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

Thursday, September 17, 2009

THIRTEEN WOMEN


THIRTEEN WOMEN (1932). Director: George Archainbaud.

The racist girls at a fancy finishing school, St. Alban's, weren't very nice to the Eurasian gal Ursula Georgi (Myrna Loy, pictured), so years later she's determined that every one of them who snubbed her will come to an exceedingly bad end. Using a fake swami (C. Henry Gordon) she sends letters of doom to her victims and then watches as her sinister predictions come true. Now she's after Laura Stanhope (Irene Dunne), planning to blow up Laura's adorable little boy, Bobby (Wally Albright) with a bomb in a ball. Ricardo Cortez is the police investigator on the case, and Edward Pawley is the chauffeur who's become Ursula's love slave. Peg Entwhistle, who threw herself off the Hollywood sign, is one of the young ladies. There's an interesting climax on a train, but this plot with its subway shoves and falls off of trains needs the Hitchcock finesse to do it justice. Archainbaud pretty much just covers the action although there are some exciting scenes. Loy, Dunne and Kay Johnson are the cast stand-outs.

Verdict: Minor but reasonably absorbing. **1/2.

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