The Phantom of Crestwood (1932)

77 mins | Mystery | 14 October 1932

Director:

J. Walter Ruben

Cinematographer:

Henry Gerrard

Editor:

Archie Marshek

Production Designer:

Carroll Clark

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to RKO inter-office memoranda and Var, RKO broadcast a radio version of this story called The Phantom, which was part of a promotional contest. The radio show, which was broadcast on NBC's "Hollywood-on-the-Air" program, began in Aug 1932 and concluded six weeks later on a "cliff-hanger" note. The contest consisted of listeners submitting their own endings to the story. The first winners of the contest were to be announced on the NBC program on 24 Nov 1932, according to inter-office memoranda. The Var reviewer noted that the film included a "brief prolog in a broadcasting studio with Graham McNamee identifying the production with the air contest." Graham McNamee was a well-known radio personality. Var also commented on the film's use of flashbacks, which the reviewer described as the "heaviest use of this once standard device since the talking picture came to the fore." RKO borrowed Karen Morely from M-G-M for the production. ...

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According to RKO inter-office memoranda and Var, RKO broadcast a radio version of this story called The Phantom, which was part of a promotional contest. The radio show, which was broadcast on NBC's "Hollywood-on-the-Air" program, began in Aug 1932 and concluded six weeks later on a "cliff-hanger" note. The contest consisted of listeners submitting their own endings to the story. The first winners of the contest were to be announced on the NBC program on 24 Nov 1932, according to inter-office memoranda. The Var reviewer noted that the film included a "brief prolog in a broadcasting studio with Graham McNamee identifying the production with the air contest." Graham McNamee was a well-known radio personality. Var also commented on the film's use of flashbacks, which the reviewer described as the "heaviest use of this once standard device since the talking picture came to the fore." RKO borrowed Karen Morely from M-G-M for the production.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
18 Oct 1932
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 1932
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
22 Oct 1932
pp. 20-21, p. 34
New York Times
17 Oct 1932
p. 18
Variety
18 Oct 1932
p. 15
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Archie F. Marshek
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 October 1932
Production Date:

Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
14 October 1932
LP3375
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, attractive gold digger Jenny Wren pays a visit to a former lover, married bank president Priam Andes, and insists that he invite three of his wealthy friends--William Jones, Senator Herbert Walcott and Eddie Mack--to a weekend party at "Crestwood," his seaside estate. During the party, Jenny teases the three men, all former lovers, in front of their respective wives and fiancées. Then, in the Crestwood library, she announces her "retirement" to Priam and his friends and demands hundreds of thousands of dollars in "hush" money from them. When asked why she is retiring, Jenny relates the story of Tom Herrick, a college student who threw himself off a cliff in the Adirondacks after she had coldly rejected him because he had no money. That night, during a raging storm, Jenny sees a terrifying vision of Tom in the woods outside her bedroom window. Soon after, Gary Curtis, a New Yorker who has been following Jenny and has slipped into the house along with Pete Harris and his gang of robbers, finds her dead body in the darkened living room. Sure that the police will arrest him for the murder because he has a criminal record, Gary, who came to Crestwood to retrieve love letters sent to Jenny by his boss in New York, declares his intention of discovering the killer himself. After finding Esther Wren, Jenny's younger sister who is engaged to Priam's nephew Frank, unconscious in Jenny's room, Gary questions her and the other guests, including Frank and his aunt Faith, about their dealings with Jenny. Eventually Gary determines that Jenny was killed with a dart and that one ...

More Less

In Los Angeles, attractive gold digger Jenny Wren pays a visit to a former lover, married bank president Priam Andes, and insists that he invite three of his wealthy friends--William Jones, Senator Herbert Walcott and Eddie Mack--to a weekend party at "Crestwood," his seaside estate. During the party, Jenny teases the three men, all former lovers, in front of their respective wives and fiancées. Then, in the Crestwood library, she announces her "retirement" to Priam and his friends and demands hundreds of thousands of dollars in "hush" money from them. When asked why she is retiring, Jenny relates the story of Tom Herrick, a college student who threw himself off a cliff in the Adirondacks after she had coldly rejected him because he had no money. That night, during a raging storm, Jenny sees a terrifying vision of Tom in the woods outside her bedroom window. Soon after, Gary Curtis, a New Yorker who has been following Jenny and has slipped into the house along with Pete Harris and his gang of robbers, finds her dead body in the darkened living room. Sure that the police will arrest him for the murder because he has a criminal record, Gary, who came to Crestwood to retrieve love letters sent to Jenny by his boss in New York, declares his intention of discovering the killer himself. After finding Esther Wren, Jenny's younger sister who is engaged to Priam's nephew Frank, unconscious in Jenny's room, Gary questions her and the other guests, including Frank and his aunt Faith, about their dealings with Jenny. Eventually Gary determines that Jenny was killed with a dart and that one of the guests, Mr. Vayne, is actually Henry T. Herrick, Tom's father. Herrick then confesses that, for revenge, he had used a death mask of his son's face to scare Jenny. After denying that he killed Jenny, Herrick dies of a heart attack. The lights then go out and Esther is stabbed just as she declares that she remembers an important clue about the murder. With the evidence apparently pointing to Jenny's maid, Carter, Gary and Pete search for the servant in the secret passages of the old house. When they find Carter dead, however, they conclude that Faith, who, for reasons of family pride, had strongly disapproved of Frank's engagement to Esther, had mistaken Jenny for Esther and had accidentally killed her. Fearful that Carter knew too much, Faith killed her as well. As a half-mad Faith is about to push the wounded Esther off a cliff, Gary and Pete arrive and stop her. As the police close in, Faith throws herself off the cliff.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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