blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand (1936, Albert Herman), Chapter 8: A Cry in the Night

A Cry in the Night refers the the cliffhanger of this chapter. Not the cliffhanger resolve at the open, which is another terrible Clutching Hand resolve, but the one in the very last scene. It’s not clear it’s night out. The cry is more of a scream. Whatever.

After the cliffhanger resolution at the beginning, Jack Mulhall and Rex Lease head to the sailor bar. Upstairs from the sailor bar, in an elaborate office (which might have been used as a different office before), ex-con Robert Walker meets with widow Mae Busch and they have a mysterious conversation. Only to the viewer. Walker and Busch know what they’re talking about.

Mulhall is downstairs in some of his make-up, but this time he doesn’t fool the sailors, who confront him. A brawl ensues, broken up when Lease comes in with two pistols and fires off a bunch of shots. Everything bad and tedious about Clutching Hand is on display in Cry.

After Mulhall and Lease get away, they go to see who’s using Busch’s car. It never occurs to master detective Mulhall it might be Busch. He’s a jackass. At least he’s not Lease, who’s sidekick to a jackass.

Back at Busch’s house, Lease seems to get suspicious of Busch but apparently gets distracted by love interest Marion Shilling, who talks to him about Busch for a scene, then starts telling Mulhall he’s got to go see Ruth Mix. There are no scenes between Shilling and Mix so it’s unclear how Shilling knows Mix wants to see Mulhall.

There’s some more about the missing gold formula, which is still missing, and Mulhall is just finding out in chapter eight where it was written. Master detective indeed.

Clutching Hand is officially over half over with this chapter. It’s going to be a very long second half.


Directed by Albert Herman; screenplay by Leon D’Usseau and Dallas M. Fitzgerald, based on an adaptation by George M. Merrick and Eddie Granemann and the novel by Arthur B. Reeve; director of photography, James Diamond; edited by Earl Turner; produced by Louis Weiss; released by Stage & Screen Productions.

Starring Jack Mulhall (Craig Kennedy), Rex Lease (Walter Jameson), Mae Busch (Mrs. Gironda), Ruth Mix (Shirley McMillan), William Farnum (Gordon Gaunt), Marion Shilling (Verna Gironda), Bryant Washburn (Denton), Robert Frazer (Dr. Gironda), Gaston Glass (Louis Bouchard), Mahlon Hamilton (Montgomery), Robert Walker (Joe Mitchell), Yakima Canutt (Number Eight), Joseph W. Girard (Lawyer Cromwell), Frank Leigh (Maj. Courtney Wickham), Jon Hall (Frank Hobart), Franklyn Farnum (Nicky), and Knute Erickson (Capt. Hansen).


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