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Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917) HD online

Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Mystery / Thriller
Original Title: Seven Keys to Baldpate
Director: Hugh Ford
Writers: Earl Derr Biggers,George M. Cohan
Released: 1917
Duration: 1h 5min
Video type: Movie
A writer bets a friend that he can write a 10,000-word novel in 24 hours. The friends takes the bet, and gives him the keys to his Baldpate Inn, which has been closed for the winter, so he can write in complete seclusion. Things start heating up, though, when a succession of people who also have keys to the inn begin showing up.
Cast overview:
George M. Cohan George M. Cohan - George Washington Magee
Anna Q. Nilsson Anna Q. Nilsson - Mary Norton
Hedda Hopper Hedda Hopper - Myra Thornhill (as Elda Furry)
Corene Uzzell Corene Uzzell - Mrs. Rhodes
Joseph W. Smiley Joseph W. Smiley - Mayor Cargan
Armand Cortes Armand Cortes - Lou Max
Warren Cook Warren Cook - Thomas Hayden (as C. Warren Cook)
Purnell Pratt Purnell Pratt - John Bland
Frank Losee Frank Losee - Hall Bentley
Eric Hudson Eric Hudson - Peter the Hermit
Carleton Macy Carleton Macy - Police Chief Kennedy
Paul Everton Paul Everton - Langdon
Russell Bassett Russell Bassett - Quimby
Robert Dudley Robert Dudley - Clerk

Film debut of George M. Cohan.

George M. Cohan's play opened on Broadway in New York at the Astor Theater on September 22nd, 1913 and ran for 320 performances.

Reviews: [4]

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    Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917)

    *** (out of 4)

    George Washington Magee (George M. Cohan) has another hit book on his hands but the critics aren't as kind as they feel he's wasting his talents by writing for the lowest forms of people. Magee makes a bet with his friend that he can write a great novel in a twenty- four hour period and agrees to stay at the isolated Baldpate Hotel where soon murder occurs.

    SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE was a smash on Broadway so it was only natural that Cohan would take his talents to the movie screen. This adaptation of his play is certainly a very entertaining movie and it remains worth watching today because of you getting a chance to see Cohan in action. Most people think of James Cagney and YANKEE DOODLE DANDY when they think of Cohan today but he's a chance to see the real man in action.

    The film is actually very well-made and especially when you consider when it was made. The cinematography is extremely good and I'd argue that the performances were as well. The story itself gets lost on you a time or two but this probably wasn't a problem back when the film was made as I'm sure most people were already familiar with it. As far as Cohan goes, I thought he gave a strong performance here and it's really too bad he didn't do more movies.
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    Trash Obsession

    Even for a long-time crime and mystery fan who thinks he's seen about everything, this movie certainly is absolutely STUNNING! It's the second of five adaptations altogether of the famous and marvelous book by Earl Derr Biggers (the creator of one of the most beloved fictional detectives of all times, 'Charlie Chan') - and, considering the time it was made - back in 1917! - it's really a MARVEL, one of the greatest gems of 1910s' Hollywood movies, and certainly one of the VERY first crime feature movies; and it manages JUST fine to explain all the complicated plot which is typical for Biggers' novels in a way that we can all keep pace with the pretty sudden and astonishing developments!

    Another GREAT issue about this adaptation of "Seven Keys to Baldpate" is, of course, its star: the great Broadway 'alround genius' George M. Cohan, who was a director, producer, songwriter, scriptwriter - and a first-class actor as well! The cool way he handles all the 'surprises' that await him in that supposedly secluded place called Baldpate, where he's trying to find peace and quiet in order to write a novel in only 24 hours after a bet he made, and to which virtually everybody seems to have an entrance key, is just hilariously funny, and his acting style is wonderfully natural and quite modern for the time.

    And yet another feature that makes this movie quite special: in the year 1917, we meet a FEMALE reporter there - most certainly one of the VERY earliest 'specimen' of her kind in movies!! Generally, "Seven Keys to Baldpate" is so incredibly innovative, wonderfully entertaining, and remains ageless and timeless and fresh until this day, that I wonder why it isn't ranked higher among the GREAT classics of the VERY early era of Hollywood movies...
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    Although robbed of his voice, it's easy to see why George M. Cohan was regarded as the king of Broadway. He knows all the tricks of the acting trade and exploits them magnificently here from the moment he first strides into view, his back to the camera, and then makes a triumphant tour towards center stage, receiving the plaudits of dozens of stylishly dressed extras along the way. From this spectacular entrance to the final curtain—which he has all to himself—the charismatic Cohan never puts a foot wrong. We love his mannerisms, the way he smooths his hair, his cocky stance, his aggressive, hands-on-hips demeanor.

    James Cagney aped Cohan's acting style to a good degree in Yankee Doodle Dandy, but he forgot one very important characteristic. Cohan might be pushy, he might be ruthlessly self-centered, but he backs his self-esteem up with loads of charm. Can you imagine a charming Cagney? No! Cagney is all bluster, but no charm. No wonder Cohan was unimpressed with Cagney's performance. He left out the most telling ingredient of Cohan's unparalleled success.

    Because he is so ingratiating, the audience is rooting for Cohan right from the start of this celebrated mystery comedy. True, there are no belly laughs in the play and the intriguingly atmospheric mystery elements often tend to overwhelm the quiet humor of the central situation, but cleverly (if somewhat outrageously) they never wholly succeed.

    A great support cast led by the lovely Anna Q. Nilsson and a dazzling Hedda Hopper help maintain the pace. Eric Hudson, in his second of only three movie appearances (he died in 1918), also deserves a special pat on the back.

    The movie is well-produced and most capably staged, although some critics might argue that the director tends to overdo all the lightning changes in tinted stock. But I found these atmospheric ploys not only novel but most effective.
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    "Seven Keys to Baldpate" is an important film for two big reasons. First, it's one of the very few films in which George M. Cohan, the legendary Broadway performer, appeared in during his very brief film career. This role was created by Cohan for the 1913 play of the same it's fitting he stars in it. Second, for a 1917 film, it's amazingly good...with nice sets and acting. The exaggerated acting you see in some silents is mostly missing and the film looks far better than most of the films of the 1910s.

    The film is about a strange proposition. A very prolific writer, George Washington Magee (Cohan), is bet he cannot write an entire book in 24 hours. So, to make it easier, Magee heads to the small town of Baldpate to work on his book in the peace and quiet. Oddly, however, there is anything but peace and quite--and one crazy character after another come into the place where he's staying an Magee is pulled into a world of intrigue instead of working on his book.

    The film is free to download from and it's worth it. A well made film that might seem a bit old fashioned today, but it's quite engaging.