Sunday, September 16, 2012

After Dark (1932)

The plot of this extremely short feature revolves around several emeralds. A young man is returning home on a boat with the gems when he meets a an older man and his niece. While traveling on the night train the older gentleman drugs our hero and takes the gems. When he wakes up and realizes that the gems are gone he goes in search of the man and his niece (who knows nothing of what her uncle has done) at the address he was given by the girl. The uncle realizing that he is being pursued hides the gems in a clock in a shop which then is sold before anyone can recover them. The remainder of the film then takes place at the spooky mansion where the clock now resides.

If you think I've said to much understand that thats about the first 15 minutes of the films 45. From about that point on the film becomes even more confused as characters come and go in and out doors and windows in order to recover the gems. Actually to be honest the film is confusing from the get go with way too many characters, all wanting the gems, crashing through this film for its own good.

I'm not a huge fan of this film. Its an okay attempt by an English producer to make one of the old dark house films that American producers were churning out with great regularity at the time.Unfortunately it was done in the "short feature" length that some producers used to make to fill quotas for British film production. The idea was to make British films to play with American ones so they met the quota, this was done by any means possible including cutting the length. The actors are game, but the script, which is based upon a play, is way too loaded with characters and situations to play in the running time alloted. I like that the film kept moving, but I disliked how it breezed over too many plot points. Yes you get most of the required information, but you do so at a speed that makes it difficult to process what you're seeing.

Understand that this is not a bad movie, its not, but it isn't a great one either. Its an okay movie that could have been something if they had stretched this out to an hour or so.

Is it worth seeing? If you can rent it and are doing so knowing that its only 45 minutes and you have something else to watch I'd rent it. If you have the opportunity to purchase I wouldn't do so unless I was paying about the cost of a rental fee and no more.

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