The Moonstone (1934)

Article #502 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 7-30-2002
Posting date: 12-23-2002

A rare and valuable gem is brought from India to be a gift for a young woman. However, the gem is stolen during the night.

The movie opens with the opening of a book entitled “World’s Greatest Mysteries Volume 1”, and the title page opens to “The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins; by all reports, it is one of the cornerstone mysteries of all time. I’ve never read it, but it might be interesting to do so one day. Somehow, I suspect that when I do, I won’t find this adaptation of the story to have been a satisfactory substitute, but that’s not really fair, as my print of it runs just a little under fifty minutes, and by all reports, the full movie runs sixty-two. That means I’m missing thirteen minutes, and in terms of pacing in a movie this short, thirteen minutes can be crucial. It may explain why I find the last part of this movie perfunctory and rushed; it’s over at just about the time I’m gearing up to get caught up in the mystery. Therefore, I must reserve judgment until I see the full version; this shortened one is just too abbreviated to be much fun, despite the presence of familiar faces such as David Manners, Gustav Von Seyfertitz and Elspeth Dudgeon.


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