Fog Island (1945)

George Zucco, Lionel Atwill and Jerome Cowan in a sometimes creepy movie about a gathering in a house on a fog shrouded island. The object:retribution.

Leo Grainer (George Zucco) spent five years in the big house for swindling funds from his company. He was framed by his business associates. While inside his wife was killed and his former friends searched his island house for a fortune he supposedly stashed there.

Leo lives there with his stepdaughter Gail. His former accountant Dr.Lake shows up saying he can’t get a job since being released from prison. Leo tells him he can stay since he might be of some help with his plan.

Leo invites his former associates to the island hinting that there really is a fortune there. They include his secretary Sylvia, Emiline, an astrologer along with associates John Kavanaugh (Jerome Cowan) and Alec Richfield (Lionel Atwill). He also has a butler who isn’t who he seems. He’ll be taken care of later. Also showing up is Jeff Kingsley the son of a former and now deceased associate. Before she ran off to the island he was Gail’s boyfriend.

Before the launch brings everyone out Leo is fixing up some surprises for them including a room with traps. Now everyone is here. He says they’re there for retribution. He knows one of them killed his wife. He hands out strange party favors that include a skull, a chisel and a key.

Slowing things down way too much is the establishing scenario about Jeff and Gail. It would have been a lot better movie if this didn’t take so long and Jeff wasn’t so much of persistent jerk.

Leo tells Gail to provide some music and mentions she should play something with woodwinds. She sits down at the organ. After a bit Jeff comes over. They discover if you pull out the knob marked oboes a passage opens to an underground cavern.

When Leo discovers which one killed his wife things pick up. Let the games begin. The whole thing would have been a lot better with some rewrites raising the tension and doing a lot better job with the payoff. I’m a George Zucco fan but he didn’t seem too interested in what he was doing.

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.
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