Sunday, September 08, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Sinner Take All (1936) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

SINNER TAKE ALL (1936) is an MGM murder mystery released on DVD earlier this year by the Warner Archive.

This is an enjoyable "B" film, with Bruce Cabot playing Ernie, a new lawyer and former reporter. He's manipulated into returning to his former job to investigate a series of death threats made against a wealthy family, including patriarch Aaron (Charley Grapewin) and lovely Lorraine (Margaret Lindsay).

As members of the family including David (Theodore von Eltz) and Stephen (George Lynn) die one by one, Ernie races to solve the mystery -- which is becoming increasingly important to him as he is falling for Lorraine and wants to make sure she survives!

Ernie works alongside police detective Royce (Edward Pawley), and he's also alternately hindered and helped by nightclub owner Penny (Joseph Calleia).

I found this little mystery quite engaging. Sure, it's fairly run of the mill, but the cast is energetic and there are a number of interesting supporting faces, including Stanley Ridges, Eadie Adams, Vivienne Osborne, George Zucco, Raymond Hatton, Jonathan Hale, and, playing a reporter, Dorothy Kilgallen.

There are also a few bits here and there which elevate it above the typical "B" film, such as an edit where a car crash fire dissolves into a flame lighting a cigarette.

It's a well-paced 74 minutes, and I found it pleasant viewing. Mystery fans should enjoy discovering "whodunit."

SINNER TAKE ALL was directed by Errol Taggart and filmed in black and white by Leonard Smith.

The Warner Archive print is quite good, with equally good sound. The disc includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.


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