Eight strangers are invited to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. After being wined and dined, a voice on the radio informs them that they will be murdered unless they manage to outwit the ninth guest: Death.
Roy William Neill
When a city councilman is murdered while investigating allegations of drug dealing going on a a somewhat disreputable sideshow, the daughter of the chief suspect teams up with a newspaper reporter to find the real killer.
Henry B. Walthall,
Mad scientist Waner Oland's character's name, Dr. Boris Karlov, was decided upon before the general public became aware of the name of the actor who played Frankenstein Monster. Karloff went on to become the ultimate mad scientist in many subsequent films. See more »
Dead or alive, Kitty Conover, you oughtn't have a man in your room at this hour of the night.
See more »
I like the movie, for what it is. I would like to see the earlier version, and compare. I've always thought of Warner Oland as kind of a ham. But it's impossible to judge by 1931 standards in 2007, so what do I know? The Karlov question had me curious. This is what Wikipedia had to say (yeah, I know-- it's Wikipedia, so who knows if it's true?):
"In 1922 the book was made into a Broadway play and the following year a motion picture. A second film version appeared in 1931. It is said that a young Boris Karloff, who previously had a few uncredited film roles, chose his stage name for his first screen credit in 1920 from a Russian mad scientist character named "Boris Karlov" in this novel. The name 'Boris Karlov' was used from MacGrath's book for the 1922 Broadway play, but by 1923 with actor Boris Karloff using the similar sounding variation, the film version renamed the character, played by Wallace Beery, 'Gregor Karlov'. In the 1931 film version, however, with Warner Oland playing the character, the mad scientist's name is restored to 'Boris Karlov', less than a year before Frankenstein would make Boris Karloff a household word for generations. Ironically, Boris Karloff would play many mad scientists on screen, but never 'Boris Karlov'."
As a side note for those interested in original sources, the Harold MacGrath novel "Drums of Jeopardy" is available as a free e-text download at Project Gutenberg.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this