Lady in the Death House (March 15, 1944)
Released on March 15, 1944: A lady waiting to be put to death claims that she was framed by a man who was blackmailing her.
Produced by Jack Schwarz
Directed by Steve Sekely
Written by Harry O. Hoyt from a story by Frederick C. Davis
The Actors: Jean Parker (Mary Kirk Logan), Lionel Atwill (Charles Finch), Douglas Fowley (Dr. Dwight 'Brad' Bradford), Marcia Mae Jones (Suzy Kirk Logan), Robert Middlemass (State's attorney), Cy Kendall (detective), John Maxwell (Robert Snell, bank teller), George Irving (Mr. Gregory, banker), Forrest Taylor (Warden Lewis), Sam Flint (Governor Harrison), Dick Curtis (Willis Millen), Jimmy Aubrey (Grotto bartender), Byron Foulger (Mr. Avery), Emmett Lynn (cafe cook), Helen MacKellar (prison matron)
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“In One Hour I Will be Killed by the Man I Love”
This is either the wackiest murder mystery I’ve ever seen, or the strangest love story I’ve ever seen, or maybe both. Here is some of what we learn in the opening scenes:
Our adventure opens in prison where a beautiful young woman is writing her last will and testament before being escorted to the electric chair and killed. As she begins the long walk to her death, we segue to a home where a noted criminologist is telling her story to a handful of friends.
The criminologist is enjoying a drink at a local watering hole and sitting beside him is a research doctor. Douglas Fowley plays the part of Doctor Bradford. Doctor Bradford is researching the idea that dead people can be returned to life under some circumstances. To finance his research, and to supply him with dead bodies, he works as the executioner for the state whenever any criminal is put to death.
As the doctor and the criminologist are enjoying their conversation in the bar, they see a young lady who is having a problem with her date at a nearby table. This leads to that and the criminologist and the executioner rescue her from her date gone bad. The doctor and the young lady, played by Jean Parker, are soon in love. So, we have a young lady in love with the fellow who executes criminals for the state by pulling the switch on the electric chair. Now, it is easy to figure out that the young lady will be accused of murder.
Unable to discover who the real killer is, we arrive where we began. Mary is being walked towards her death in the electric chair, and the man she loves is waiting to do his job. . . . He is the man who must pull the switch and put the woman he loves to a horrifying death. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Jean Parker in jail
Douglas Fowley and Lionel Atwill
Forrest Taylor and Douglas Fowley at the switch
Jean Parker and Helen MacKellar
Jimmy Aubrey and Douglas Fowley
John Maxwell and Marcia Mae Jones
Lionel Atwill and Douglas Fowley
Lionel Atwill and Marcia Mae Jones
Marcia Mae Jones and Lionel Atwill
Marcia Mae Jones