A talkie remake of West's silent The Bat, adapted from a hugely popular Broadway whodunit (by Mary Robert Rinehart and Avery Hopwood). The creaky plot, about a super-thief hiding out in an old dark house and terrifying its inhabitants, is virtually incomprehensible, a non-stop succession of spooky clichés strung together with scant regard for logic or motivation; while attempts to inject humour - centred largely around an hysterical housemaid - are often embarrassingly unfunny. Fascinating, however, is West's unusual visual sense: all enormous shadows, overhead shots, and (for the time) a surprisingly mobile camera. Remade, ineffectually, in 1958 as The Bat.
Cast and crew
Gustav von Seyffertitz