Candles At Nine

279. CANDLES AT NINE (1944-England). With JESSIE MATTHEWS. The popular sweetheart of English musicals, in her final featured film role. Even though Jessie performs one delightful song-and-dance number, this one is not a musical: the accent is on mystery, intrigue and suspense (all decidedly tongue-in-cheek). A wealthy, much-hated old man, about to reveal his new will, is murdered, and an odd assortment of greedy relatives and servants are all likely suspects. The heir to the entire fortune turns out to be a distant niece (Jessie)-an amateur music-hall performer who hardly knew the deceased. His will stipulates that she remain in the mansion for at least one month, otherwise the money will go to the “nearest relative.” Easier said than done: her new residence is of the usual haunted-house variety, complete with malevolent housekeeper, eerie candlelight, ominous shadows and spooky noises. Its also crawling with would-be ‘nearest relatives,” some of whom want to do the poor girl in, others merely to marry her for her money. The movie has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, including dream sequences filled with bizarre angles and special effects, and plot twists that will keep you guessing up to the very end. Turn off the lights, get out the candles, and settle back for a frighteningly enjoyable time. 84 minutes. Crime Mystery Suspense