Customer Reviews: Mystery Classics
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on December 6, 2009
First of all the price is right. You get 4 movies for the price of 1..!

1. Kennel Murder Case....this is a Philo Vance Mystery starring William Powell. The plot is about a man who is killed in a locked room. Police rule suicide but with Philo Vance on the case the real truth comes out. This one is a 5 star mystery. Good print and sound.

2. Eyes In The Night....Edward Arnold plays a blind detective involved in murder with a "sidekick" to do the dirty work and a dog as a companion. This one also a 5 star mystery. Good print and sound.

3. The Limping Man....this one is about murder and smuggling in London. This one is a 3 star movie. I liked it but it is not an award winner. A British film so that will tell you something of the "style". Good print and sound.

4. The Spy In White.....stars James Mason as a British officer who gets into a fight over a girl in the officer's club. Unfortunately, the other man is a Turkish Prince. Mason is forced to resign and is offered a job as a tobacco executive in Turkey. This is where the movie goes downhill. I thought the story/plot was BAD..!! print quality and sound...this one at best a 2 star rating is 1 star..!

If nothing this set for the first two movies and you'll have a real bargain.
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on September 15, 2009
I bought this DVD for William Powell and the Kennel Club Murder but it's Edward Arnold in Eyes in the Night that I really enjoy. The quality of that movie, both picture and sound, is excellent. Kennel Club Murders isn't quite as crisp but it's William Powell; you make do. I haven't gotten to the other two.
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on June 4, 2010
My favorite film in this collection is "The Kennel Murder Case" (1933) starring William Powell. The Kennel Murder Case is William Powell at his best as the charming society sleuth Philo Vance.

The four Vance films were said to be the impetus for MGM to steal Powell away to star in its enormously fabulous copy cat version "The Thin Man" series.

So, if you love the Thin Man series, which is often described as the gold standard for the who done it genre, you'll love these films.

These wonderful B & W film noirs are classic detective mystery films. This collection of films were originally produced in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

The films have been nicely transferred to DVD format. The stars include William Powell, Lloyd Bridges, Mary Astor, Edward Arnold, Eugene Pallette, Donna Reed, Francis L. Sullivan, Hugh Wakefield, Patricia Hilliard, James Mason, Kay Walsh, and Peter Lorre, just to name a few.

This is volume 5 (2005) of the Mystery Classics series. It contains such classic mysteries as "Eyes in the Night", "The Kennel Murder Case", "The Limping Man", and "The Spy in White".

The films are typically 73-85 minutes in length on average. The directors include Robert N. Lee, Walter Summers, Andrew Martan, and Fred Zinneman.

The mysteries have great plots, twists, surprise endings, and spoilers. These suspense films are filled with magnificient psychological force--classic for their time.

Lloyd Bridges becomes a unwilling sleuth to prove his innocence in the "limping man." James Mason is thrilling as the Alfred Hitchcock undercover secret agent.

These are who done its that you will want to watch again and again.
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on January 30, 2010
The emphasis on William Powell leads you to believe that they are all Powell movies. There is only one, Kennel Club. The others are good flicks and worth the few bucks but they are also available on other collections.
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on May 6, 2010
I especially enjoyed "Eyes in the Night" and "The Limping Man". The quality of this dvd is great, considering how old these movies are. I've already watched it a couple of times.
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on December 19, 2010
Step back in time for some fun with a selection of great mystery movies...hadn't seen any of these before & enjoyed everyone - especially William Powell as Philo Vance...they're not well known classics but a must see for anyone who enjoyed the Thin Man etc
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on June 5, 2010
DVD's are quite good...especially the one DVD with William POwell. I was hopng to see more than one William Powell movie from the five on offer, but the other offerings are well up to standard and for the price...very good value ! I recommend Mystery Classics for the person who likes to watch vintage movies at their best.
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on May 30, 2016
The four mystery movies that come on this DVD have little in common besides all being old black and white films. Two are from US studios and two are from UK studios, but only one could be considered a true classic of the genre.

"The Kennel Murder Case" is easily the best of the crop and is worth five stars as a standalone movie. William Powell stars as detective Philo Vance and is his usual urbane, sophisticated style of character with a strong supporting cast. The mystery is a first rate locked room puzzler and the explanation is detailed enough to satisfy the viewer.

"Eyes in the Night" is more of a spy thriller than a straight mystery and adds the gimmick of a blind detective and his guide dog, Friday. Edward Arnold does a good job portraying the main character, and the dog makes Lassie look like a slacker. Worth noting is the young Donna Reed in a supporting role who shows more range than in her more familiar roles later in her career. Four stars for this one.

