Archive for Old Dark House

The Black Raven [1943]

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on April 11, 2011 by gnojne cice


  An old dark house mystery, starring George Zucco, a character actor supposedly know for his sinister characters, but I saw nothing of that in Dr. Renault’s Secret. Directed by Sam Newfield, a director of legendary output of over two hundred and fifty movies, sometimes as much as twenty per year. He even used two pseudonyms, so they would hide the fact. In an interview, his son tells how the New York office of PCR, the poverty row studio that produced most of his movies at the time, not knowing the fact, called his brother, the head producer or something, in for the meeting, and said that Sam is good, but he should use Sherman Scott and especially Peter Stewart more, ’cause they are simply better. Scott and Stewart were of course Newfield’s pseudonyms. About his movies, Martin Scorsese said: “Newfield is hard, that’s a hard one, you can’t do too much of that.” because he often seems absolutely detached from the images that appear on the screen, as if he is an observer rather than a participant. And how he wouldn’t be considering the fact that most of the movies took less than a week to shoot. But being what it is and clocking at an hour, how bad can it be? Continue reading