Classic Mystery Movies (BFS/AHT)
Sound: C- Extras: D Films:
…and then there were none (1945)
Cry Panic (1974
The Bat (1959) C+
Three very unusual choices for a film set are brought
together for Classic Mystery Movies, but only one qualifies. Too bad it has the poorest picture of
all. The Rene Clair version of Agatha
Christie’s …and then there were none is the first of many film versions
and many consider one of the best. It
does not hold up, but this VHS-like transfer does not help. VCI’s older DVD release looks better, and
this is still a lost and orphaned film.
The great cast includes Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, and Judith
Anderson are among the cast.
James Goldstone was a veteran TV director, most notably
for helping to launch the original Star Trek series. He helmed Cry Panic with John
Forsythe, Anne Francis, Earl Holliman, when TV movie productions were in their
golden period. It was produced by Aaron
Spelling and Leonard Goldberg in their 20th Century Fox TV heyday,
though such a work likely is in the vaults of Columbia Television. Though I never thought the conclusion of the
picture worked, it looked better than this.
A man driving home (Forsythe) swears he did not hit and kill another
man, but things begin to happen that make him wonder what is going on when the
body is missing, and he is certain he swerved in time.
The Bat is just a big silly joke of a
movie and it knows it, which is why it never worked. Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead (NOT in the title role) co-star
as her writer character rents a house to write in, not knowing there is
something wrong. The audience knows
this, since every time they see such houses in film, people die in them! I have also seen better copies of this.
That one looks better than the Christie film, but this is
a cheap purchase and curio at best.
Otherwise, you can skip this one.
- Nicholas Sheffo