"The Limping Man" is a UK production that stars Lloyd Bridges in the lead role as a veteran returning to the woman he left behind in London when World War II ended. He becomes embroiled in the murder of a fellow passenger as a witness and becomes more personally involved when it turns out the victim was someone close to his ex-girlfriend. Scotland Yard sends two of its best detectives to make inquiries. Sorry, but this one only gets three stars, mostly due to an ending that seems like cheating.

"The Spy in White" is another UK production starring a young James Mason as a disgraced military man sent to Turkey to run his family's tobacco import company. Again, this is more of a spy and chase thriller than a classic mystery plot. Toss in an exiled Russian aristocrat, blurry long shot scenery along the Bosporus, and a secret revolutionary group wanting to bring back the fez and you've got a dangerous and crowded Istanbul. Unfortunately the movie suffers from an overacting Mason and an extremely poor transfer with blurring and jumping frames. It's a shame that more time wasn't spent showing the sights of 1930s Istanbul since much was shot on location. The few long shots of minarets, castles, and the waterfront should have been the star of the show if only it all hadn't been so far away and so blurred. Two stars for this one.

The transfers for three of the four movies was good, the only exception being "The Spy in White." One minor irritation for all four of the movies was the logo of the DVD company that kept showing up in the lower right corner of the screen which came and went throughout the movies. These logo bugs are bad enough on television networks, but are even more so when found on a DVD which you have purchased. They're just intrusive enough to distract from the mood these old movies created.

Recommended for the first two movies; skip the other two.
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on July 7, 2016
Taken in turn. (1) Eyes in the Night (from 1942) holds up well as an espionage type thriller. Edward Arnold, as the totally (sic) blind detective, gives an acceptable performance by 'seeing' more than meets the eye. Jack, his doggie companion, is a bit of a scene stealer! Ann Harding is as 'warm' as ever in a role that she appears to have played any number of times in her career. Donna Reed plays the uncontrollable daughter in an acceptable fashion. Whilst watching this film, the mother/daughter relationship constantly reminded me of 'Mildred Pierce' with Ann Blyth and Joan Crawford. The 'usual criminals/nasties are what one would expect. A fairly good print/soundtrack with an entertaining viewing time of 80mins. (2) The Kennel Murder Case (from 1933) has William Powell, once again, playing the role (minus the grog) he fashioned in 'The Thin Man' series. I continually kept looking for Myrna Loy! Doggies galore, with mystery a plenty in an acceptable thriller film of 72mins. (3) The Limping Man (from 1953) sees the young Lloyd Bridges caught up in what could have been an acceptable 'who done it' thriller. The storyline, performances is/are acceptable fare even if the end resolution is frustratingly unresolved. Albeit for me to divulge the 'odd' ending. I felt cheated by this film. (4) The Spy in White (from 1936) is such a poor print that this viewer lost interest after the first few minutes, but not before recognising a very young James Mason. The storyline 'appeared' to be a little turgid in concept. No further review comments are forthcoming on this particular film. However, all in all, two of the four films were considered to be acceptable viewing.
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on October 18, 2015
I'm a mystery writer and, as such, am a big fan of mystery movies.
I'm also a big fan of movie collections because they allow me the chance to watch some old classics in the comfort of my living room.
Sadly, however, this one does not quite measure up to those I've purchased in the past.
There are three reasons for that:
1) The selection of movies is not great. There are, for example, three Bulldog Drummond episodes in this nine-movie collection. I have nothing against Bulldog Drummond but to overpopulate this small collection with him and his escapades was not the best idea, at least in my opinion.
2) The movies that were chosen for this collection are not A-listers by any means. "Blake of Scotland Yard," for example, has a wandering (and completely unbelievable) plot revolving around a "death ray" capable of sinking a battleship in seconds that, we are led to believe, is somehow going to guarantee world peace. Its chief villain - The Scorpion - is a comic book character at best.
3) With rare exception, the editing and other production values indicate that most of these movies were cranked out in a hurry and rushed into theaters. It seems that there was little or no attention paid to the craft.
Taken together, those issues make this a collection best avoided, which is too bad because there are some legitimate actors in it including Bela Lugosi (before he became a heroin addict) and Lloyd Bridges. Their presence in these mostly forgettable films made this a 3-star collection rather than a 2-star one.
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