The Mysterious Intruder (1946)

Article 2263 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-29-2007
Posting Date: 10-23-2007
Directed by William Castle
Featuring Richard Dix, Barton MacLane, Nina Vale

A private detective takes on a case to locate a woman who stands to gain a large sum of money. In the hopes of discovering the exact details of the money, the detective sends a female associate pretending to be the woman, but this ends up leading to a string of murders that places the detective under the suspicion of the police.

Though the title doesn’t reflect this, this movie was part of “The Whistler” series from Columbia, and, like most of those movies, the sole fantastic element is the presence of the Whistler himself, who serves as narrator. It’s also one of the best of the series; the plot is complex and full of surprising revelations, the story has a grim noirish feel, and our central character of focus, the detective, is a questionable person; for most of the movie, you won’t know whether his hunt for the object that will bring the money is being done to help a client, or for his own profit. This ambiguity plays a big role in making the surprisingly powerful ending work as well as it does. The movie also features some fun character actors, including Regis Toomey, Charles Lane, and the always memorable Mike Mazurki. Recommended for those who don’t mind watching a movie with only borderline fantastic elements.


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