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Strange Confession

USA 1945
produced by
Ben Pivar for Universal
directed by John Hoffman
starring Lon Chaney jr, Brenda Joyce, J. Carrol Naish, Milburn Stone, Lloyd Bridges, Addison Richards, Mary Gordon, George Chandler, Gregory Marshall, Wilton Graff, Francis McDonald, Jack Norton, Christian Rub, Wheaton Chambers, Ian Wolfe, Jody Gilbert, Leyland Hodgson, David Hoffman, Beatrice Roberts
screenplay by M.Coates Webber, based on a play by Jean Bart, musical director: Frank Skinner

Inner Sanctum, Universal horror cycle

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Graham (J.Carrol Naish) is a greedy pharmaceutics manufacturer while Jeffrey (Lon Chaney jr) is his idealistic but naive head scientist who doesn't even mind that his bossgets all teh credits for his developments - however, he repeatedly refuses to put medicines on the market that are not thoroughly tested, even if that gest him into conflict with his boss.

Eventually, Graham lays his eyes on Mary (Brenda Joyce), Jeffrey's wife, and has the excellent idea to send Jeffrey to South America for further researches, and he plans to keep him there, indefinitely if need be. Then influenza hits the town, and Graham decides to put an old, yet unfinished flue remedy Jeffrey still has in development on the market just to cash in on the epidemic ... while Jeffrey in South America successfully finishes his research on an actually working flue remedy, but too late to go into mass-production for the current epidemic.

Eventually, Jeffrey's and Mary's son Tommy (Gregory Marshall) catches the flu, and Mary treats him with what she believes is Jeffrey's finished remedy - not knowing that it's merely the earlier version ... and wouldn't you know it, Tommy dies. Mary then packs a gun and pays a visit to Graham, who hoped for a romantic evening but suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of a gun ... Mary though can't shoot ...

But wait, Jeffrey has in the meantime arrived back home, and he is so shattered by the news of his son's death that he cuts off Graham's head, just like he claims that Graham has stolen his head. Then he givs himself up to the authorities ...


Within the Inner Sanctum series of films, this is probably one of the best films - which isn't saying much considering the overall quality of teh series. Still, the film has a steady (if at times too slow) build-up of tension and a finale with a decidedly macabre twist. It might be no classic, but at least it's ok entertainment.


By the way, the play by Jean Bart Strange Confession is based on was previously filmed in 1934 by Edward Ludwig as The Man who Reclaimed his Head with Lionel Atwill and Joan Bennett and Claude Raines in the Lon Chaney jr role - who was incidently Lon's father in The Wolf Man ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD