NERO WOLFE AND THE SUPERNATURAL
MEET NERO WOLFE - Rex Stout's overweight, under-exercised detective Nero Wolfe was first brought to the screen in 1936 in the portly person of Edward Arnold. As brusque and short-tempered as ever, Wolfe tackles the case of a college professor who met his doom while playing golf, a tragedy followed by the seemingly unrelated death of a young mechanic. Dispatched to do Wolfe's leg work is his acerbic aide Archie Goodwin (Lionel Stander), who manages to discover that both deaths were tied in with a new weapon which silently shoots poisoned needles. ! Well directed by Broadway vet Herbert Biberman,
SUPERNATURAL - This atmospheric suspense film from the makers of White Zombie marked an unusual turn for glamorous Carole Lombard as heiress Roma Courtenay, who is approached by phony psychic Paul Bavian (Alan Dinehart), who claims to bear an important message from her recently deceased brother. After attending a bogus seance, Roma suddenly becomes possessed by the malevolent spirit of executed triple-murderess Ruth Rogen (Vivienne Osborne), whose unfinished business includes killing Bavian, her one-time lover. Fearing that Roma is actually under the charlatan's control, her fiance (Randolph Crane Scott) sets out to rescue her -- and eventually discovers that the supernatural influence is quite real. Though too subdued to generate real suspense, this atmospheric film benefits from the visual style of director Victor Halperin.