Scream in the Night (1935)
Although released after The Shadow of Silk Lennox, this ultra low-budget mystery thriller was the first film in which Creighton Chaney used the billing Lon Chaney, Jr. The actor was persuaded to change his name by producer Ray Kirkwood, who promised to make 24 action melodramas with him as the star. Only two were actually made, however, and Scream in the Night did not enjoy a wide release until 1943, when Chaney had become Universal's newest horror sensation. Detectives Jack Wilson (Chaney) and Wu Ting (Philip Ahn) are tracking the famous jewel thief Johnny Fly (Manuel Lopez) to Singapore, where Fly has stolen a priceless ruby belonging to lovely Edith Bentley (Sheila Terry). Wu Ting is murdered by one of Fly's underlings, the deformed Butch Curtain (also Chaney), and Edith gets herself kidnapped. Bearing some resemblance to the killer, Wilson manages to infiltrate the gang and free the girl. Kirkwood and director Fred Newmeyer obviously counted on Chaney, Jr. to deliver the goods as the deformed Butch Curtain, but Lon was not in a league with his legendary father no matter how hard he tried. … More
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