Cine: Leon Shamroy Cast: Regis Toomey, June Clyde, Lucille La Verne, Jason Robards Sr, William V. Mong, Eddie Phillips, Dwight Frye, Nadine Dore, Alan Roscoe, Isabelle Vecki, Harry Myers, Eddie Chandler, Snowflake.

A Strange Adventure - closer

Vile old plutocrat Silas Wayne (Mong) is, though still mobile, nearing death. Unmarried, he brings all his nieces and nephews together in his home for a pre-mortem reading of his will. Before the great performance, however, his nephew and secretary Claude Wayne (Phillips) opens the old man’s hidden safe—all the family seems to know where this is, and how to get into it whenever they want to!—and scans the provisions of the will. One of these concerns the housekeeper, Miss Sheen (La Verne):

“To her and her children I leave the Candor diamond, in the hope it will continue to be an evil omen!”

Another relates to his married niece Sarah Boulter (Vecki), who’s to get $100,000 upon the birth of her first child—a prime example of the old man’s psychological sadism because, as we find, he well knew that Continue reading

Convicted (1931)

US / 63 minutes / bw / Supreme, Weiss Brothers Artclass Pictures Dir: Christy Cabanne Pr: Louis Weiss Scr: Jo Van Ronkel, Barry Barringer Story: Ed Barry Cine: Sidney Hickox Cast: Aileen Pringle, Jameson Thomas, Dorothy Christy, Richard Tucker, Harry Myers, Niles Welch, John Vosburgh (i.e., John Vosper), Jack Mower, Wilfred Lucas.

Convicted 1931 - 1 mood view

Theatrical “angel” Tony Blair (Tucker) has been pestering the star of a play he backed, Claire Norvelle (Pringle), to the point that his wife has divorced him. Now Claire finds that “just by coincidence” he’s aboard a liner on which she’s traveling to LA—indeed, “just by coincidence” he’s gotten himself a connecting cabin with hers; she has the purser move her elsewhere.

Also aboard “just by coincidence” is Blair’s current floozy Constance Forbes (Christy), who’s by no means happy to be treated like a doormat while he pursues the actress. Other passengers include cardsharp Roy Fenton (Welch), his sidekick Sturgeon (Myers)—who’s the movie’s dreary “humor” component because perpetually drunk—another cardsharp, Henderson (Mower), who happens to be Constance’s brother, and Bruce Allan (Thomas), a criminologist and crime reporter for the New York Times.

Bruce and Claire, evidently old friends, soon take a renewed shine to each other, their overtures interrupted by Blair yet again boorishly attempting to force his attentions on Claire. Bruce pulls him off, and there’s not quite a fight.

Fenton has been hoping to snag Blair into a poker game, and succeeds. He sends Sturgeon to find someone to make up a four, and Sturgeon reins in Henderson. Later they’re joined by the ship’s radio operator, Dayton (uncredited). The game breaks up in acrimony, with Blair accusing Henderson and Fenton of cheating; he pays his $1250 losses to the former but declines to pay the $900 he owes the latter.

Convicted 1931 - 2 Henderson, Blair, Fenton, Sturgeon at stud poker

The tense stud poker game: left to right, Henderson (Jack Mower), Tony Blair (Richard Tucker), Roy Fenton (Niles Welch) and Sturgeon (Harry Myers).

Claire discovers that Blair has Continue reading