Movie Review: The Phantom of Crestwood (1932)

Synopsis: The beautiful Jenny Wren invites the rich married men she had affairs with to an impromtu party at a California ranch so she can blackmail them. When she is murdered later that evening, the men become the primary suspects but the clues point to a young man who killed himself when she turned down his advances.

Who's in it? The movie stars Karen MorleyRicardo CortezAnita LouiseMary Duncan and Pauline Frederick.

Review: I came across this movie last night, while killing time until my wife and daughter got home from the ice rink. It looked interesting and the hour run time was short enough to let me watch it before work, so I decided to add it to my library. After watching it this morning, I was satisfied with my decision.

The mystery was much more complicated than I originally expected it to be. While her party guests had plenty of motive to murder her, the fact she was seeing the man who killed himself (or at least someone dressed like him) added a whole new twist, especially since none of the primary suspects knew about him until she told them.

Also complicating things was the reality nobody in that house seemed to really care for her all that much, including her own sister (Louise). This meant just about everyone was a potential murderer.

And, I have to admit, the ending to this murder mystery was definitely not something I was expecting. I don't want to reveal too much, but there is a surprise twist involving more than one guest that really turns the whole mystery on its head. I honestly didn't see it coming, mostly because the murderer's motives weren't what they seemed to be.

Final Opinion: This was a halfway decent murder mystery with a plot that proved to be a bit more complex than originally advertised and a solid twist at the end. If you like murder mysteries, this is a movie that needs to get added to your list.

My Grade: A

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