The Mystery of Marie Roget

1942

The Mystery Of Marie Roget [VHS]
  Tight little thriller, inspired by Poe's classic, concerning a torch singer whose plans to kill her younger sister run into a horrifying snag. Who is the insane killer mutilating the ladies of Paris?
 AKA: ``Phantom of Paris.'' 61 min.

Cast:
Patric Knowles .... Dr. Paul Dupin
Lloyd Corrigan .... Prefect Gobelin
Nell O'Day .... Camille Roget
Maria Ouspenskaya .... Madame Cecile Roget
John Litel .... M. Henri Beauvais
Edward Norris .... Marcel Vigneaux
Maria Montez .... Marie Roget
Clyde Fillmore .... M. De Luc
Norma Drury .... Madame De Luc
Charles Middleton .... Curator at the zoo
Paul E. Burns .... Gardener
Frank Reicher .... Magistrate
Paul Dubov .... Pierre (news vendor)
Raymond Bailey .... Gendarme
Joseph E. Bernard .... Man
Paul Bryar .... Detective
Caroline Cooke .... Woman
Lester Dorr .... Subordinate to prefect
Reed Hadley .... Naval officer
Alphonse Martell .... Vegetable Cart Driver
John Maxwell .... Detective
Frank O'Connor .... Man
Beatrice Roberts .... Woman #2 reading newespaper Dorothy Triden .... Marie's Singing Voice
Charles Wagenheim .... Subordinate to prefect

Maria Montez

Maria Montez, also known as The Carribean Cyclone, was born Maria Africa Vidal de Santo Silas, on June 6, 1917 Barahona, Dominican Republic, one of ten children of Ysidoro Gracia, the Spanish consul in the Dominican Republic, and Teresa, the daughter of political refugees. She is christened at the cathedral where the entombed remains of Christopher Columbus are said to be buried. Her father is appointed to the Spanish consulship in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In Ireland she joins a local amateur theatre group then marries wealthy Irishman William G. McFeeters, an officer in the British Army, at 17. She makes her home with McFeeters on his family estate in Ireland. Whenever he's away on military duty, she flees to London or Paris in search of excitement. She then goes goes to New York where the home of a Bavarian duke and duchess becomes her headquarters. When her husband departs for New York, she meets him at the dock and explains her intention to not renew their marital relationship. At age 21, she stages a meeting with George J. Schaefer, president of RKO, who arranges a screen test for her in the meantime, a Universal talent scout offers her a contract, and she accepts. Maria's unusual beauty landed her a contract with Universal. For her stage name, Maria chose the last name of Montez in honor of dancer Lola Montez, a favorite of Maria's father. Her first film was THE INVISIBLE WOMAN in 1941. Five more movies with five more bit roles followed including THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET. Soon thereafter, she reinvented herself. Carefully recultivating the Spanish accent she'd lost after moving to America (she was the daughter of a Dominican Republic diplomat) and decking herself out in jewels, exotic costumes and a loyal retinue, Montez became the exotic, tempestuous Latino leading lady of many a Technicolor escapist epic. Maria convincing portrayed haughty Arabian princesses, jungle goddesses and highborn gypsies in such delightful nonsense as Arabian Nights (1942), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1942), Cobra Woman (1944) and Gypsy Wildcat (1945). A 24-hour-a-day star, Ms. Montez was famous for her spectacular entrances at nightclubs and social functions; once, when her arrival at the Universal commissary failed to attract notice, she turned her heel and left the room, returning moments later with a huge entourage and accompanying loud noises. Her acting skills may not have been appreciated by some critics, but the public didn't seem to mind. They loved Maria and the dangers she faced in these cheaply made adventure flicks. Each desert film attracted droves of Montez fans to the box-office. As the Depression eased and the war ended, fans became bored with her films. After her Hollywood career faded, she moved to Europe with her second husband Jean-Pierre Aumont. She appeared in a number of German, French, and Italian productions. Her final film was a German movie entitled SCHATTEN UBER NEAPAL (CAMORRA) in 1951. On September 7 of that year, Maria Montez suffered a heart attack and drowned in the bathtub of her Paris mansion. She was only 34 and had appeared in only 27 movies. But her legacy lives on in the colorful characterizations that she left on film. She is still a much loved figure in movie history. Measurements: 36-25-36 1/2 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Nell O'Day

