Dead Men Are Dangerous (Dangerous Masquerade) (1939)

Robert “Long John Silver” Newton stars as a broke, failed author who fakes his own death. Decent crime movie if you’re in the mood for a short film before the main feature.

Alymer Franklyn (Robert Newton) is busted. He won’t take money from his girlfriend Nina. He says his next book will be a best seller. He goes to his Uncle James for a loan….again. James tells him to get a job and get out.

It’s a dark and stormy night as he goes home. He checks the mail. Another rejection. He writes a letter to Nina calling himself a failure and packs up to go. He goes out to mail the letter and hears a noise. A tree falls….right on top of someone.

Franklyn sees his chance and switches clothes with the body. He also puts his watch on the dead man’s wrist. Then it’s off to London and a rooming house. The papers are full of the death of Franklyn. A friendly but nosy maid, Gladys, brings him the papers and can’t stop talking about the case.

Franklyn goes in disguise to the inquest. The verdict is death by murder. The cops say he was stabbed before the tree fell on him. For some reason he pulls out the dead man’s wallet and the guy next to him takes notice.

He’s followed back to the rooming house. The man following is Goddard. He goes to his boss, Mr.Conroy and tells him about it. Conroy is a diamond smuggler. It comes out that Goddard killed the man for his diary. They think Franklyn has it.

Franklyn goes to the park and sees Nina. Her dog recognizes him as he’s walking away. She decides to help investigate. Goddard is caught by Gladys searchng Franklyn’s room. He shoves her down. She hits her head. Gladys is a goner. Franklyn comes home and when he finds out what happened pulls up the floorboards where he’s hidden a checkered suit. Police have been looking for a man in a checkered suit ID’d by a postman.

He puts the suit in the trash. He forget the vest. It’s back at the rooming house. A passing cop pulls the bundle from the trash barrel. They know now that he’s still alive. The cops stage a massive manhunt in the park. Goddard gets him away to Conroy’s house. Now Franklyn’s figuring things out when he’s asked for the diary. 

No great acting to speak of and no real depth to the story but it’s fun to watch it all unfold. Don’t expect anything exceptional and you’ll probably like it.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in British Movies, Crime-Mystery-Spy, vintage movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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