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

Thursday, April 8, 2010

THE FACE OF MARBLE


THE FACE OF MARBLE (1946). Director: William Beaudine.

In an isolated country manor two doctors experiment with bringing the dead back to life. Dr. Randolph's (John Carradine) wife Elaine (Claudia Drake) is falling for his assistant David (Robert Shayne), even though he has a fiancee, Linda (Maris Wrixon), who comes for a visit at Randolph's request. Then there's Elaine's overly faithful old family retainer Maria (Rosa Rey), who practices voodoo and wants Linda out of the way, causing disaster. The title comes from the fact that when the doctors try to bring a drowned sailor back to life he has a stark white face, a "face of marble." When Randolph experiments with Elaine's pet dog, Brutus, the animal comes back to life with the highly illogical ability to walk through walls and a craving for blood. The problem with this oddly compelling horror film is that its many disparate elements don't quite jell. Willie Best is the butler, Shadrach, and Thomas E. Jackson is Inspector Norton. The funniest scene has Elaine giving a lingering birthday kiss on the mouth to David right in front of her husband. The acting is competent but little else. Neither Drake nor the oddly-named Maris Wrixon had many subsequent credits, although Wrixon had amassed quite a few previously.

Verdict: Stupid but interesting. **1/2.

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