Mystery Liner (1934) starring Noah Beery, Astrid Allwyn, Edwin Maxwell, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Ralph Lewis, Cornelius Keefe, Zeffie Tilbury directed by William Nigh Movie Review

Mystery Liner (1934)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Astrid Allwyn in Mystery Liner (1934)

Mystery of the Missing Atmosphere

The best thing about "Mystery Liner" is the fact that it has fallen into the public domain so if you are curious about watching this old movie you can do so free and legally online. But that in truth is about the only good thing there is about this movie which is shot in that old fashioned basic way where people stand around and talk then it cuts to another room with people standing around talking with no background music to distract you from this extremely basic styling. I suppose what this means is that there is little appeal to watch "Mystery Liner" unless you have a crazed ambition to watch as many movies as possible or have a liking for one of the fading stars who appear in it.

Anyway the story sees us aboard an ocean liner where Captain Holling (Noah Beery) has suffered what appears to be a nervous breakdown and is relieved from his duty by First Mate Downey (Boothe Howard). The ship just happens to be carrying a top secret device invented by professor Grimson (Ralph Lewis) which allows ships to be remotely controlled from land, a technology which other countries are interested in getting their hands on. As the liner heads out to sea there are murders and plenty of suspicious characters as they try to get to the bottom of who is behind the killing.

As I said "Mystery Liner" is a very basic movie in style, a style which I have often been heard referred to as Monogram due to its static nature and lack of soundtrack. What ever you call it one thing is for sure and this style or lack of is a movie killer because for all the deaths, clues and suspicious characters the distinct lack of atmosphere makes it dull. Even taking into account that we are talking about a movie which was made during the first half of the 1930's it still ends up weak.

The lack of style also covers the acting which is typical of the era with characters who fail to grab are attention and often come across as extremely false. About the only person who does get any of your attention is Astrid Allwyn whose beauty is one of the movies few highlights.

What this all boils down to is that I can't really give you a reason to watch "Mystery Liner". And even when you take into account that it is from a bygone era the basic styling makes it extremely hard work to get into.