The Rogues’ Tavern (1936)

Article #407 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-26-2002
Posting date: 9-19-2002

A detective and his ex-detective girlfriend go to an out-of-the-way inn to meet a justice of the peace who will marry them. There they run into a mysterious group of people who are being murdered by what is believed to be a wild dog.

This is essentially an old dark house movie, but it’s the most brightly lit old dark house movie I’ve seen. There are some interesting characters and some novel ideas, but it’s badly written; it’s loaded with bad jokes and cliches, with one character actually saying “It’s getting dark!” as he dies. The editing is also pretty bad, with pointless cutting back and forth on certain scenes, and way too many shots of people looking suspiciously at each other without a real purpose or point. Still, it does leave you guessing as to the identity of the real culprit, and if you make it through, you will be treated to one of the most maniacal speeches you’ve ever encountered in the cinema. There are some really fun moments here, but it’s a mixed bag, to be sure. Wallace Ford plays the detective.


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