THE SPIDER (1931)
Article #881 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-13-2003
Posting Date: 1-10-2004
Directed by William Cameron Menzies and Kenneth MacKenna
Featuring Edmund Lowe, Lois Moran, Howard Phillips
A murder is committed during the performance of a magic act in a theatre. The magician as well as his assistant become the prime suspects, and must prove their innocence.
A lot of this short movie is dedicated to the magic act, but since the act is well paced and fun, and Edmund Lowe’s performance is strong in the role of the magician, this doesn’t slow down the story at all. In fact, the whole affair is pretty energetic and fast moving, with the fantastic elements fairly strong—hypnotism, mind-reading, and a very eerie and effective seance sequence. The title refers to a minor plot point involving a ring. JUST IMAGINE’s El Brendel is on hand as an audience member who thinks the murder is part of the show.