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

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

THE FROZEN GHOST


THE FROZEN GHOST (1945). Director: Harold Young.

Okay Inner Sanctum mystery stars -- who else? -- Lon Chaney (Jr.) as a mentalist who's convinced that he's psychically responsible for a heckler (Arthur Hohl) dropping dead during his act, even though the man was a heavy drinker with a heart condition. To recover, he breaks off his engagement to Evelyn Ankers and retreats to a wax museum owned by Valerie Monet (Tala Birell). There he also encounters Monet's niece Nina (Elena Verdugo) and a sinister assistant played by Martin Kosleck. When Valerie disappears, Inspector Brant (Douglass Dumbrille) investigates while Chaney's friend George (Milburn Stone) tries to lend sensible support. This mystery has some interesting elements to it, even if it doesn't always jell. Chaney's whispering is kept to a minimum, and his performance is adequate. Kosleck pretty much steals the picture. There is no ghost in the movie -- the title refers to suspended animation.

Verdict: Acceptable time waster, nothing more. **1/2.

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