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The House of Secrets

The House of Secrets(1936)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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American adventurer Barry Wilding saves a mysterious blonde from an attacker while on board a ship crossing the English Channel. Later, in London, Barry is determined to find the woman and marry her. Meanwhile, Barry's friend, detective Tom Starr, is in London in search of a Chicago killer. Barry learns from a solicitor named Coventry that he has inherited Hawks Nest, an estate near Farrington, fifteen miles outside London. Barry must agree never to sell the property, in accordance with a writ that has been signed in blood by generations of Barry's ancestors. When Barry visits the property, he is forced off at gunpoint as the mysterious blonde watches. Coventry receives an anonymous offer to buy the estate at a good price, and he advises Barry to sell it and leave England immediately. Dr. Kenmore, the man who forced Barry off the property, then calls Home Secretary Sir Bertram Evans, who had promised Kenmore that Hawks Nest would remain empty. The blonde finally visits Barry and reveals herself as Kenmore's daughter Julie. She admits she is living at Hawks Nest with her father, but refuses to divulge their reasons for being there. Barry allows them to stay at the house for six more months. In the meantime, Barry takes a room at the nearby Swan Inn, where he hears rumors that Hawks Nest is haunted. When Coventry tells Evans, the anonymous buyer, that Barry has refused to sell, Evans calls his friend, Commissioner Cross, who is the head of Scotland Yard, asking him to get rid of Barry. When Barry visits the mansion at night, he is attacked by a pair of intruders. After Barry knocks out one of the men, and the other one flees, he notices that the unconscious man has only three fingers on one of his hands. As Kenmore arrives on the scene, Barry hears a chilling laugh, then hears Julie scream. She warns Barry to leave, lest her father kill him. The intruder, meanwhile, has revived and fled. Later, Evans visits Kenmore, and as Barry listens outside, a man attacks Julie, and Barry enters the house to save her. Kenmore and his aide quickly sedate the attacker, whom Kenmore claims is his brother, whom he is treating for a neurological disease. Outside, the intruder, who is a thief named Dan, knocks out Barry. Later, Coventry sends Barry half of an ancient parchment written in old English, which alludes to a treasure. The parchment is signed by Barry's ancestor, John Trevanian, who was a pirate and built Hawks Nest. Dan, meanwhile, reveals to his henchmen, Jumpy and Ed, the reason why they have been stalking Hawks Nest: Dan has the other half of the parchment and is after the treasure. Tom visits Cross on behalf of Barry, but Cross, too, is evasive about Evans' connection with the strange happenings at the house and warns Tom against meddling in the case. Early in the morning, Julie is awakened and sees Dan and his men opening a secret door. The men grab Julie and tie her up at the bottom of the hidden staircase. Barry enters and rescues Julie, but drops his wallet, which contains the other half of the parchment. Dan and his men abscond with the parchment and escape through an underground tunnel. The next day, Kenmore's assistant, Gregory, invites Barry into Hawks Nest, but when he enters, two policemen grab him and lock him up upstairs. Barry escapes while the crazed man is brought before Evans to see if he recognizes him; the man only laughs, however. Meanwhile, Barry and Tom realize that the intruder is "Three-Fingered Dan" Wharton, the Chicago killer. Dan had a connection with a book collector, which explains why he had the parchment. When Tom visits Julie, she tells him she received a threatening note from Barry, but Tom explains that the note was probably from the thief, Dan, and agrees to stay at the house that night, without Kenmore's knowledge. Cross and Evans are also at the house, and that night, Dan and his men tie up all the guests in the basement and release poisonous gas while they dig for the treasure. Barry arrives and, holding the thieves at gunpoint, removes the cryptogram from Dan's pocket. Barry is unable to save the prisoners until the crazed man arrives and informs him that an antidote to the gas is in an adjacent tank. Barry shoots at the tank and emits the antidote gas, saving the prisoners. Barry finally learns that the crazed man is inventor Hector Munson, a friend of Evans, who killed his assistant. Cross and Evans believe that Munson had been momentarily insane due to work stress when he did the killing. Munson had been working on the formula for a revolutionary gas that would instantly counteract any poison gas manufactured the world over. Following Munson's indictment, Cross and Evans arranged for his release from prison. Dr. Kenmore, the world's foremost authority on mental illness, had helped Munson recover from his madness, although he still suffered from brief periods of insanity. Meanwhile, Munson was completing his work on the revolutionary gas. Later, Tom has Dan returned to Sing Sing prison in New York. Julie and Barry, reading the completed cryptogram, find the treasure box, which is filled with jewels. She asks him what he is going to do with his treasure, and he says he is going to marry her.