Born in Prairie Hill, Texas, on 22 September 1909, lovely actress Nell O'Day would become a leading lady of westerns. She began as a child dancer in the early 1920s, later performing with the Tommy Atkins Sextet. she enjoyed a varied career that including silent films (Don Juan, 1926), early talkies, Broadway musicals (Fine and Dandy, 1930),This notice led to a Hollywood film offer in the musical The King of Jazz (1930) and the stage play "Fine and Dandy" with dancer Eleanor Powell. This was impetus enough to make her stay and try her luck at a film career. A string of comedy shorts with Harry Langdon began things off, along with a few secondary parts in feature films, including This Side of Heaven (1934) with Lionel Barrymore and Woman in the Dark (1934) with Fay Wray. In the 1940s she joined Universal's roster of western players and, thanks to her experience as a horsewoman, won a recurring cowgirl role in a series of horse operas opposite star Johnny Mack Brown and his sidekick Fuzzy Knight. Although no longer in the full bloom of youth, O'Day became known for her daring and had only rarely used her double, the legendary Babe DeFreest. She was 'second lead' in the horror film Mystery of Marie Roget (1942) with Maria Montez and went on to appear in westerns for other studios, including Republic and Monogram. She left films in 1943 to marry screen actor Larry Williams but returned to the stage on occasion. She again retired in 1945 after performing in the Broadway play "Many Happy Returns." O'Day became a noted short-story writer late in life and one success was the play "The Bride of Denmark Hill," which was later turned into a BBC-TV production in England. She also performed on early television. Nell O'Day died in 1989.

Maria Ouspenskaya

Born the daughter of a lawyer, Ouspenskaya studied singing at the Warsaw Conservatory and acting at Adasheff's School of the Drama in Moscow. She received her practical training as an actress touring stock in the Russian provinces and then joined the Moscow Art Theatre. It was here that she first worked under the direction of the great Stanislavski, whose "Method" she would go on to promote for the remainder of her life. She came to America with the Art Theatre in 1922 and remained after they returned to Moscow to become a dominant Broadway actress for more than a decade. In 1929 she founded the School of Dramatic Art in New York. It was to help keep the school funded that she accepted her first Hollywod film, Dodsworth, in 1936. (She had appeared in a few movies in Russia.) This began a lucrative association, for Ouspenskaya, Hollywood and the viewing public, that would last for more than a dozen years and two dozen films.She died of a stroke 3 days after a lighted cigarette set fire to her bed.She received two supporting Oscar nominations for the films Dodsworth (1936) and Love Affair (1939). She appeared in Dodsworth for only four minutes; in Love Affair, her scenes added up to a total of ten.Studied opera in both Warsaw and Moscow but switched gears to acting and started off at the Adasheff's School of Drama at the age of 30+.An actor/instructor with Konstantin Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre (from 1911), she toured thoughout Europe during the Communist takeover and appeared in over 100 plays. When the company arrived in the United States, she remained.Taught acting at New York's American Laboratory Theatre in the 20s until forming her own acting school, the Maria Ouspenskaya School of Dramatic Arts, in 1929. She moved her studio to Hollywood in the late 30s when her film career began to flourish. Some of her more famous students included John Garfield and acting gurus Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg. Iif a wizened matriarch of any nationality was required for a movie - French, Polish, East Indian - Mme. Oupenskaya was among the first to be called upon. Despite her steady work in A-pictures, it was for a medium-budget horror film that she is best remembered today. In The Wolf Man (1941), it is Ouspenskaya as mournful gypsy woman Maleva who breaks the news that poor Lon Chaney Jr. has been bitten by a werewolf; the actress' chilling recital of the famed Wolf Man curse ("Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night") is enough to give adult viewers nightmares. She repeated the role in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)

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