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

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Peter Cookson
THE GIRL WHO DARED (1944). Director: Howard Bretherton.

Ann Carroll (Lorna Gray) and her brother Josh (Kirk Alyn of Superman) are given a lift by the mysterious Rufus Blair (Peter Cookson) to a sort of haunted house party on an island that lies past a causeway. However, the owners of the house, Beau and Chattie Richmond (John Hamilton and Vivien Oakland), never sent out any invitations. While the group is pondering who might have invited people to a non-party, one of a pair of twins (Veda Ann Borg) is found murdered. The phone lines are cut and the causeway is cut off due to a storm. Everything seems to be tied into a theft of radium which someone is killing for. The suspense is quite bearable in this otherwise entertaining if distinctly minor Monogram mystery. The cast is game enough, with Willie Best [My Little Margie] making the best impression (despite the old-fashioned nature of his acting) as the funny and likable manservant Woodrow, along with Peter Cookson [Shadow of Suspicion], who proves once again that he was a criminally underutilized leading man. Roy Barcroft and Grant Withers are also in the cast. Howard Bretherton directed a number of serials, Charlie Chan movies, and Frankie Darro features.

Verdict: The girl who dared what? **1/2 out of 4.

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