WHO’S GUILTY? (1945)
Article 3670 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-17-2011
Posting Date: 9-1-2011
Directed by Howard Bretherton and Wallace Grissell
Featuring Robert Kent, Amelita Ward, Tim Ryan
What it is: Whodunit serial
When a rich businessman is murdered in a car accident, an investigator tries to sort out the responsible party from among the businessman’s prospective heirs.
A little while ago I thought I was done with serials, but such is not the case, it looks like; this one popped up in a different source, so here I am covering it. This one, rather than being the usual action type of serial, is a whodunit, sort of like an “old dark house” serial. However, no self-respecting serial would spend its whole running time in one place, so as soon as possible, people are slipping out of the house and going to places like Mexico so that the investigator can follow them and get into cliffhangers. From a story perspective, most of the middle episodes can be safely skipped. As for the mystery itself, I’ll just say that I noticed one detail in the opening scene that gave me the clue to figure out what was really going on, and by the final episode, I knew I was correct. Overall, the serial is rather humdrum, and doesn’t really make good use of the novelty of it being a mystery serial. At least one good thing I can say about it is that the comic relief character isn’t annoying; on the down side, he’s not particularly funny either.