First of all, my thanks for Grapevine Video, about the only available source for Raymond Griffith's films, for making these films available to current audiences. Check them out at www.grapevinevideo.com for many obscure titles that have been overlooked by others and have slid into the public domain...this particular DVD release is from a very good master print.
"If you want to laugh one minute and gasp the next - see Raymond Griffith in You'd Be Surprised, which comes here next week. It is undoubtedly Griffith's best picture since his Paths to Paradise. As a "Sherlock Holmes" Ray goes through mental gymnastics in the untangling of a murder mystery which would do credit to any sleuth.
"It's hard to say which the picture contains more of -- laughs or thrills. Griffith, a coroner, tries to discover who killed the district attorney. Instead of solving the mystery he finds himself in the center of a dozen others, and also discovers that he has fallen in love with a girl whom everyone suspects as the criminal.
"The picture's ending will have to remain a mystery because Mr. Griffith has asked those who see the picture to refrain from telling their friends the real murderer's identity.
"Dorothy Sebastian, playing opposite Ray, makes a lovely foil for his emotions. Earl Williams enacts the deputy district attorney, and Edward Martindel, the attorney. Arthur Rosson, the director of Wet Paint, was again at the helm.
Some of the deaf mute scenes in You'd Be Surprised are among the funniest ever filmed."
Besides referring to Raymond Griffith as "Ray," this promotional piece shows some disconnect with the actual production - Martindel plays the houseboat millionaire, not a district attorney, nor is there a deputy district attorney character in the film. Perhaps the publicity was early in production, before the plotlines were completely worked out.
Paths to Paradise is available from Grapevine, but with a missing final reel (the film seems to end abruptly, but the general narrative is still understandable); Wet Paint seems to be among the legion of "lost films."
For more information about Raymond Griffith, a good place to start is the 1975 book by Walter Kerr, The Silent Clowns in the chapter (#31 in the series!) entitled The Unexpected Raymond Griffith. Griffith's career didn't survive into the sound era due to damaged vocal chords that didn't permit him to speak above a whisper. His last role before the camera was as the dying soldier sharing a foxhole with Lew Ayres in the 1930 film All Quiet on the Western Front. He produced comedies through 1940, even serving (uncredited) as an electrician on The Wizard of Oz (!!!).
In addition to You'd Be Surprised, other films that remain available with Griffith also include Hands Up! and Paths to Paradise, where he stars, and White Tiger, Changing Husbands, and Miss Bluebeard, where he appears in secondary roles (all from Grapevine Video).