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

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Jackie Moran
HAUNTED HOUSE (1940). Director: Robert F. McGowan.

In a small town a handyman named Olaf (Christian Rub) is on trial for murder. A young aspiring reporter named Jimmy (Jackie Moran) believes in Olaf's innocence but has absolutely no evidence to back this up. Into town comes Mildred Henshaw (Marcia Mae Jones), who is the daughter of Albert Henshaw (George Cleveland of Pillow of Death), the editor of the paper. Jimmy and Millie are immediately attracted to one another, and set out to find out who actually murdered Olaf's elderly employer. The two young people prove to be very lousy detectives, but they sort of stumble into a solution. There is no actual Haunted House in Haunted House, only the now-deserted domicile of the murdered woman. Moran [Let's Go Collegiate] is charming, full of that breathless boyishness so typical of the period, and Jones is fine, with some good supporting actors helping things along. Clarence Wilson and Mary Carr [The Sea Fiend] are notable as, respectively, the gas station owner named Eph, and the old lady everyone calls "Grandma."

Verdict: Minor if smooth Monogram filler. **1/2.

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