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

Monday, July 14, 2008


WHO'S GUILTY? (1945). 15 chapter Columbia serial. Directors: Howard Bretherton and Wallace Grissell.
Henry Calvert is murdered and there are numerous suspects, including the creepy housekeeper Mrs. Gill (Minerva Urecal), his sister Sarah (Belle Mitchell), his lawyer Horace Black (Sam Flint) and even the butler Patton (Charles Middleton, famous as "Ming the Merciless"), among others. Meanwhile there's a hunt for family treasure in a mine, and eventually a hooded figure shows up to cause more mischief. Bob Stewart (Robert Kent) from the State Board of Investigation, "aided" by comedy relief reporter Duke Ellis (Tim Ryan), tries to ferret out the guilty party while bickering with pretty and mysterious Ruth Allen (Amelita Ward), who won't tell exactly what she has to do with the Calverts. Who's Guilty?, alas, is not one of the more memorable chapterplays, and after awhile you won't really care who's guilty or much of anything else. Ryan gives a good performance, and Urecal is fun as the mouthiest and most disagreeable housekeeper on record. The versatile Charles Middleton is fine but wasted in the small role of the butler, even if Patton isn't exactly a typical domestic.
Verdict: Guilty of being just a bit boring. **.

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