Snowbound With A Killer

“Mystery House” is a 1938 film directed by Noel M. Smith.  Sherman L. Lowe and Robertson White adapted the script from a novel written by Mignon G. Eberhart. It was apparently one of a series that featured a nurse with a nose for murder named Sarah Keate and her boyfriend, detective Lance O’Leary.  Dick Purcell and Anne Sheridan are the leads.  The novel was originally entitled “Mystery of Hunting’s End”, if anyone is interested.

It’s a pretty short film with a running time of 56 minutes, so it’s a pretty straight-forward plot without that much originality.  A banker is murdered after announcing to his partners or underlings that he has discovered the embezzlement of $500,000.  The authorities have come to the conclusion that it was suicide, but Sarah Keate suspects something more sinister and calls on the aid of her detective boyfriend, Lance O’ Leary.  The suspects return to the hunting lodge where that has all happened just in time to be pinned in by a snowstorm.

Other than the sheer amusement of watching movies from a long ago era, there isn’t much to remember here.  The characters of Sarah and Lance do appear in other films from that time. Eberhart apparently has quite the collection of works which was interesting to find out.  I actually was more interested in the background than the actual film.

This one just seems to be pretty typical of the genre and the era.  A mystery with people trapped together is kind of fun but was probably overdone even by 1938.  Poor Lance doesn’t have much going to have him stand out from other silver screen detectives of that time.  The performances of the other cast members worked well enough.  William Hopper, of “Perry Mason” fame, is in this one, so that was kind of fun.

There is some entertainment to be found here, but I doubt there will be much to remember for long after the viewing.

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