Retrospektive 2018

The House of Fear

Joe May
USA 1939
66 min

Joe May injected madcap comedy into his breezy remake of Paul Leni’s innovative 1928 part-talkie THE LAST WARNING, updating and adding new twists to the whodunnit tale of a theater haunted by the ghost of a lead actor mysteriously killed on stage. May’s background in theater informed THE HOUSE OF FEAR’s evocative rendition of the backstage mayhem and butterfly filled dressing rooms. Lead actor William Gargan, meanwhile, brought his own pre-acting career as a gumshoe into his role as an intrepid police detective convinced he can solve the crime by posing as a producer determined to bring the same ill-fated play back to life, in the same now shuttered theater and with the remaining cast. Gargan seems to be on to something when the substitute lead is also killed, suggesting that someone on the cast might be guilty. (Haden Guest)

  • William Gargan
  • Robert Coote
  • Irene Hervey
  • Dorothy Arnold
  • Harvey Stephens
  • Walter Woolf King
  • Alan Dinehart
  • Peter Milne based on the novel by Wadsworth Camp and the play by Thomas F. Fallon
  • Milton R. Krasner
Universal Pictures
35 mm
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