LE MYSTERE SAINT-VAL (1945)
aka The Saint-Val Mystery
Article 5209 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Rene Le Henaff
Featuring Fernandel, Arlette Guttinguer, Germain Kerjean
What it is: Old dark house, French style
An insurance investigator who won an amateur policeman contest is sent out to the Saint-Val mansion to investigate the death of a man who recently bought a life insurance policy. Then the residents begin dropping dead…
Apparently, American comedians weren’t the only ones who would try to work a “haunted house/mystery” comedy into their oeuvre; here’s one from the French comedian Fernandel. I found this one on YouTube, but it’s not complete (it’s short about twenty minutes) and it doesn’t have English subtitles, so plotwise I was left somewhat in the dark. However, it does have a fair amount of atmosphere, there’s a fun assortment of mysterious characters, and there are a few visual jokes to liven up the proceedings. Due to the language issue, I can’t give a real evaluation of the movie, but it did look fairly fun and I enjoyed what I could from it.