The Ninth Guest

Eight strangers are invited by a mysterious unknown host to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. The eight (5 men, 3 women) are wined, dined, then greeted by their host's voice via a radio broadcast. The voice announces that before the night is over each one will be systematically murdered unless they manage to outwit their ninth guest Death. Based on the mystery novel The Invisible Host (1930) by husband-wife team of Gwen Bristow & Bruce Manning. Directed by Roy William Neill. 1934 Columbia Pictures, 67 minutes.

The Invisibe Host is a 1930 mystery/thriller novel written by the husband-wife team of Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning. It was published by The Mystery League, Inc. Though little remembered today, it did well enough in its own time for Hollywood to adapt it into a feature film, 1934's The Ninth Guest (which name would also be utilized for subsequent editions of the book). It could be considered an example of the "old dark house" type of Thriller (genre).
Some have noted that Agatha Christie's much more famous tale, 1939's Ten Little Indians (novel), bears striking similarities to this novel. Predating Christie's text by almost a decade, The Invisible Host tells the story of eight people who are summoned to a deserted, well-appointed New Orleans penthouse by an anonymous invitation. Once there the guests, who are all known to each other, are served a fabulous dinner. But soon thereafter, they are accused by a voice over the radio that they are all going to die before the night is out. The unseen host has meticulously prepared the demise of each guest, and has booby-trapped the penthouse to prevent anyone from escaping. As they steadily succumb to the murderer's devices, some begin to suspect that the killer may be one of them.

Category:American mystery novels
Category:American thriller novels
Category:1930 novels
Category:Novels set in New Orleans, Louisiana
Category:American novels adapted into films


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