Synopsis by Hal Erickson
When MGM remade its 1935 film Kind Lady in 1951, the earlier picture was retitled House of Menace to avoid confusion. The 1935 version stars Aline MacMahon, previously cast as wisecracking golddiggers, as a wealthy unmarried Londoner who befriends a charming but untalented artist (Basil Rathbone). The artist gains entrance to Aline's home by preying upon her basic kindliness, then slowly begins moving his own confederates in and taking over the household, the better to pilfer the lady's valuable collection of paintings. When Aline catches on, she is plied with drugs and locked up in her attic; the artist and his gang convince outsiders that the imprisoned woman is hopelessly insane. In the original Hugh Walpole short story, the lady of the house is ultimately murdered; in the play and film versions, she manages to outwit her captors and summon help. The 1951 version of Kind Lady starred Ethel Barrymore and Maurice Evans as fly and spider respectively.
artist, attic, captive, collection, painting