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Walter Stevens' (Lionel Atwill) life is threatened in a letter by the
Gorilla, a mysterious killer who always announces his misdeeds (but pulls them
through nevertheless), & right at the evening his niece Norma (Anita Lewis)
& her fiancé Jack (Edward Norris) arrive to settle some matters about
Walter's & Norma's joint inheritance.
Walter however refuses to drag the
police into this & rather hires a trio of detectives, Harrigan (Harry
Ritz), Mulligan (Al Ritz) & Garrity (Jimmy Ritz) to guard him ... but inept
as they are, Walter disappears at exactly the announced hour. The 3 detectives'
ensuing investigatins naturally lead to more & more confusion, & soon a
real, escaped gorilla (Art Miles) is thrown into the mix, an outraged
businessman (Paul Harvey) shows up, claiming Walter tries to cheat him out of
his money ... & then there is that mysterious stranger (Joseph Calleia),
who, after Walter is found tied up in some secret passageway of the house,
claims to be detective Cotelli, while Walter is the Gorilla who tried to trick
his niece out of her inheritance ... that is until the detective trio
identifies Cotelli as the gorilla, & Walter, it turns out at long last, has
acted as an agent for his insurance company, that has been tricked by the
Gorilla once too often ...
Bela Lugosi has a rather small red herring-part as
Walter's butler, Patsy Kelly plays his maid.
A very routine old dark
house mystery-comedy with all the typical elements: sinister butlers, sliding
doors, secret passageways, hysterical maids, crooks disguised as detectives,
detectives disguised as crooks, a large inheritance, & of course that
1930's pulp mainstay, the gorilla. There's really nothuing special about this
movie & the Ritz Brothers - one of the many 1930's comic trios (the most
popular trios of this time were probably the Marx
Brothers & the Three Stooges) - are not
particularly funny in this one ... actually the funniest performance is given
by Patsy Kelly playing the maid. Also, Bela Lugosi & Lionel Atwill do
rather little to improve the film (mainly because of their too limited roles).
& while I've definitely seen worse, it's not really worth your time.