Best Mystery Movies of 1929
Phony spiritualists were given a good going-over in the early talkie melodrama Darkened Rooms. Evelyn Brent stars as Ellen, a fraudulent medium working in cahoots with genuine clairvoyant Emory Jago (Neil Hamilton). The plotline is secondary; the film's main purpose was to emulate the methods of such professional "de-bunkers" as Mrs. Harry Houdini by exposing the various tricks of the spiritualist's trade.
The Greene Murder Case
Philo Vance investigates when a murderer preys upon members of a wealthy family on New York's Upper East Side.
The Donovan Affair
Inspector Killian tries to solve a murder case with his assistant Carney.
The Locked Door
On her first anniversary, Ann Reagan finds that her sister-in-law is involved with a shady character that she used to be intimate with, and determines to intervene.
The Bishop Murder Case
The murders start with the body of Robin. He is found with a arrow through the heart, but Vance deduces that the body was placed and not found where he was killed. The note found dealing with the murder was part of a nursery rhyme and signed by 'Bishop'. The only witness may have been Mrs. Drukker and Adolph, but they are not talking. As the murders progress, each one is accompanied by a nursery rhyme. It is up to Philo Vance to unravel the clues and unmask the identity of the murderer 'Bishop'.
The Canary Murder Case
A beautiful showgirl, name "the Canary" is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and with that she ends up dead. But who killed "the Canary". All the suspects knew and were used by her and everyone had a motive to see her dead. The only witness to the crime has also been 'rubbed out'. Only one man, the keen, fascinating, debonair detective Philo Vance, would be able to figure out who is the killer. Written by Tony Fontana
The Unholy Night
One dark foggy London night, someone tries to strangle Lord Montague, but he escapes. Only to discover the four other men who did get killed were old regimental comrades in Gallipoli. When Scotland Yard gets Monty to gather the other nine surviving officers at his home, one of them is murdered, and no one else has entered the house. Now, they must determine who the murderer is.
Seven Keys to Baldpate
A writer rents what he believes is a deserted lodge in order to complete his novel. But then six other people show up one-by-one, each for reasons of their own.
The Phantom in the House
A man is blamed for a murder that was actually committed by his wife.
The Thirteenth Chair
Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel, Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance participants had a reason and a means to kill, and one of them uses the cover of darkness to kill again. When someone close to the medium is suspected she turns detective, in the hope of uncovering the true murderer.
The Hole in the Wall
Mrs. Ramsey sent Jean Oliver to prison on a false charge. To get even, Jean (disguised as Madame Mystera) plans to kidnap her daughter and turn her into a thief. Love entanglements with a gangster known as "The Fox" and newspaperman Grant complicate her plans.
A reporter's marriage is jeopardized by his drinking and he finds himself accused of a murder he didn't commit.
Behind That Curtain
Sir George hires Hillary Gatt to find out more about Eric who wants to marry Lois. Gatt is murdered and the couple, married, run off to India. Old friend John Beetham sympathizes with the bride who sees that her hubby is a liar and drunk. John and Lois fly to San Francisco. Eric shows up and tries to kill John, but Scotland Yard's Lt. Charlie Chan intervenes. Chan fans may be disappointed in this globe-trotting mystery, however, as the detective only appears in a few scenes. The film is more noteworthy for its introduction of Boris Karloff to sound features, in a small role as a servant from Sudan who mutters inscrutable nonsense about the whims of the desert.
The Studio Murder Mystery
Philandering actor Richard Hardell is murdered at a movie studio. His jealous wife Blanche, his director Rupert Borka, and a girl he mistreated, Helen MacDonald, all have substantial reasons for having wanted him dead.
On board a yacht sailing from India to Britain, the owner of the vessel is murdered by one of the passengers. (This film was produced both in full sound and silent versions, the latter for theaters that had not yet been wired for sound.)
The Silent House
A Mandarin hypnotises his partner's daughter to locate hidden bonds.
The title character is office-boy Barney. Pretending to be a deaf-mute, Barney tries to trump his detective boss Walter Babbing by tracking down the person who kidnapped Peggy Meredith, the daughter of wealthy Agnes and Trumbull Meredith.
The Drake Case
Talkie about a maid who is accused of killing the lady of the house
The House of Secrets
A young American man arrives in London to claim an estate he has inherited. One of the conditions is that he signs a paper stating he will never sell the estate. When he arrives at the estate he now owns, he runs into a ring of American gangsters there and discovers that the estate is the site of some buried pirate treasure.
The Hate Ship
A police captain poses as the valet of a friend who has been invited on a yacht cruise by a notorious schemer, whom the friend is afraid wants to murder him.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
The Return of Sherlock Holmes was the first sound film to feature Sherlock Holmes.
The Fatal Warning
When a bank executive disappears, he is accused of stealing a fortune from the bank. But his daughter and her criminologist friend set out to find her father and clear his name.
The Lone Wolf's Daughter
Michael Lanyard, a reformed cracks-man, adopts Adrienne, the daughter of an old friend, and goes to Southampton to attend a party celebrating her engagement to Bobby Crenshaw, the son of a wealthy society couple. The Count and Countess Polinac, international jewel thieves, also attend the party, and Count Polinac forces Lanyard to open the safe containing the jewelry of the guests by threatening to expose Lanyard's criminal past. Lanyard forestalls the count, however, and protects the valuables. The count and countess are arrested, and Michael's secret is kept safe.
A mad captain poses as a cleric to murder people aboard a fogbound ship.
The Woman in White
Following a promise she made to her father on his deathbed, Laura Fairlie go to Scotland with Sir Percival Glyde to his mysterious mansion to be married. Once there, many strange and disturbing things happen. She meets a girl who has been a victim of Sir Percival's scheming in order to get her fortune.
The second version of Louis Joseph Vance's 1907 mystery melodrama The Brass Bowl. The story of a wealthy world traveler and his evil lookalike, the master criminal Anisty.
During a dinner party at the Brookfield family estate, private detective Craig Kennedy relates a story of one of his unsolved murder cases. What Kennedy knows, and the other guests do not, is that the person who was the killer in the unsolved mystery is in the room, and Kennedy makes plans to expose him.