Starring Ida Lupino, Les Crane, David Hartman, Hagan Beggs, Jack Weston, Don Knotts,
Directed by Leslie Stevens
Runtime: 120 min.
Print quality: B
I Love a Mystery was a campy TV revival of Phillips Lord's old radio series. The three
adventure-loving heroes are Jack, Doc and Reggie (Les Crane, David Hartman and Hagan
Beggs), insurance investigators hired to tackle a mystery at a remote island mansion. Ida
Lupino plays a domineering matriarch whose billionaire husband is missing, and who
seems to know more than she's letting on. The mystery's ingredients include the eerie
nocturnal sound of a crying baby and a series of related murders and kidnappings. The
heroes are occasionally distracted from their work by Lupino's nubile daughters Faith, Hope
and Charity (Karen Jensen, Deanna Lund and Melodie Johnson). The script for I Love a
Mystery was based on Philips Lord's classic radio serial "The Thing That Cries in the Night,"
but there's nothing classic or even remotely entertaining about the derisive, patronizing
treatment of the source material herein. This made-for-TV "busted pilot" gathered dust for
seven years before its 1973 premiere, and not without just cause. A further note: Though
Don Knotts is advertised as one of the "stars," he shows up to sputter one miserable line at
the end of the film!