Hot on the trail of the crafty culprits are such savvy cinematic sleuths as SHERLOCK HOLMES, DICK TRACY, MR. MOTO, THE SHADOW, BULLDOG DRUMMOND and even NANCY DREW! Stars include BARBARA STANWYCK, BASIL RATHBONE, GINGER ROGERS, BORIS KARLOFF, EDWARD G. ROBINSON, PETER LORRE and JOHN BARRYMORE, just to name a few. A five-DVD feast for fans of classic crime, detective, murder, and mystery movies!
THE CROOKED CIRCLE (1932) Zasu Pitts (Greed) and James Gleason (Here Comes Mr. Jordan) lead a group of amateur detectives as they set out to expose a secret club of hooded occultists in a haunted mansion complete with trap doors, secret passageways, and skeletons.
A SHRIEK IN THE NIGHT (1933) In this delicious, pre-Code murder mystery, Ginger Rogers takes off her tap shoes to play a hard-boiled reporter who tries to outscoop rival reporter Lyle Talbot (Plan 9 From Outer Space) after a series of murders are committed in a Manhattan skyscraper.
THE SPHINX (1933) Lionel Atwill (Mystery of the Wax Museum) plays a sinister mute who is accused of the brutal murder of a well-known stockbroker in this offbeat mystery. Directed by Philip Rosen (Spooks Run Wild).
THE PHANTOM BROADCAST (1933) A popular radio crooner (Arnold Gray of King Kong) hides a terrible secret: His singing is actually voiced by his hunchbacked, club-footed, piano-playing assistant (silent star Ralph Forbes). In short order, the radio star is murdered and a police lieutenant (western sidekick Gabby Hayes!) is called in.
TOMORROW AT SEVEN (1933) Guests in an old dark house are menaced by a maniac who warns his victims just before he kills them! Chester Morris (Boston Blackie) stars, along with Warner Bros. favorites Frank McHugh & Allen Jenkins and Charles "Ming the Merciless" Middleton.
MYSTERY LINER (1934) A professor (Ralph Lewis of The Lost City) is murdered on board a remote-controlled ocean liner, with Noah Beery Sr. (brother of Wallace) as the captain and Gustav von Seyffertitz (Dishonored) as the police inspector.
THE LADY IN SCARLET (1935) In this delightful Thin-Man-like murder-mystery, playboy/private eye Reginald Denny is called in to solve the murder of a wealthy antiques dealer. Prolific Hollywood veteran Charles Lamont (Ma and Pa Kettle) directed.
MURDER AT GLEN ATHOL (1936) Director Frank Strayer (The Vampire Bat) helmed this effective whodunit about a detective (John Miljan of Arsene Lupin) who is invited to a fancy party, only to become entangled in a web of gangsters, blackmail and murder!
THE MANDARIN MYSTERY (1936) Legendary sleuth Ellery Queen (in the person of Eddie Quillan from Mutiny on the Bounty) tries to solve the murder of two people over a rare (and priceless) postage stamp. Charlotte Henry (Alice in Wonderland) is the stamps lovely owner and Franklin Pangborn (The Bank Dick) is a fussy hotel manager.
HOUSE OF SECRETS (1936) A mad scientist, a torture chamber, and hidden treasure are just part of the fun in this atmospheric mystery starring Leslie Fenton (The Public Enemy) and Muriel Evans (Manhattan Melodrama) head the colorful cast.
JUGGERNAUT (1937) A dedicated and diabolical - doctor (the great Boris Karloff) is seduced into helping a greedy woman (French film star, Mona Goya) murder her wealthy husband (Arthur Margetson from The Mystery of the Marie Celeste).
THE SHADOW STRIKES (1937) Silent star Rod La Rocque (The Ten Commandments) brings radios Shadow (aka Lamont Cranston) to the big screen, where he goes undercover as an attorney and winds up involved in the murder of his wealthy would-be "client."
BULLDOG DRUMMONDS REVENGE (1937) Captain Drummond (John Howard of Lost Horizon) travels to Switzerland to get married and winds up on the trail of some stolen explosives. John Barrymore has great fun donning various disguises as Colonel Nielson.
THE MYSTERY OF MR. WONG (1939) - British-born Boris Karloff as Chinese-born James Lee Wong, who is called upon to investigate the murder of an art collector whos been shot over a priceless sapphire. Probably the best of the Mr. Wong series.
NANCY DREW, REPORTER (1939) Sixteen-year-old Bonita Granville (These Three) transfers the popular amateur sleuth from the written page to the big screen as a brave girl who winds up involved in a real murder while working on a story for her school paper.
MR. MOTOS LAST WARNING (1939) Hungarian-born Peter Lorre stars as Japanese-born Kentaro Moto, who attempts to smash a spy ring that is bent on starting a Second World War (oh well). The colorful supporting cast includes John Carradine (House of Dracula) and George Sanders (All About Eve). Probably the best of the series.
PHANTOM OF CHINATOWN (1940) This time, Mr. Wong is played by an actual Asian Chinese-born Keye Luke best known as Lee Chan, the "#1 son" of the Charlie Chan series. Mr. Wong tries to solve the murder of an archaeologist (Charles Miller from House of Frankenstein) who was poisoned over an ancient Chinese scroll.
MURDER BY INVITATION (1941) Wallace Ford (Freaks) and Marian Marsh (Svengali) star as a reporter and his secretary in this effective old-dark-house thriller where the scheming relatives of an eccentric old woman (Sarah Padden, "Mom Palooka" of the Joe Palooka series) wind up dead, one at a time.
SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE SECRET WEAPON (1942) Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce the quintessential Holmes & Watson in their first outing for Universal, locking horns with the evil Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill of Son of Frankenstein), who is trying help the Nazis with a new, top-secret bombsight.
EYES IN THE NIGHT (1942) Fascinating tale of a blind detective (Edward Arnold of Meet John Doe) who starts out investigating a murder and winds up uncovering a nest of Nazis. The colorful cast includes Ann Harding, Rosemary DeCamp, Mantan Moreland and 21-year-old Donna Reed. Directed by Fred Zinneman (From Here to Eternity).
LADY OF BURLESQUE (1943) Stripper Gypsy Rose Lee contributed to this stylish mystery centering on a famous stripper (played by Barbara Stanwyck) who is accused of murdering her jealous rivals and must track down the real killer in order to clear her name. Arthur Langes musical score was nominated for an Oscar and the film was directed by none other than William Wellman (Beau Geste).
THE BLACK RAVEN (1943) On a dark and stormy night, a group of people are forced to spend the night at an eerie inn run by the sinister George Zucco (Moriarty in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) with Glenn Strange (Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein) as his dim-witted assistant.
THE RED HOUSE (1947) Atmospheric mystery with Edward G. Robinson as a crippled farmer who lives with his sister (Judith Anderson of Rebecca) and who is obsessed with keeping a deep, dark secret about a mysterious red house thats hidden in the woods. Delmer Daves (Dark Passage) directed.
DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME (1947) Ralph Byrd plays the legendary comic-strip detective, as he did in half a dozen features. Boris Karloff is Gruesome, an ex-con who stumbles across a secret paralyzing gas that he uses in bank robberies. Anne Gwynne (House of Frankenstein) is Tracys gal-pal, Tess Trueheart.
WHO KILLED DOC ROBBIN? (1948) An effective and entertaining comedy-drama about a group of people who find themselves trapped inside (what else?) an old dark house where they encounter a mad doctor, secret passageways and, of course, a homicidal gorilla. George Zucco (The Mummys Hand) is the title character, whose nurse (Virginia Grey from House of Horrors) appears to be the killer.