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  • A fun film produced to cash in on the popularity of mysteries that swept the late '30's / early '40's. Very well done for an obvious "low budget" b-film. "Want-to-be" reporter and editor's niece do their best to prove innocence of accused murderer. Much circumstantial evidence leads them down several wrong paths, causing frustration and chastizing from elders. Perserverance pays off as they finally convince the law of friend's innocence, surprising everyone with the guilt of the real culprit. Definitely worth viewing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As a previous reviewer pointed out, don't let the title fool you. While this is a good movie, it contains no haunted house, but makes up for it with plenty of suspense. The title and a less than honest summary drew me into the movie, but I was not disappointed, in fact I'm upset that there aren't more great movies like this in circulation today.

    Jimi Atkins wants to be a reporter, but he isn't thrilled at the way the press is making his friend Olaf out to be a murderer, which he is on trial for. Jimi's about the only person in the town that knows Olaf is innocent, but with all the evidence against him, has little luck in convincing anybody. Then a ray of hope enters when his employer's niece, Mildred, arrives for the summer. After hearing Jimi's stories of Olaf, and seeing him at the courthouse she decides he can't be a murderer after being so nice, and besides that, 'he doesn't look like a murderer'. So now Jimi and Mildred are eager to get on the trail of the real murderer, though in their detection, twice they seem to strike out in finding the real murderer to clear Olaf's name, but they won't give up.

    They figure out the only place to find evidence that could clear Olaf and lead them to the real killer is in the house of the murder victim, which seems to be inhabited by something or someone else. They find out who the real killer is, and are in a race to find the evidence to back up their story to the newspapers. An exciting murder/mystery that'll have you on the edge of your seat and cheering for the juvenile detectives. 10 out of 10.
  • Don't let the title of this scarce movie fool you. It's not a haunted house movie & it's not an "old dark house" type of movie. It's a simple murder mystery movie with teenage leads. They do spend about 5 of the movie's 70 minutes inside an old spooky house, but that's hardly enough to warrant naming this movie "Haunted House"! Not a bad movie, although a bit redundant. The acting is OK, there's a neat old hot rod, but it's neither juvenile enough to please that movie crowd, nor scary, nor mysterious enough to please those movie crowds. I rate it 5/10 (& that's being a bit generous).
  • Although the house concerned isn't haunted, it's merely the crime scene of a murder, young Jackie Moran who works in a small town newspaper is determined to find the killer and prove his worth to editor George Cleveland. He's also showing off for Cleveland's niece Marcia Mae Jones who's visiting from out of town.

    For a cheap Monogram programmer it's not Gone With The Wind, but not all that bad either. Moran barks up a wrong tree at first, but eventually gets it right. Imagine having your grandmother being the alibi for your first suspect.

    The murder turns out to be a cover-up for another crime. The victim was a wealthy widow and her killer is one whom she gave her trust. And a rather obvious choice.

    Not a bad film, but not one to write home about.
  • So 1940 wasn't only the year former Our Ganger Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison started playing Scruno in Monogram Pictures' East Side Kids movies, or that other former OG member Mary Kornman made her final picture for the same studio called On the Spot, it was also the year former OG director Robert F. McGowan made his final movies for the exact same studio. One of them was this one which starred Marcia Mae Jones-who previously appeared in McGowan's OG shorts Birthday Blues and Mush & Milk as well as with other former OG member Jackie Cooper in The Champ-and Jackie Moran. They are a couple of teens intent on getting an innocent man out of jail. McGowan provides some good humor as well as wonderful atmosphere concerning the title object which only appears near the end. So on that note, I recommend Haunted House. P.S. Another player familiar to OG fans is Clarence Wilson, who played a meanie in the series shorts, Shrimps for a Day and Little Sinner.
  • boblipton30 November 2019
    Jackie Moran is the office boy at the small-town newspaper. He's ambitious to be a reporter, and the ongoing trial of Christian Rub, the simple-minded handyman accused of the murder of his employer, has him incensed. His employer, George Cleveland, tells him to mind his own work, but Jackie talks Cleveland's niece into helping him. Despite setbacks, they persevere, leading them to the home of the murdered woman.

    I's directed by Robert MacGowan, best remembered as the director of the OUR GANG series throughout the silent era. It's a cheap production from Monogram, anxious to promote their own adolescent stars, but without the budgeting power that the majors could offer. The result is more cute than expert, even though the mild good humor keeps things flowing at a reasonable rate.
  • Jimmie (Jackie Moran) is an eager young man who works at the newspaper. His job is an entry level job and he mostly cleans up and does grunt work...though he has visions of one day being a reporter. And, with the Olaf Jensen murder case, Jimmie is eager to investigate, as he KNOWS Olaf couldn't have killed anyone since he is such a kind old man. Can he and his new lady friend, Millie (Marcia Mae Jones), prove to the court that Olaf isn't responsible for the killing?

