An escaped lunatic, a mysterious swami, and various lovers all have designs on a famous opera singer.An escaped lunatic, a mysterious swami, and various lovers all have designs on a famous opera singer.An escaped lunatic, a mysterious swami, and various lovers all have designs on a famous opera singer.
Murder at the Hollywood Bowl
1936's "Moonlight Murder" may be from MGM, but its 'B' status is assured by starring Chester Morris, whose 'A' status had passed, but his solid pedigree remained for second features such as RKO's "Five Came Back," plus all 14 features in Columbia's 'Boston Blackie' series. Leo Carrillo is cast against type as opera crooner/lothario Gino D'Acosta, who has more than a few interested females, an escaped maniac (J. Carrol Naish) determined to do away with him, and a mysterious swami (Pedro de Cordoba) predicting his imminent demise if he performs his next opera. There's plenty of opera, predating "Charlie Chan at the Opera" by at least five months, and it does tend to slow things to a crawl, particularly after the murder, when we're itching for some mystery relief to take charge. Another commentator took note of the method of murder popping up in a 'Mr. Wong' feature, but there also were two Monogram Charlie Chans, plus Universal's 1939 "The House of Fear" as well. Director Edwin L. Marin never seemed to escape the 'B' tag (even at MGM), his best remembered features including his debut "The Death Kiss," "A Study in Scarlet," "Bombay Mail," "The Crosby Case," "The Casino Murder Case," "The Garden Murder Case," "A Christmas Carol," "Invisible Agent," "Tall in the Saddle," and "Nocturne."
- Mar 23, 2014
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