Monday, August 2, 2021

PILLOW OF DEATH / The Thrilling Story Of The Whispering Corpse! - 1945

This was the last of the Universal Inner Sanctum stories, and boy is it a doozie! It stars our man Lon Chaney as attorney Wayne Fletcher, Brenda Joyce as his secretary Donna Kincaid, J. Edward Bromberg as psychic Julian Julian, Rosalind Ivan and Clara Blandick as the Kincaid sisters, George Cleveland as Samuel Kincaid and Wilton Graff as Police Captain McCracken.

In this story, attorney Wayne Fletcher and his secretary Donna Kincaid are having an affair, when Wayne's wife is found smothered in her bedroom, he becomes the prime suspect. As McCracken investigates the crime, a psychic with questionable intentions tries to contact Wayne's dead wife. Wayne begins to have visions of his wife, then people involved in the case begin to be killed off one by one...

Wayne's wife is dead (you never see her) and Police Captain McCracken is questioning Wayne about the case. Psychic Julian Julian has paid a visit because he got a vision that Wayne's wife was in danger, and came to check on her. Wayne shows the Captain a book of hers called "Famous Suicides Of History" and Wayne says that Julian's influence over his wife was to blame for her death.

Holy cow, this movie has so much detail that I cannot spell everything out, so...

The Captain goes to the Kincaid home to question the family (who are believers in psychic powers) where strange noises and voices upstairs are investigated. Left to right, Samuel Kincaid, Captain McCracken, Julian Julian, Donna Kincaid and Bruce Malone.

Wayne is invited to a séance given by Julian to contact Wayne's dead wife, and to find out who the killer is. Wayne breaks it up because he thinks Julian is faking it.

And, next door neighbor Bruce is sneaking around in the background and is threatened by Wayne, because Bruce says he's there to protect Donna from him!

Back at him house, Wayne is getting drunk when he hears his wife calling to him.

She tells him to go to the crypt in the cemetery, she has something she wants to show him. He goes to the crypt but the door is locked.

The very next day Samuel Kincaid is found smothered, hmmm...

Bruce (who's in love with Donna) pops in again and begs Donna not to go see Wayne, who he believes to be the murderer. Donna tells him to get lost.

Then, Belle Kincaid is found murdered!! What is going on here?!

At the Kincaid's home, Wayne and Donna hear some sounds and go exploring in the basement, where they find Bruce yet again. Wayne is ready to pound Bruce.

Spending the night at Donna's, it's finally revealed who the real murderer is... WAYNE!! Great twist, he was always portrayed as the victim in the Inner Sanctum stories.

Wayne goes upstairs and has a discussion with his dead wife on how to handle Donna, who, you know, could tattle-tale on him!

This is the only pillow that you see in the movie, as he presses it down over Donna's head!

But, McCracken and Bruce break into the room and Wayne is pulled off Donna. Bruce runs over to console Donna.

Wayne asks his wife what he should do now that he's caught, and she tells him to join her and Wayne jumps out the open window!

It's a happy ending, Bruce now has Donna and Julian inherits the Kincaid estate enabling him to continue his work in psychic phenomenon.

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