Title: Invisible Ghost
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, John McGuire
Summary: Bela Lugosi stars in this Monogram thriller as Charles Kessler, a man living with his daughter while hoping for the return of his wife. Upon seeing her peeking through a window, he falls into a trance and murders the maid. The maid’s boyfriend is framed for the murder and dies in the hands of the police. The man’s twin brother and Kessler’s daughter team up to clear the brother’s name and discover the true identity of the killer.
I love everything about that synopsis. Dude, this movie starts off with a bang—well, a character one. Bela Lugosi’s daughter informs us that his wife left him for his best friend, so he celebrates their wedding anniversary by pretending to have dinner with her. Every year. This is within the first few minutes, which means it took a few minutes for me to love this character. Why does he do it? Out of spite? Out of anger? Out of madness?
However, Mrs. Kessler hasn’t actually gone of her own volition. It seems she’s been kidnapped* and is living ala Mrs. Rochester. Where is she, though? It seems like she’s in the house next door, but does Kessler know? No, he doesn’t, because when she wanders through the shrubbery to appear at the window, he thinks she’s a ghost.
Oh, my goodness. Kessler is charming. This is Bela Lugosi at his best (even if half the time, he looks like he has eye problems and the other half, he stands like a surprised Dracula). He worries about his servant getting an infection from a cut, so he wraps his hand himself and then thanks him for dinner. When his cook wants to leave because his house is super-duper creepy, he convinces her to stay, and their conversation ends like this:
Cook: “Wait till you taste my apple pie.”
Kessler: “Apple pie? My, that will be a treat!”
I dare you to dislike him. This was easily the best film so far (I know it’s only day three). The sound quality was much better than the previous two, and the plot and characters kept me interested.
*Or has she?