Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, December 8, 2020


 Few thriller writers were as prolific as Edgar Wallace, who wrote over 170 novels, 957 short stories, and 18 stage plays, plus screenplays, poetry, and nonfiction.  And few have been as popular in film and television; IMDb lists 229 credits for Wallace (although thirteen of them were for spinoffs and remakes of his King Kong), including seven television series based on his work.  Wallace remains very popular in Germany, where many films based on his work were made.

The Case of the Frightened Lady was based on a 1931 stage play by Wallace, which was turned into a novel in 1933.  Things are not going well at the estate of Lord Lebanon (Mar, Goring, The Red Shoes, Pandora and the Flying DutchmanThe Angry Hills.  Not only is there the matter of Lord Lebanon's mother's constant nagging, there is also a very dead chauffeur, and the body count is rising.  This cozy, well-made, "Old Dark House" mystery also features Felix Aylmer (The World, the Flesh, the Devil, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp), Penelope Dudley-Ward (Moscow Nights, Major Barbara, Her Man Gilby -- totally off subject but interesting: her mother was one of Edward VII's lovers back when he was the Prince of Wales), and Helen Haye (The 39 Steps, The Skin Game, Hobson's Choice -- please note the lack of an "s" at the end of her name).

Directed by George King (The Ticket of Leave Man, At Dawn We Die, Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror) and adapted by Edward Dryhurst (The House of the Arrow, The Patient Vanishes, It's Never Too Late).


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