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

Thursday, November 19, 2009


BEHIND THE MASK (1932). Director: John Francis Dillon.

Jack Quinn (Jack Holt) is a secret service agent who goes undercover as a crook, even taking part in a jail break, to expose the identity of a sinister figure, "Mr. X," who heads a criminal organization. If only this were half as much fun as it sounds. Quinn is one of the stupidest Fedeal agents ever put on film. Boris Karloff enlivens things just a bit as one of X's henchmen, and Edward Van Sloan is a cackling doctor also in the employ of X [whose identity comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone]. Constance Cummings isn't bad as the frightened daughter of a doctor (Claude King) who is victimized by the evil mastermind. Bertha Mann is the evil Nurse Edwards, who is always reporting to X.

Verdict: Any X movie would be better than this! *.

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