Haunted House (July 22, 1940)

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Jackie Moran and Marcia Mae Jones in the Haunted House
 

Released on July 22, 1940: A teenage boy and girl search for clues to the real killer of an old lady who had a hidden treasure in her spooky house.

Produced by William T. Lackey

Directed by Robert F. McGowan

The Actors: Jackie Moran (Jimmy Atkins), Marcia Mae Jones (Millie Henshaw), George Cleveland (Editor Albert Henshaw), Christian Rub (Olaf Jenson), Henry Hall (Lawyer Cyrus W. Burton), John St. Polis (Simkins, Burton's office manager), Clarence Wilson (Eph, Service Station Owner), Mary Carr (Grandma), Jessie Arnold (Mrs. Emily Henshaw), Hooper Atchley (Prosecuting Attorney), Marcelle Ray (Lucy Peters), Buddy Swan (Junior Henshaw), Horace B. Carpenter (Judge Meade), Jack Cheatham (jailer), Robert Dudley (Hank Edwards), Frank LaRue (Mr. Brown), Hal Price (Mr. Higgins), Henry Roquemore (Rufus Tyler)

 

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Poised Grotesquely in an Attitude of Mirth

It was a dark and stormy night, with flashes of lightning and mighty claps of thunder . . . Jimmy and Millie were searching for the secret box of cash in the dead woman's empty house . . . but they soon discovered that they were not alone . . . When I was a young teen my father guided me to books that he had enjoyed as a youth, mainly The Hardy Boys mysteries and the Tom Swift science fiction adventures. Both series had young teens as the main characters and it was easy for my imagination to go alongside the teen detectives as they solved mysteries that befuddled all of the adults. This movie took me right back to those days and despite my old body, in my mind I was once again a young teen and following the trail of an elusive killer and discovering the secret of the damask covered hassock. Jimmie Atkins, played by Jackie Moran, is a youngster who wants to be a famous newspaper reporter, but the small town paper he works for as an office boy doesn't seem to be his entrance into an adult career. Old man Henshaw, played by George Cleveland, owns the little newspaper and he thinks that Jimmie is too young and too inexperienced to have a good thought in his head. When old man Henshaw's young niece Millie comes to visit for the summer, she takes a liking to Jimmie and together they set out to find the killer of an old spinster lady. It seems that her hired handyman Olaf has been framed for the murder and the whole town believes that he is the killer. His trial is short and sweet and he is now in jail awaiting sentencing. Jimmie and Millie believe that they have discovered the real killer when they learn that the gas station attendant was not where he says he was on the night of the death, but they are proved wrong, and now the whole town thinks that the kids should stop fooling around and let justice take its course with Olaf. It all comes to a head when Jimmie and Millie visit the old house on a stormy night trying to discover the clue of the mysterious note in the murdered woman's account book, but while searching for the clues to uncover the identity of the real killer they discover that they are not alone in the house, and soon they are watching from a dark corner as a dark figure moves about the room and opens a secret panel and retrieves a box full of money . . . But before the shadowy figure can turn around with the treasure box another dark figure with a gun enters the room and as Jimmie and Millie watch in horror . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

The mysterious clue
The mysterious clue
Buddy Swan
Buddy Swan
Christian Rub
Christian Rub
Clarence Wilson, Jackie Moran and George Cleveland
Clarence Wilson, Jackie Moran and George Cleveland
Clarence Wilson and Mary Carr
Clarence Wilson and Mary Carr
George Cleveland and Robert Dudley
George Cleveland and Robert Dudley
George Cleveland
George Cleveland
Hal Price and Jackie Moran
Hal Price and Jackie Moran
Henry Hall
Henry Hall
Henry Roquemore and Clarence Wilson
Henry Roquemore and Clarence Wilson
Henry Roquemore, Jackie Moran and George Cleveland
Henry Roquemore, Jackie Moran and George Cleveland
Henry Roquemore
Henry Roquemore
Jackie Moran
Jackie Moran
Jackie Moran and Henry Hall
Jackie Moran and Henry Hall
Jackie Moran and Marcia Mae Jones
Jackie Moran and Marcia Mae Jones
Jackie Moran
Jackie Moran
John St. Polis and Henry Hall
John St. Polis and Henry Hall
Marcia Mae Jones
Marcia Mae Jones
Marcia Mae Jones and Jackie Moran
Marcia Mae Jones and Jackie Moran
Marcia Mae Jones and Jackie Moran
Marcia Mae Jones and Jackie Moran
Marcia Mae Jones and Mary Carr
Marcia Mae Jones and Mary Carr
Marcia Mae Jones
Marcia Mae Jones
Mary Carr and Jackie Moran
Mary Carr and Jackie Moran
Robert Dudley and Marcia Mae Jones
Robert Dudley and Marcia Mae Jones
Robert Dudley
Robert Dudley