Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, August 29, 2022


 Patti Abbott recently re-posted Ed Gorman's review of the Charlotte Armstrong short story collection The Last Call.  I thought it would be fun to go back in time and take a look at one of the films that were based on her stories.  The Case of the Weird Sisters (1943) was Armstrong's second published novel.  and featured her early detective,  history professor MacDougall Duff.

Duff is not featured in the film and the setting has been moved from Michigan to Wales.  In fact there is not much left of Armstrong's book in the film...well, there are three sisters.  And they are at odds with thir well-to-do brother  There is also the suspense and Gothic sensibility that marked Armstrong's novel.  All in all this is a good movie, full of atmosphere and forboding.  It helps that the screenplay was co-written by Dylan Thomas.

The sisters are played by Nancy Price (The Speckled Band, The Stars Look Down, Down Our Street), Mary Clare (The Lady Vanishes, Next of Kin, Mrs. Pym of Scotland Yard), and Mary Merall (Dead of Night, Love on the Dole, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby).  Their brother is played by Raymond Lovell (The Young Mr. Pitt, Time, Gentlemen, Please!, The Mudlark).  Nova Pilbeam (The Man Who Knew Too Much, Young and Innocent, Nine Days and a Queen) is the brother's young secretary.  Also featured are Anthony Hulme, Elwyn Brook-Jones, Edward Rigby, Hugh Griffith, Marie Ault, David Davies (the actor's name also happens to be the name of one of the characters -- strange, huh?), Hugh Pryse, Lloyd Pearson, Doreen Richards, Bartlett Mullins, Elizabeth Allen, Ethel Beal, and Wilfred Boyle.  The movie was helmed by Dan Birt in his first full-length feature.

Worth your time.


  1. I might've heard of this film, but I'm sure I haven't seen it. Thanks for the pointer!

    1. Todd Mason, using the wrong computer or actually the wrong login, above...