Scared To Death (1947)

scared to death 1947

The only Bela Lugosi movie shot in color. That’s the only dis-stink-tion is has. George Zucco is along but he can’t save it either. Lots of so-called comedy from Nat Pendleton as a private cop hoping for a murder he can solve so he can get back on the homicide squad.

Laura Van Ee lies dead in the morgue. Two autopsy surgeons are about to take a look inside as one of them (Stanley “The Old Ranger” Andrews) wonders what killed her. Now it’s flashback time. The movie for some dumb reason keeps coming back to her in the morgue to hear her thoughts which are always in one short sentence.

Laura is in a rotten marriage with Ward who only married her because it was a drunken dare. His father is Dr.Joseph Van Ee (George Zucco), a specialist in mental disorder. They all live in a house which used to be a mental institution. Bill Raymond (Nat Pendleton) is a cop hired to patrol the grounds and keep out uninvited guests. He spends a lot of time chasing the maid Lilybeth (Gladys Blake).

Laura starts getting threatening letters from Europe and thinks it’s all part of a plan by Ward and his father to drive her insane. A woman reporter drops in and hints there are strange doings at the house. Joseph thinks she’s a blackmailer but she tells him she’s just looking into it.

Stopping by is Joseph’s cousin Leonide (Bela Lugosi). He’s a professor of magic and hasn’t been there for twenty years. With him is a deaf mute dwarf named Indigo (Angelo Rossitti).  Leonide was an inmate there and constructed a number of secret passages. He escaped and went to Europe.

Ward asks Leonide’s help in solving Laura’s problem. He found a picture of a Parisian dance team wearing green masks. Laura gets a package containing the head of a mannequin that looks just like her. It’s from the basement. There’s also a note saying to beware of a man in a green mask.

An annoying reporter named Terry Lee (Douglas Fowley) shows up with his girlfriend Jane (Joyce Compton). Laura asks him for help and says she’s being held against her will. Then Lilybeth is in a trance. Just before she passes out she tries to put a green mask on Laura. Now she passes out. Through it all there are shots of a man with a green mask looking through the window. No one sees him.

This just drags along and Bela does his menacing best to keep it interesting but he has to fight a rotten script and the same thing happens with Zucco. I’ll see anything with both of these guys but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some that are a chore to get through….like this one.

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

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