Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


From the play and novel by Mr. E. Philips Oppenheim-light and/or Mr. Edgar Wallace-light Sydney Horler comes a suspense film involving an American who inherits an estate in England.  When he goes to the estate, however, he is chased off.  There's a mad (?) doctor living at the house, his beautiful enigmatic daughter, a hidden treasure, a bunch of gangsters, an American detective, torture chambers, some witty dialogue, more coincidences than you can shake a stick at, a buncha screams, and I can't tell you.  (The sentence, "I can't tell you" is repeated enough times to stick in the craw of any sensible viewer.)

Leslie Fenton (the British-born actor who was married to Anne Dvorak) takes the lead as Barry Wilding.  The always interesting Sidney Blackmer is Wilding's buddy, detective Tom Starr.  The very beautiful Muriel Evans (best known as the leading lady in a host of William Boyd, Buck Jones, and John Wayne 1930s oaters) is fetching as Julie Kenmore, the film's I-can't-tell-you girl.  Journeyman actor Morgan Wallace (who was uncredited in such great movies as Tillie's Punctured Romance, The Maltese Falcon, David Harum, Pennies from Heaven, Union Pacific, My Little Chickadee, Gaslight, and Kismet) is Julie's father, mad (?) Dr. Kenmore.

Directed by Roland D. Reed and adapted by John W. Krafft, House of Secrets was produced by Poverty Row company Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corporation whicjh had filmed an earlier version of the movie in 1929.  That 1929 movie is presumed lost -- maybe that's just as well.


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