House of Mystery (March 30, 1934)
Released on March 30, 1934: There is a fortune in Hindu treasure in this mansion, but everyone that wants to own the treasure is killed by a curse, or maybe . . . .
Directed by William Nigh
Written by Albert DeMond and Adam Shirk.
The Actors: Ed Lowry (Dylan 'Jack' Armstrong), Verna Hillie (Ella Browning), John Sheehan (Harry Smith), Brandon Hurst (Hindu Priest), Joyzelle Joyner (Chanda), Fritzi Ridgeway (Stella Walker), Clay Clement (John Prendergast), George 'Gabby' Hayes (David Fells), Dale Fuller (Mrs. Geraldine Carfax), Harry C. Bradley (Professor Horatio Potter), Irving Bacon (Police Inspector Ned Pickens), Mary Foy (Mrs. Hyacinth Potter), Sam Godfrey (Jerome Ellis), Dick Botiller (Hindu), Eddy Chandler (detective Sawyer), George Cleveland (Detective Clancy), Bruce Mitchell (bartender), James C. Morton (Englishman), Henry Otho (Mr. Gage), Nick Shaid (Hindu).
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I've tried many careers over the past forty years that I learned were not my cup of tea. Twice I tried to sell things - a few years ago I tried to sell Ford cars at a Westlake, Ohio dealership, with disastrous results. And long ago, soon after I decided that I wasn't cut out to be a preacher like dad, I thought that selling life insurance would be fun and profitable. I talked the manager of the Youngstown, Ohio office of The New York Life to hire me, and I gave it a whirl. I enjoyed selling policies that I was convinced were a good thing to own, and I believed, and still believe, that The New York Life insurance company is one of the best. Unfortunately, I started selling insurance just about the time in the 1970's that the great steel belt from Pittsburgh to Cleveland to Illinois was slowing down and becoming the 'rust belt.' Mills were closing, and men from families who for generations knew no job but making steel were out of work and surely were not buying life insurance. I remember the day that I decided that I needed a new career, and probably a new town to find it in. I decided that the Youngstown, Ohio area was not big enough to provide a job for me after all the mills closed. My young wife and I literally flipped a coin to decide whether we would pick up and move to either Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won, and soon we were in Brooklyn, Ohio starting all over again. When I was discussing my exit plans with my New York Life boss, he smiled his approval of my leaving the Mahoning Valley for Cleveland. He said that he was amazed at the number of unemployed young men who refused to leave Youngstown in search of a job. He mentioned that almost all of their parents or grandparents had travelled long miles from Europe in search of a better life, and now their kids wouldn't even move an hour away in search of a new job. Oops, . . . I'm rambling . . . insurance agents - that's where I was going.
A diverse group of people, including a bubbly, always confident insurance agent are invited to stay a week at a mansion in order to claim their share of the riches from a past expedition to a land of the Hindus. The local Hindu priest put a curse on the stolen riches, and anyone that would try to profit from them. So as these diverse people were staying in this possibly haunted house, they start dying, one by one. Of course, our intrepid insurance agent doesn't get knocked off, and continues trying to sell policies to people who are not expected to live out the week. Gee, if I were that confident and pushy I might still be selling life insurance instead of sharing old movies with you . . . . Nawww, I'd still be sharing old movies and trying to convince you that you should always munch on a bowl of hot buttered white kernel popcorn while you are enjoying your show.