House of Secrets (1929)

Genres - Crime, Mystery  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The first sound film to be released by Poverty Row company Chesterfield and one of the earliest sound-on-film productions, The House of Secrets was filmed on rented stages in New York City with a cast of mainly little-known stage actors. Joseph Stryker (John the Baptist of De Mille's King of Kings) starred as a young man arriving in England to claim his inheritance, an old mansion known as "the Hawk's Nest." The inheritance proves quite a debacle for poor Barry, who finds his new home "haunted" by a couple of American gangsters (Richard Stevenson and Harry M. Southard), not to mention the previous owner, a mysterious scientist (Francis M. Verdi) who is developing a secret nerve gas on the premises. Also present are a skulking Chinese (Edward Roseman), a brash American detective (Herbert Warren), and the inventor's purported daughter (Marcia Mannon), with whom Barry falls in love. Although The House of Secrets proved a distinct flop, Chesterfield remade the story -- in Hollywood this time -- in 1936 starring Leslie Fenton and Muriel Evans.

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Keywords

death, experiment, friendship, hideout, killing, loot, love, mad-scientist, maid, prison, prison-escape, rescue, robbery