Another survival/comedy horror movie that has the Old Dark House motif. It is loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe tale and more closely resembles The Cat and the Canary. To make things complicated. Bela Lugosi stars in a 1934 classic The Black Cat. These two are not related in any way. Aside from Lugosi. It's only saving graces are that the production quality is there and at least its a Universal Picture.
A group of fortune seeking relatives descend on the residence of an old woman that is dying. Henrietta Winslow had lived with her servants and cats for years. Now, after her passing away during the night. The relatives are left to survive thunder claps, the dark and cats. Usual fare for yet another old dark house tale brought to you by Edgar Allen Poe.
This movie is really well made and has a fantastic aura. However, it's boring and predictable. The only saving graces are the shallow characters and creepy overtones. Also, it's criminal that Bela Lugosi isn't in the picture more. However, the cast that was assembled would be better utilized in an original setting. This old dark house style has run it's course. This movie is appropriate for all ages, but I cannot stress how boring and unoriginal it is.
Albert S. Rogell
Broderick Crawford and
May 2, 1941
Did ya know:
Broderick Crawford's line "He thinks he's Sherlock Holmes" is a gag. At the time this was made, Basil Rathbone had already played in two Holmes films, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."