Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug and The Tell-Tale Heart were updated and woven together into a single narrative in the ultra-cheap adventure yarn Manfish.
John Bromfield, Lon Chaney Jr. and Victor Jory head the cast as three fortune hunters, combing the West Indies in search of buried treasure.
The heavy of the piece is Jory, who murders Bromfield, weighs down the body and throws it overboard, with consequences not unlike those suffered by Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart protagonist. Poor, simple-minded Chaney ends up coming out the winner, if only by default.
The feminine angle is handled by Barbara Nichols (bad, brassy blonde) and Tessa Pendergast (good, dark-skinned native lass).
Because of a handful of West Indian song interludes, Manfish was re-realeased as Calypso, in hopes of cashing in on the then-popular musical craze. +