ONE FRIGHTENED NIGHT (1935) Reviews and overview

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‘Mascot’s mirthful mystery’

One Frightened Night is a 1935 American comedy mystery thriller film directed by Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand; Scared to Death) from a screenplay by Wellyn Totman, based on a story by Stuart Palmer (The Smiling Ghost).



Faced with an upcoming inheritance tax, multimillionaire Jasper Whyte summons a group of people to his mansion to announce that he is leaving each of them one million dollars.

The situation soon changes when he discovers a long lost granddaughter Doris Waverly has come to his mansion; Jasper decides to leave his total fortune to her. However, another Doris Waverly arrives at the mansion and a murder is committed…




“This films stands out from other stories of rainy nights and jealous inheritance mostly because if its dialog which is as quick as a 1930s film needed to be. Since cinematographers hadn’t quite grasped the concept of emulating candlelight and since film quality left much to be desired, writers had to be sharp enough to keep audiences riveted. This film is no different. It’s billed as a comedy and mystery, and it lives up to both.” Film School Rejects


“So if you like natural lighting and interchangeable blondes, then One Frightened Night is your cup of poisoned tea. Drink up!” The Umbrellahead Review

“Low budget thriller that sometimes seems like a spoof of The Cat and the Canary.” Leslie Halliwell, Halliwell’s Film Guide

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 01.10.05

Choice dialogue:

Joe Luvalle: “Pardon me, madam, are you made up for Lady MacBeth?”

Deputy Abner: “It wasn’t human! It wasn’t like any face like you’ve seen before.”

Cast and characters:

  • Charley Grapewin as Jasper Whyte
  • Lucien Littlefield as Dr Denham
  • Mary Carlisle as The Second Doris Waverly
  • Regis Toomey as Tom Dean
  • Arthur Hohl as Arthur Proctor
  • Fred Kelsey as Sheriff Jenks
  • Evalyn Knapp as The Fake Doris Waverly
  • Clarence Wilson as Mr Felix
  • Wallace Ford as Joe Luvalle
  • Adrian Morris as Deputy Abner
  • Hedda Hopper as Laura Proctor
  • Rafaela Ottiano as Elvira, the Maid

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