Thursday, November 15, 2012

One Body Too Many (1944)

One Body Too Many

Written by Winston Miller & Maxwell Shane
Directed by Frank McDonald

Tuttle...Jack Haley
Carol...Jean Parker
Morton...Bernard Nedell
Merkil...Bela Lugosi

Cyrus J. Rutherford, an eccentric millionaire, passes on and gathers his squabbling family to his estate for the reading of his will and the rather odd interment of his body. Rather than be buried, he requested to be encased in a large glass dome atop his house, so that the stars may shine down upon him forever. The building of the dome is set to begin in the morning, and his family are to stay overnight. But what a long night it will be.

Albert Tuttle, an insurance salesman, arrives on scene to sell Mr. Rutherford some life insurance, just a tick too late apparently. After a case of mistaken identity, he’s suckered into sticking around to “protect” a lady lovely from an unknown assailant fueled by the power of greed.

When Rutherford’s body disappears, suspicions and conspiracy theories fly at full throttle—“You stole the body!”…”No, you stole the body!” It seems absolutely everybody is a suspect. Hell, maybe everybody’s guilty.

All in all, this is a mildly entertaining film that runs a bit thin by shows end. Tuttle's bumbling and cowardice offers a constant stream of comic relief reminiscent of the Abbott and Costello Meet…. Series. The cast is too large for its own good and Bela is underused as the mysterious butler. Still, worth a look of you’re a fan of the black-and-white comic pseudo-horror genre, just don't expect it to top your list.

75 Minutes
United States


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