THE MYSTERY OF THE 13TH GUEST (1943)
Article 2157 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-10-2007
Posting Date: 7-9-2007
Directed by William Beaudine
Featuring Dick Purcell, Helen Parrish, Tim Ryan
When a woman is murdered on her return to a deserted mansion to read the will of a man who died thirteen years ago, the police try to discover who the murderer is. They believe it was someone who was at a party thirteen years ago, in which one unknown guest was missing.
This is a second movie version of the novel “The 13th Guest” by Armitage Trail. Though neither of the two versions are particularly good, the earlier one had the novelty value of featuring early roles of both Ginger Roger and James Gleason, both of which would go on to distinguished film careers. This one lacks that novelty value, but it has efficient direction from William Beaudine and the comic relief manages to keep on the right side of annoying. Standard old dark house thrills are to be found here, with a deserted house which manages to still have its lights and phone working, a devilish murder method, and a masked villain. It’s an adequate time-killer.