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3.8 out of 5 stars
12
3.8 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 3 February 2010
This is an all regions DVD which may be helpful to anyone ordering from outside the UK. A young Marius Goring features as one of the lead actors as well as Felix Aylmer and Ronald Shiner (who plays a jokey character akin to his other more comedic roles). It is Black and White (made in 1940), running for over 80 minutes and the picture quality is very good though it doesn't indicate it has been restored.

It is quite intriguing and well acted as a "whodunnit". I like this era of cinema so am somewhat biased in favour. Three stars seems a bit mean and the 4 stars I've given slightly generous but in the end this is quite an average film of this kind and might well not appeal to a more modern audience. No explicit violence worth mentioning and no explicit sex and does not suffer from the loss of either which I personally consider degrade many films and are used to distract from the poor quality. This film does have a kind of quality but it is still unexceptional in my opinion. However, if you like this era of cinema I think you will enjoy it, and for a price less than seeing it at the cinema you cant complain.
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The Case of the Frightened Lady is directed by George King and based on a play by Edgar Wallace. Edward Dryhurst adapts to screenplay, Jack Beaver scores the music and Hone Glendinning is the photographer. It stars Helen Haye, Marius Goring, Penelope Dudley-Ward, Patrick Barr, Felix Aylmer, Ronald Shiner and George Merritt.

Mark's Priory: The ancestral English family home of the Lebanon's. Mark's Priory: Home to secrets, suspicion and possibly a psychotic murderer.

One of a number of old British films newly discovered for DVD release, George King's movie is a mystery thriller in the classic "old dark house" mode. Edgar Wallace's play had already been adapted to the screen in a 1932 film version directed by T. Hayes Hunter, with two subsequent television versions appearing in 1938 and 1983. Clearly it's a source story that has proved popular with producers. Although creaking with its undoubted stage bound origins, film delivers the goods for those willing to accept that the first half is driven by dialogue and character development. After an initial "shriek" opening, the picture settles into a literary stride where there's no real sense of impending menace or creepy atmospherics: in fact a good portion in this quarter is jovial as plot takes in major characters at a community dance party. However, conversations are relevant and it seasons the ingredients for the stew about to be cooked.

Once back at Mark's Priory, we at last reach the realms of mystery/thriller land and the hunt and guess who begins. Characters are strong for the formula; a head of the family who appears to be hiding something, a doctor who may have an iffy past, shifty footmen servants and naturally a pretty girl catching the eye of some debonair suitor. Throw in some shadowy photography by Glendinning and a terrific piano led score by Beaver, and fans of films of this ilk have much to enjoy; and thankfully the big "reveal" of the story is not too shabby either. Cast are well tuned for the material, particularly Goring, Aylmer (isn't he always?), Shiner and Merritt, the latter two of which making a wonderful double act as the intrepid coppers investigating the dastardly goings on. While keep an eye out for a young Torin Thatcher impacting with a character marker for future roles to come. 7/10
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VINE VOICEon 30 March 2010
Strange and unusual murder mystery starring a young Marius Goring - for once playing an Englishman!

People in and surrounding an isolated mansion keep getting strangled for no apparent motive. For awhile, one person is suspected, until they themselves fall victim to the unknown murderer. The woman who owns the house keeps a room locked where her husband died years before, and her son (Goring) is expected to marry into his own family - all very odd...

Also stars Felix Aylmer in an unusual role.
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on 24 November 2013
Not very frightening to be honest and although OK will not be one of those films I would watch time after time.

The story takes place at Mark's Priory which is owned by the Lebanon Family. Lady Lebanon tells her son that to continue the family line he must marry his cousin. Her son has no intention of marrying his cousin and to make matters slightly more complicated his cousin is slowly falling in love with the architect who has come to draw up new renovation plans. There is also the strange behaviour of the two footmen and the family physician which adds to the mystery. The sound and picture are of brilliant quality but the film was just not for me.
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on 18 October 2013
I really enjoyed this dvd and I wish there were more, as today its getting hard to find good old fashioned films made years ago, how ever the dvd arrive early and was well packaged, a very good service from the supplier. And the price was good too,.
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VINE VOICEon 30 March 2010
Strange and unusual murder mystery starring a young Marius Goring - for once playing an Englishman!

People in and surrounding an isolated mansion keep getting strangled for no apparent motive. For awhile, one person is suspected, until they themselves fall victim to the unknown murderer. The woman who owns the house keeps a room locked where her husband died years before, and her son (Goring) is expected to marry into his own family - all very odd...

Also stars Felix Aylmer in an unusual role.
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on 10 June 2014
Penelope Dudley-Ward (Isla) is the frightened lady of the title. From the first shots of the film when she screams at the shadows that are following her in the house, you can’t help but laugh and fear for your oncoming experience. It doesn’t say much when the comedy detectives are the best thing about the film. It is woefully acted by all the main players who deliver their lines in that clipped English which is just plain fake – the word “exactly” becomes “exectly” – it’s just nonsense. The film does keep you watching to see how things pan out but it ends just as badly as it started with some laughably crass dialogue being spouted by the appalling Helen Haye (Lady Lebanon) accompanied by a hysterical closing head shot of her. It’s not meant to be funny, though. A nice, spooky venue is wasted in this badly acted effort.
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on 3 August 2014
Old fashioned thriller from the pen of edgar Wallace. Entertaining enough and better kept for a cold wintery day. I like these old thrillers and have a good collection .
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on 21 January 2015
Arrived in good condition, the film was fine, not up to scratch like the Black & White films were, must have been made on a budget, story line rather lacking.
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on 4 May 2010
I thought this was going to be a great whodunit film. It was watchable, but ended rather abruptly. I bought the film because it starred Helen Haye, which I thought was Helen Hayes from Agatha Christie's Mysteries and the Snoop Sisters, but it was not her. It was a film to watch if I had nothing else to watch.
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