House of Secrets (1936) - Rotten Tomatoes

House of Secrets (1936)

House of Secrets





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A young man is in danger of losing his inheritance in this muddled thriller from the waning Chesterfield Motion Picture Corp., a remake of the company's first talkie. After rescuing a pretty girl from a brute while crossing the English channel, Barry Wilding (Leslie Fenton) learns that he has inherited the large Hawk's Nest estate on the condition that he never sell the place. He also discovers that the girl, Julie Kenmore (Muriel Evans), lives on the estate along with her father (Morgan Wallace), a noted scientist. After agreeing that Julie and her father may remain on the estate for at least six months, Barry is dumbfounded when the girl prohibits him from visiting her. He does so anyway and is promptly confronted by nasty American gangster Dan Wharton (Noel Madison). What exactly is the gang lord doing at Hawk's Nest and why are the British authorities so reluctant to help the troubled heir? The answer, as Barry discovers soon enough, has something to do with a treasure hidden on the estate.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: John Krafft
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 15, 2005
Chesterfield Pictures Corporation


Leslie Fenton
as Barry Wilding
Muriel Evans
as Julie Kenmore
Noel Madison
as Dan Wharton
Morgan Wallace
as Dr. Kenmore
Holmes Herbert
as Sir Bertram Evans
Ian Maclaren
as Commissioner Cross
George Rosener
as Hector Munson
Rita Carlyle
as Mrs. Shippam
Ramsay Hill
as Police Inspector
Matty Kemp
as Man on Ship
Richard Lancaster
as English Policeman
Ramsey Hill
as Police Inspector
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for House of Secrets

Audience Reviews for House of Secrets


Barry (Fenton) inherits a country estate just outside of London, but when he goes to take possession of it, he finds a beautiful woman (Evans) and her hostile, gun-toting father (Madison) already living there. What's more, they state [i]they[/i] own the house. To make matters worse, the authorities aren't willing to help Barry claim his new home, thugs are stalking and threatening him, and he is getting "offers he can't refuse" from mysterious buyers to sell the place to them. Will Barry discover what secrets his new home holds before it's too late?

If you ever wanted to see a film that features just about every element that was standard to thrillers in the 1930s, "The House of Secrets" is the film for you. This is a well-acted and and well-paced film that features some nice set and even nicer lighting and camerawork, but it relies too much on coincidence and characters behaving in a brainless fashion for the story to be believable. (If you watch this, you'll know what what I mean when Barry confronts the squatters... and then fails to take the obvious step of presenting ownership papers to the estate to the local authorities to get them evicted.)

It's a testament to the ability of the writer that the various secrets (which include secret passages and rumored buried pirate treasure--the only secrets I can mention without spoiling the film) all end up fitting together... but there are aspects of the story that so stretched my ability to suspend my disbelief that I almost didn't care that the story came together nicely. (If you watch this, you'll know what I mean when we learn the how and why of the mystery girl, her father, what they're up to, and who's supporting their efforts. You'll be saying, "THIS is the best they could come up with?!")

This is an okay film, but not one that you should feel sorry for never seeking out.

The House of Secrets
Starring: Leslie Fenton, Muriel Evans, Morgan Wallace, Noel Madison, and Sidney Blackmer
Director: Roland D. Reed

Steve Miller

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