Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Clayton Walter ""

Friday, May 30, 2014

Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Clayton Walter

Clayton Walter is a polygot polymath hillbilly, living in a micro-town on the far-away prairies of North Dakota.  He's a Banjo player and collector of Canadian Mountie swag, as well as a bad chess player and wearer of various kinds of un-stylish facial hair.  His repository film/book/OTR reviews and all things Clayton-like is at Phantom Empires.

THE FRIGHTENED LADY (1940):   Edgar Wallace had such an incredible mind for a mystery plot.  Of all of the films made from his many novels,  this one is my favourite.  A dogged inspector, Lords, Ladies,  and amusing servants; everything a is here/  A British mystery actually made by an English company,  that classic Brit detective feel is deep and delightfully fun.  The variety of accents alone is worth the price of admission!
HOME SWEET HOMICIDE (1946):  This one is a 1946 private detective gem starring Randolph Scott, though it has a strangely 1950's feel.  Scott plays a handsome private detective on a murder case, who runs into an attractive mystery writer and her three precocious children.  The kids turn detective, and eventually try to solve the case of how to get their mother and the detective together.  Great fun!
AN INSPECTOR CALLS (1954):  To the wrong person, this could be pretty stuffy stuff.  Originally a stage play,  most of the action happens in a series of rooms, and by 'action', I mean lots of talking.  Oh, but what wonderful talking it is!  Written by the legendary J. B. Priestly,  this 1954 version has Alistair Sim as the hypnotic Inspector Poole...and how incredible he is in this one.  As the thing goes on,  he seems more like a necromancer than a run-of-the-mill detective.

ARSENE LUPIN (1932):  I recently reviewed the 1932 film Rasputin & the Empress, starring John and Lionel,  the amazing Barrymore brothers;  this movie,  about the dashing French jewel thief, Arsene Lupin (based on the novels by Maurice LeBlanc), has them in the same electric form.  In the "jewel thief vs detective" tradition, this one stands as one of the best.

RAFFLES (1930):  Speaking of jewel thieves,  here's another masterful movie,  this time 1930 version of Raffles, about an English gentleman thief (as opposed to a French one played by an Englishman).  Ronald Colman is his typically dapper self, portraying E. W. Hornung's Cricket-champ burglar, with incredible style.  Bramwell Fletcher plays Raffles' bumbling sidekick Bunny Manders, and together they gleefully thwart the nearly useless Inspector MacKenzie, amusingly well-played by David Torrence.


Jerry E said...

Nice collection of under-rated 'tec movies here, Clayton. You obviously rather enjoy those quaint old English "country house murders" movies, as do I.
I enjoyed the selection. Thanks.

Laura said...

What a cast for HOME SWEET HOMICIDE! I have to see that one. :)

Best wishes,

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Jeff Flugel said...

Nice selection of titles here, Clayton! Of those on your list, I've only seen RAFFLES. HOME SWEET HOMICIDE is absolutely new to me, and looks real fun.