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Mystery & Murder - 25 Killer Crime Classics


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Editorial Reviews

Old dark houses, creaking staircases, sinister suspects, persistent private eyes, damsels in distress – they’re all here in abundance in these twenty-five crime classics from the 1930s and 1940s – The Golden Age of the Hollywood Murder Mystery!

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!

Disc One

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.

Disc Two

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 stamp’s 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.

Disc Three

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 radio’s 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 DRUMMOND’S 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 who’s 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.

Disc Four

MR. MOTO’S 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).

Disc Five

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 Lange’s 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 that’s 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 Tracy’s 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 Mummy’s Hand) is the title character, whose nurse (Virginia Grey from House of Horrors) appears to be the killer.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, Ginger Rogers
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Passport
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 1675 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MQ554S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,567 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Movie Buff on October 28, 2007
Verified Purchase
The manufacturer of this DVD set clearly shows no qualms about ripping people off by including movies that are not complete. Most notably is "The Red House" which cuts off abruptly after an hour leaving 40 minutes of the movie missing! There's no excuse for this kind of rip-off especially if you're willing to put up with the poor quality of these transfers to begin with. I Wouldn't recommend anyone buying this set, and shame on Amazon for continuing to sell a defective product now that they are aware of it!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John W. Lundquist III on May 9, 2007
I've only watched a couple of the films in this set so far. I was very disappointed when watching "The Red House", to find the film is incomplete. The last 40 minutes are simply not there. Very frustrating.

I don't know if other films in the set suffer from this problem but you've been warned. Its too bad because these are fun films that may never see a better release.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 15, 2007
MYSTERY & MURDER - 25 KILLER CRIME CLASSICS features a nice sampling of most of the mid-20th Century's theatrical detective series. Dick Tracy, The Shadow, Mr. Moto, Ellery Queen, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew and Bulldog Drummond are all here (while conspicuously absent are The Thin Man and Charlie Chan). There's also a nice cross-section of other 1930s and '40s who-dun-its that all fans of murder mysteries are certain to enjoy.
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The overall rating for this box set was determined from polling data maintained at a film reference website. The current 1 to 10 average for MYSTERY & MURDERIS: 6.0.

The following alphabetized list includes individual poll scores, actual years of release and principal actors for each movie.

(5.3) The Black Raven (1943) - George Zucco/Wanda McKay
(5.9) Bulldog Drummond's Revenge (1937) - John Howard/John Barrymore
(6.4) The Crooked Circle (1932) - Zasu Pitts/James Gleason
(6.1) Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947) - Ralph Byrd
(6.8) Eyes In The Night (1942) - Edward Arnold/Ann Harding/Donna Reed
(6.1) House Of Secrets (1936) - Leslie Fenton/Muriel Evans
(4.2) Juggernaut (UK-1936) - Boris Karloff/Joan Wyndham
(6.5) The Lady In Scarlet (1935) - Reginald Denny/Patricia Farr/Jameson Thomas
(6.3) Lady Of Burlesque (1943) - Barbara Stanwyck/Pinky Lee (minor role)
(5.7) The Mandarin Mystery (1936) - Eddie Quillan/Franklin Pangborn
(6.4) Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939) - Peter Lorre/John Carradine/George Sanders
(6.1) Murder At Glen Athol (1936) - John Miljan/Irene Ware/Iris Adrian
(6.4) Murder By Invitation (1941) - Wallace Ford/Marian Marsh
(5.0) Mystery Liner (1934) - Ralph Lewis/Noah Beery/George "Gabby" Hayes (in a minor role)
(6.1) The Mystery Of Mr.
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