Midnight Faces (1926)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Haunted House Film, Whodunit  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Perhaps the best known film produced by the little poverty row company Goodwill, this is a typical 1920s haunted house thriller-comedy. Eight people gather in a deserted house in the Florida Everglades for the reading of a will. Strange things begin to happen -- sliding panels, clutching hand, mysterious bumps in the night (via subtitles, of course) and a masked avenger -- but, like always during the silent era, the "haunting" proves to be merely the work of a gang of crooks. The film abounds with red herrings, including a mysterious Chinaman (Edward Peil, Sr.), who proves to be an undercover agent, and a paraplegic (Charles Belcher), who isn't paralyzed at all. Francis X. Bushman, Jr., Goodwill's biggest star and Kathryn McGuire were the romantic leads, with Western star Jack Perrin as a lawyer, African-American comedian Martin Turner as a stereotypically frightened factotum, and spinsterish Nora Cecil as a Mrs. Danvers-type housekeeper. Rocky Aoki, the founder of the Benihana restaurant chain, played a bit part.

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Keywords

house, inheritance, will [document], haunted, gathering, bayou, stranger