The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
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THE MOONSTONE (1934) **

Anne (Phyllis Barry) is a beautiful young woman who is gifted a valuable Indian jewel called “The Moonstone” at her father’s mansion. The gem gets stolen in the middle of the night, and her boyfriend (David Manners from Dracula) hires a detective from Scotland Yard (Charles Irwin) to get it back. He then devises an unlikely plan to recover the jewel and find the thieves.

I’m a big David Manners fan, so I enjoyed the portions of the film where he was front and center. The scenes where he’s drugged and put into a stupor were kind of kooky though. The rest of the cast doesn’t really measure up, but he at least pulls his weight, even when he is literally sleepwalking through his performance.

As low budget Old Dark House mysteries from Monogram go, The Moonstone is about par for the course. It’s more than a bit creaky and at times, a bit dull. However, since it’s only 46 minutes long, it never wears out its welcome or anything.

In fact, the running time is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the movie is over before you know it. On the other, the robbery happens at the halfway mark, so the mystery-solving portion of the film feels rather rushed. The denouement, which involves Manners being put into a trance, doesn’t really work, and the identity of the crook is pretty easy to figure out.

Tags: m, thriller
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