The House of Fear (1939)

Genres - Comedy, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Run Time - 66 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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A remake of Paul Leni's The Last Warning (1929), this "Crime Club" series entry once again presents the spectacle of an actor murdered in mid-performance and in front of a sellout crowd. This time the unfortunate thespian is John Wofford (Don Douglas), whose body subsequently disappears. To solve the mystery, police detective Arthur McHugh (William Gargan) goes undercover as a producer wishing to reassemble the original cast for a staging of the seemingly hexed play "Dangerous Currents." During rehearsal, the actor playing Wofford's old role, Carleton (Walter Woolf King), is found murdered and a series of threatening notes purportedly written by the dead actor continue to frighten the surviving cast and crew. Wofford's voice, heard over a disconnected telephone, adds to the terror, as does the actor's very dead body, which reappears behind a crumbling wall. But is the theater really haunted? And, if not, who is behind the strange goings-on and why? To learn the answers to these troubling questions, McHugh and his equally undercover wife, Gloria De Vere (Dorothy Arnold), must discover exactly how the original murder was committed.

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Keywords

accident, actor, clue, criminal, detective, identity, investigation, investigator, killing, murder, performer, producer [showbiz], rehearsal, show, show-business, stage, stalking, unsolved, warning