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Attorney Wayne Fletcher (Lon Chaney jr) is unhappily married but has an
extramarital affair with his secretary, Donna Kincaid (Brenda Joyce), much
to the dismay of her rich aunt, Belle (Clara Blandick), aho is more
concerned for the family's reputation than the happiness of her niece.
Then Wayne's wife dies, and aunt Belle is quick to point a finger at
Wayne as the culprit ... but after a night in jail, Captain McCracken
(Wilton Graff) realizes there is unsufficient evidence to hold him. Now
though aunt Belle hires spiritualist Julian Julian (J.Edward Bromberg) ,
who was also a personal friend of Wayne's wife, to find some evidence
against him ... but of course, all the evidence he gathers won't hold up
Then though, Wayne starts hearing the voice of his wife which draws him
to the crypt she rests in, and from here on Wanye has a black-out, not
able to remember anything until he woke up the next morning. However, the
next morning, Donna's uncle (George Cleveland) is found dead, and the day
after aunt Belle as well, and Wayne might be a suspect, as might Bruce
(Bernard Thomas) be, Donna's neighbour who is madly in love with her and
who knows about all the secret entrances into the Kincaids' manor ... but
no, Captain McCracken soon comes to the conclusion that Julian Julian has
to be the murderer. Then though, Donna's other aunt, Amelia (Rosalind
Ivan), goes totally bonkers and tries to gas both Wayne and Donna to death
... and they are actually saved by Julian Julian, who was just released
due to lack of evidence.
Then, in a sudden plottwist, Wayne goes totally mad, thinks he hears
the voice of his wife and - more to himself than anyone else - confesses
to having murdered all those people - however, Donna and Captain McCracken
listen in ... ouch.
Far from great, Pillow of Death is quite possibly the best entry
into the Inner Sanctum series. True, the mystery plot is
about as far-fetched and unbelievable as can be, but at least the film has
to offer a suitably spooky atmosphere and moves along at a steady pace -
which all makes it an ok B-picture if certainly not more.
... and all of that said, at least in my book, a film that features a
character called Captain McCracken simply cannot be all bad.