    This film clocks in at 68 minutes...the length of a B-movie (they ran from 55-70 minutes in almost all cases). And, like most Bs, there are no first-tier stars but a few familiar character actors. Plus, like so many Bs, it's also a mystery. Overall, not bad and it's the sort of undemanding entertainment that is nice as a time-passer.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Mildred Henshew, the ravishing niece of a town reporter, arrives for her summer holiday, and she's welcomed by a youngster who promptly leaves his girlfriend, to befriend the newcomer. The storyline follows the teenage sexuality's logic, with Mildred being promoted from brat to 'young woman', after she and the boy visit the murder scene. Mildred threatened with leaving, the boy tempted her with a secret swimming hole, and a descent in a dark house follows, with both teenagers getting dirty. Monogram treats the audience with a comedy about teenage detectives, in a small town, and while the romance was enjoyable, the denouement, with the teenagers in the modest dark house during a thunderstorm, is neat, and the only reason to give the movie the name it has; except that, unlike other comedies, here the mystery plot makes sense.

    Marcia Mae plays a girl from the city, during a holiday; she's a bit vain, being a young woman played as such, and has a strongly peculiar voice.

    Like many other movies, this vehicle with an exploitative title was made to be enjoyed, not analyzed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The title "Haunted House" gives the impression that this Monogram poverty row teenaged comedy is going to be something totally different than it actually is. "Teenaged Detectives" or even "The Boy who got the Scoop" might raise this up only a bit of a notch, but even if reflected accurately, the whole movie would be a boring rip-off of the "Nancy Drew" series. I give Jackie Moran credit for making his newspaper assistant a likable young man, desperately trying to break into the business as a journalist, but thwarted by his cantankerous boss (George Cleveland), he is tossed back into the copy room. His main goal is to prove that the sweet Christian Rub (who is on trial for murder) has been framed. When Cleveland's spoiled niece (Marcia Mae Jones) arrives, Moran sets out to prove Rub's innocence even more vigorously and gets into all sorts of trouble, accusing the wrong people and losing his job. And then there's the fact that the only inclusion of an even remotely haunted house comes at the very end where the culprit is discovered inside the victim's home, all boarded up simply because nobody lives there anymore. Certainly not at all haunted, even by the victim's ghost. A few amusing moments don't make for an overall good movie, and even with some great character performers (Rub, Cleveland, Clarence Wilson to mention a few), this one ranks as a Z-grade dud.
  • This is the story of two kids who try to get their friend Olaf cleared of murder charges. Olaf worked for a rich old lady who turned up dead. Despite Olaf being a jovial guy he appears to be the only suspect and so was brought up on charges. Jimmy and Millie are the only two people who believe in their friends innocence and so begin to snoop around and find out that all is not as it seems.

    I somehow think this film seemed nostalgic even in 1940 when it came out. This is very much a period piece who's period has long gone. It seems aimed at the juvenile market than the adult market. The mystery, while strong is hampered by the gosh, gee attitude of the kids, who seem stuck somewhere around twelve despite being old enough to drive. The friction between the adult murder mystery and the childishness and imaginativeness of much of the proceedings make for an odd mix where everyone loses.I know that sounds like a stupid reason for not liking the movie, but if you saw the film you'd probably understand what I was getting at.

    This is one of those films that almost works but doesn't quite do so. By almost working it doesn't quite reach the level of watchablity and so falls into the pit of "why am I bothering". This isn't to say that the film is a total write off, its not (the mystery in a different frame work would be great), its just the whole thing doesn't quite work the way it should. If you run across it and are curious try it it may strike you differently,
  • bensonmum211 September 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    By any standard I can think of, I cannot call Haunted House much more than a below average movie. First, there is no haunted house in Haunted House. Instead, there is a fairly normal house where a murder took place. Jimmie Atkins (Jackie Moran) and Millie Henshaw (Marcia Mae Jones) are convinced the wrong man has been convicted of the murder. The pair begin investigating, only to come up with a couple of false leads. Thanks to dumb luck, they conveniently find themselves in the right place at the right time and solve the crime.

    As a rule, I'm not a fan of calling a movie "outdated". I'd rather try to look at a film in the context of the time it was made. With Haunted House, it was probably outdated when it was made. Other movies made in 1940 like Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent, and His Girl Friday make Haunted House feel "old" in comparison. I usually go for these older mystery movies, but there's not a lot of mystery in this one. With only three or four characters, it's not hard to spot the one that did it. I much prefer the mystery in something like Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum - also made in 1940. The acting in Haunted House also leaves a lot to be desired. Jackie Moran overacts and overreacts in almost every scene he appears. The rest of the cast is just there and not really memorable - with Marcia Mae Jones being the one exception. And the comedy in Haunted House is anything but funny. The repeated jokes involving Moran's old beater of a car have all the subtlety of a Three Stooges poke in the eye.

    Overall, Haunted House may be harmless enough, but there are better ways to spend 67 minutes of your life. This one is almost instantly forgettable.