Henry Aldrich Haunts a House


1h 13m 1943

Film Details

Also Known As
Henry Aldrich Does His Bit
Release Date
Jan 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Clifford Goldsmith.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

When teenager Henry Aldrich refuses to fight bully Whit Bidecker, his friends are convinced that he is a coward. Actually, Henry is under the influence of attractive Elise Towers, whose father, a chemistry teacher, has impressed on her the importance of taking an intellectual approach to problems. During Henry's visit to the Towers' house, however, Elise also accuses him of cowardice and points out her father's bravery in testing on himself an experimental formula that supposedly gives its users triple strength. While holding a test tube filled with the formula, Henry is scared by a bolt of lightning and swallows the contents of the tube. Elise then advises Henry to make note of his reactions and sends him home. On the way, Henry strays into the deserted Kenniston manor, which is reputed to be haunted. Inside Mr. Quid, a teacher, is aiding Mr. Bradley, the high school principal, in making an inventory of the manor's furnishings. While the drugged Henry wanders among the strange objects that fill the manor, Bradley is attacked by a large, mysterious figure in another part of the house. The next morning, when Henry awakens in his own bedroom, he finds a jeweled ring in his hand. He then learns that the famous Kenniston ring has vanished and that Quid has been charged with Bradley's disappearance. Henry's father Sam, the district attorney, is investigating the case. Although he can remember nothing of the previous night's events, Henry is convinced that he did the deed while under the influence of the drug and asks Elise and his friend, Dizzy Stevens, to help him. Elise suggests that the three of them return that night to the manor and gives Henry another dose of the drug. Dizzy and Elise tie a string around Henry before he goes into the house, and when it is cut, they venture inside to investigate. In the meantime, Henry falls through a trapdoor and discovers a mummy in a secret basement. When the mummy opens its eyes, Henry flees the house. Upstairs, confused by the dark, Dizzy and Elise become convinced that Henry is trying to kill them. The next day, Henry confesses to Bradley's murder. The police do not believe him at first, but when he shows them the missing ring, they decide to follow him. Sam and his wife Alice respond to Henry's confession by locking him in his room, but later, Henry remembers the mummy and, suspecting that it might be the missing Bradley, sneaks out of his room. Followed by the police, Henry returns to the manor with Elise and Dizzy, and together they find a secret entrance and the mummy, who is in fact Bradley. Bradley warns them that the manor is being used by a gang of counterfeiters, headed by Whit Bidecker's father, who may attack them at any moment. Realizing that they have been discovered, the counterfeiters try to flee, but are apprehended by the police. After Bradley explains everything and clears Quid, Henry learns that Towers has admitted that his drug has no effect whatsoever.

Film Details

Also Known As
Henry Aldrich Does His Bit
Release Date
Jan 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Clifford Goldsmith.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Henry Aldrich Does His Bit. The film's opening title card reads "The Aldrich Family in Henry Aldrich Haunts a House." Actor William Inman, who was listed in early drafts of the CBCS in the role of "Kid," apparently changed his name to Johnny Michael prior to the film's release. This film marked Joan Mortimer's feature film debut. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index, and see the entry below for Life with Henry.