Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, October 3, 2008

SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE (1929)


SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE (1929). Director: Reginald Barker.
Richard Dix (pictured) plays a writer who takers a bet from his publisher that he can complete a new novel in twenty four hours in the seclusion of the publisher's summer resort Baldpate, which is completely empty in the winter. Dix is given "the only key" to the building (why Dix would believe a resort hotel would have just one key is the only real mystery in this turkey) but a dozen or so individuals show up to disturb him, all of them with keys. For once the author is embroiled in the kind of stuff he writes about in his books. There's some business about money being hidden in a safe, a crooked deal, a woman pretending to be somebody's husband, wild gunshots, murder, and a lot of other stuff that is neither amusing nor thrilling -- which is a big problem in an alleged comedy-thriller. Dix doesn't really have the flair for this sort of material although he gives it a good try. There have been seven versions of this dog of a play. This one is especially flat and stage-bound. The twist ending will really make you groan. Verdict: Read a good book instead. *.

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