Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Supernatural (1933)



“Treat all supernatural beings with respect- but keep aloof from them!”

            I have been looking to watch Supernatural starring Carole Lombard for the longest time. I do not know what made me do it but I went onto YouTube and found it. I have tried to find it on the site for a long time I did once and then they took it down. I am so used to seeing Carole Lombard in her comedy roles that as soon as I heard about Supernatural and how it was darker than her more well known films I had to see it. I was very happy that my expectations for this film did not fall flat it was very good.
            Ruth Rogen has been arrested and sentenced to death after killing three of her lovers. She shows no emotion for having taken three lives. A psychologist deems her sane she knew perfectly well what she was doing. In court she laughs at the judge and laughs at what she did. In jail days before she is about to be executed Ruth begins to panic and demands to see a person who will not come to her.
            A Dr. Hudson asks the warden if he could perform an experiment on Ruth. He thinks that Ruth’s spirit can escape her body and travel into another woman and carry out her evil deed of killing her lovers. He wants to use ultraviolet light to see if he can trap the soul. Ruth agrees but she swears she will have her vengeance no matter what happens.
            A man breaks into a home where a young man, John Courtney, has been laid out before he is to be buried. He makes a plaster cast of John’s face. The trespasser is a spiritualist named Paul Bavian. He is the man who keeps getting letters from Ruth urging him to come see her but he refuses. Paul’s landlord is an annoying old drunk lady who keeps nudging him about what she knows. She says she knows about something that happened between him and Ruth but if she pays him they can still be friends and he will not tell anyone. Paul’s ring hides poison in his ring and pricks the old woman killing her.
            Paul writes a letter to Roma Courtney (Lombard), John’s twin sister. He writes that John has come to him and he needs to see her urgently. Roma asks her boyfriend Grant (Randolph Scott), Dr. Hudson, and her lawyer Hammond. All three tell her not to go they think it is a scam. Roma cannot help her grief and curiosity. With Grant by her side, Roma goes to see Paul at his apartment. Before the couple gets to his apartment, Paul has rigged up his death mask of John along with a few other tricks. One of Paul’s tricks is having John say that Hammond was the one who murdered him. Roma falls for this out of confusion and grief but Grant can see through the phony spiritualists.
            After the séance Roma and Grant go to see Dr. Hudson at his apartment. They are told Dr. Hudson is not to be disturbed but they do not listen. When Roma and Grant find the doctor they see him with the body of Ruth Rogen. Dr. Hudson says they must leave immediately because there is a danger of a contagion but not in the normal sense. As Grant and Roma begin to tell the doctor about their visit to Paul’s an ice cold wind blows through the room even though the doors are closed. Roma faints and when they bring her to a chair they find fingerprints on her throat. Ruth Rogen tried to get into Roma’s body but failed.
            Dr. Hudson convinces Roma to have Paul over the house for another séance. Paul once again puts poison in his ring this time poisoning Hammond. A cold wind comes through the room and Roma grabs her throat. Grant lays Roma on the couch and at that moment Ruth goes into Roma’s body. When she wakes up and stands up she immediately walks over to Paul.
            Roma possessed by Ruth takes Paul to Ruth’s place. Paul does not realize that Roma is possessed by Ruth and is dumbfounded about why they are at the dead woman’s place. This is part of Ruth’s plan to get Paul to confess that he gave her up to the police Paul says they cannot stay in the apartment so he proposes going to Roma’s yacht. After they leave the apartment, Grant and Dr. Hudson come by. They speak to the owner of the apartment building asking if he saw a woman and a man come by. At this time Dr. Hudson realizes that Roma has been possessed by Ruth. They try to think of where Roma and Paul could have gone. The wind blows, an image of John comes before Grant, and a wooden toy boat falls to the ground. Grant sees this as a sign and rushes to the yacht.
            On the yacht Roma/Ruth feeds Paul champagne and tries to seduce him. She tries to strangle him and almost succeeds. Grant and Dr. Hudson come just in time. Paul runs out of the room trying to get to the small boat to take him back to land. Roma walks over to the window and begins to laugh a wicked laugh. Ruth leaves Roma’s body and gets her revenge on Paul.

            Some reviewers have said that the acting is not that great but honestly I have no complaints. Carole Lombard was fantastic. As I said I am so used to seeing Lombard in her comedies that when I found out this film was a darker film of hers I had to see. I did not know what to expect. Lombard was a great actress she had so much talent and this film just proves how great of an actress she was. She had range as an actress she pulled of being this nice girl who was grieving for her brother to this seductive evil woman. Lombard was perfection I give her so much praise. Vivienne Osbourne who played Ruth Rogen was unbelievable. I found myself feeling a little tense in her scenes. Randolph Scott was good but his character was dull.
            Supernatural is a really good film. It is a bit cheesy but I liked the story a lot. Supernatural is short but in that short amount of time the story gets right to the point and keeps you on your toes the entire time. You can watch Supernatural on Youtube