Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Return of the Frog (1938)

This is probably my favorite Edgar Wallace film. Its actually a sequel to an earlier film which I've not been able to run down. It doesn't matter really since this is just a wonderful mystery.

Although the Frog Gang was thought to be out of business, a sudden rash of crimes shows the mark, literally, of their return. Before long Inspector Elk is once again on the trail of the gang, only this time he's aided by Dale Sandford from Chicago, who may very well be the one that calls himself the Frog.

I maybe over selling this movie by giving it a ten out of ten, but few of the mysteries of the time make me laugh, smile and sit on the edge of my seat the way this one does. This one has everything in abundance, chases, fights, smart ass lines, romance, and best of all genuine mystery, something most mysteries of the period are lacking. There is only one false note in the entire film and that is the performance of the Frog when he's revealed in the final moments.

No, its not the best movie ever made, there are "problems" with it that would keep it from being a "perfect" film, but I'm not looking for a perfect film. I, like most people I know, tend to watch the old mysteries for a feel that they engender, its not the mystery or acting but a place that they take you to and this one has it in spades. It feels like an old friend even when you're only just seeing it. Its a movie from a simpler time when the heroes were good, and the villains were bad and even though you know in the back of your head it will come out okay, you still sense that anything can and will happen. Its the old mystery you might have made had you had the chance to do so way back when.

Put this on my list of all time favorites.

This can be had from Sinister Cinema.

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