DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE STRANGE MR. GREGORY (director: Phil Rosen; screenwriter: story by Myles Connolly/Charles Belden; cinematographer: Ira Morgan; editor:  Seth Larsen; cast: Edmund Lowe (Mr. Gregory/Lane Talbot), Jean Rogers (Ellen Randall), Donald Douglas (John Randall), Marjorie Hoshelle (Sheila Edwards), Jonathan Hale (Defense Attorney Blair), Frank Reicher (Riker, The Butler), Robert Emmett Keane (District Attorney ), Frank Mayo (Inspector Hoskins); Runtime: 63; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Louis Berkoff; Monogram; 1945)

"Offbeat complex mystery story, that's not bad."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Phil Rosen ("Klondike"/"The Jade Mask"/"Step By Step") directs this offbeat complex mystery story, that's not bad. It's based on the story by Myles Connolly and is written by Charles Belden.

A stage hypnotist-magician, using the name Mr. Gregory (Edmund Lowe), is a practitioner of Tibetan meditation and through that study has the ability to put himself into a state of suspended animation simulating death. Gregory becomes obsessed with the wife of another man, Ellen Randall (Jean Rogers), he meets when she goes backstage after his performance. He schemes to get her by framing her amateur magician husband (Donald Douglas) for murdering him, and also for the cold-blooded murder of his devoted butler Riker (Frank Reicher). Before he was killed, Riker wrote a note implicating Mr. Randall. The unfortunate servant is the only person who knew Gregory's secret, and was killed for that reason. The husband is convicted and jailed. Gregory thereby reappears at the trial as his own twin brother, Lane Talbot,  and is able to use his hypnotism tricks to get Ellen to fall in love with him even though she can't stand him. But Ellen's friend (Marjorie Hoshelle) smells something fishy, and they get the law to open Gregory's empty coffin. The twisted magician, realizing he is soon to be arrested, determines if can't have the woman, nobody can. It becomes a question if he will kill her before he's caught.

If you think about it under closer scrutiny, it doesn't make much sense.

REVIEWED ON 9/10/2014       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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