MURDER BY THE CLOCK ( 1931 )

FERNANDO’s CORNER ~ Posted April 6th, 2016

MURDER BY THE CLOCK POSTER

I saw this creepy, rather creaky and stodgy, but nevertheless interesting, early talkie which benefits from an appealing art direction and sets and an eerie atmosphere.

MURDER BY CLOCK ( VIII )Its plot is rather convoluted and I won’t go into extensive details here, but it is centered on the stern, rich, old Mrs. Endicott (Blanche Fridericiand her inheritance. This lady has an insane fear of being buried alive, so she builds a tomb that predates in a way the one that Ray Milland’s character built in The Premature Burial.” Her only son is a mentally challenged man with beastly ways, colorfully played by Irving Pichel.

MURDER BY CLOCK ( VII )MURDER BY THE CLOCK ( II )

MURDER BY CLOCK ( III )

She also has an alcoholic nephew (Walter McGrail) who is married to a manipulative, selfish, egotistical woman (Lilyan Tashman) .

MURDER BY THE CLOCK ( I )

Tashman’s character becomes the center of the film and a black widow of sorts who captures almost all the male characters of the film in her web of lies and conspiracy. Lester Vail plays her lover. William “Stage” Boyd plays a Police Lieutenant. Regis Toomey playing a Police Officer and Sally O’Neil playing the Endicott’s maid, add comic relief to the film.

Although the direction is undistinguished and the pace is rather slow, it is a vintage and worthwhile movie.

[ CineMaven’s Note: To learn more about Lilyan Tashman, check out Shadows and Satin’s blog entry: LILYAN TASHMAN: GIRL ABOUT TOWN. ]

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