The Living Ghost (A Walking Nightmare) (1942)

Dull comedy mystery about a missing banker. Nick Trayne gave up the detective business but is convinced to take the case. It all takes place in a house full of suspects.

Banker Walter Craig has been kidnapped. Ed Moline wants his friend Nick Trayne (James Dunn) to take the case. Trayne gave up the detective business and now calls himself Brother Trayne, The Sympathetic Ear. He listens to people tell him their troubles at two bucks an hour.

Ed and Walter’s secretary Billie Hilton (Joan Woodbury) drop by his office. After some ribbing by Billie, Nick agrees to look into it. They all go to Walter’s house. Some of the people inside are Tina, Walter’s daughter, Helen her stepmother who she can’t stand, Tina’s fiancee Arthur, Della Phillips, Walter’s sister, her husband George, Della joins a lot of cults, Cedric the creepy butler and Walter’s friend and former partner Tony Weldon.

In the middle of the night everyone hears Della screaming. She’s staring at Walter. He’s in a chair in a catatonic state. A doctor says he was put in that state on purpose. Nick arranges to meet George in the garden. He finds him stabbed to death with Walter standing over him. He spots someone running away. It’s Arthur. Questioning by Police Lt.Pete Peterson shows Arthur is innocent.

Nick manages to get word of a special piece of equipment that could have put Walter into that state. It was purchased by a Doctor Carson. He gets the address of a house Carson rented and he and Billie go out to investigate.

They crawl through a window of the abandoned looking house. After a long and boring sequence someone takes a shot at Nick and he fires back. Out in a hall they see a man in a zombie like state just standing there.

They go back to Walter’s house where Nick finally solves the case. This movie isn’t worth spending time with. At times it attempts to be wacky and it falls flat. It’s more annoying than anything else. A bit in Nick’s office with double talker Danny Beck is a chore to sit through.

James Dunn appeared in a few Shirley Temple movies. He starred in the TV series “It’s A Great Life” as Earl Morgan (1954-56).

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 Comedy, Crime-Mystery-Spy, vintage movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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