A B-Movie all the way, often playing second bill to “The Ghost of Frankenstein,” seldom was it offered a display ad, most of the time a simple text listing in the local paper. Roget was directed by Phil Rosen (a successful silent director, his work in sound was confined to B-Films and less; he was responsible for numerous installments of the Charlie Chan series), Michael Jacoby (his claim to fame was the story and script for “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” 1936, based on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem) wrote the screenplay based on Edgar Allan Poe’s story of the same name and Elwood “Woody” Bredell (by the way Bredell also provided the photography for “The Ghost of Frankenstein,” 1942, as well as for the perennial Best-Of-Film-Noir entry: “The Killers,” 1946 ) was the cinematographer. Roget starred Patric Knowles (Of Human Bondage, 1946, Band of Angels, 1957, From the Earth to the Moon, 1958) and Maria Montez (Arabian Nights, 1942, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Cobra Woman, 1944) with a nice supporting cast, which included: John Litel (The Life of Emile Zola 1937, Jezebel, 1938, The Sons of Katie Elder, 1965, he is best know for his work in the Nancy Drew and Henry Aldrich series), Frank Reicher (King Kong and Son of Kong, 1933, Stage Door, 1937), Charles Middleton (Duck Soup, 1933, The Grapes of Wrath and of course his immortal turn as Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, both in 1940), and Maria Ouspenskaya (usually 5th-bill or lower, but nearly a 1/3 of her 25 film appearances were in classic or near classic movies, including: Dodsworth, 1936, Love Affair, 1939, Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet and Waterloo Bridge, 1940 and Kings Row, 1942).
Mostly, The Mystery of Marie Roget received few reviews but I did select Bosley Crowther’s of the New York Times, who had nothing positive to say about Roget: “… the conclusive fact of the matter is that this is a dreary, aimless film, devoid of logic or excitement or even a shadow of suspense.” Roget is available on DVD.
By C. S. Williams