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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Classic Mystery Movies (BFS)

Classic Mystery Movies   (BFS/AHT)


Picture: C-     Sound: C-     Extras: D     Films:


…and then there were none   (1945)     B

Cry Panic   (1974 telefilm)   C+

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


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