When Roger Balfour is found shot dead in his London home, his death is declared a suicide by Inspector Burke of Scotland Yard, even though the executor of Balfour's estate, Sir James Hamlin, insists his friend never would have taken his own life. Five years later, the abandoned Balfour house comes to life again with the arrival of two sinister-looking tenants: a fiendish-looking man with pointed teeth, bulging eyes and a tall beaver hat, and a pale young woman in a long gown. The presence of the strangers prompts Sir James, who lives next door, to call in Inspector Burke again. Also living in the Hamlin household are the other people who were also present in Balfour's house the night he died: Sir James' nephew, Arthur Hibbs; the late Balfour's now-grown daughter, Lucille; and Williams, the butler. Burke expresses skepticism about Sir James' suspicions that the new neighbors might have been involved in Balfour's death, until strange things start happening: Balfour's body disappears ... Written by
Eugene Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
_London After Midnight_ was Lon Chaney's first and only foray into the vampire subgenre. Directed by longtime collaborator Tod Browning (of _Dracula_ and _Freaks_ fame), _London_ featured a twist ending which many contemporary viewers found unsatisfying.
Unfortunately, it is impossible for modern-day viewers to effectively judge the film as there is not a print known to exist. What we do know about the film comes from its plethora of publicity stills (which have been reconstructed into a filmbook by Philip J. Riley), Browning's remake, _Mark of the Vampire_ (which is allegedly a shot-by-shot imitation), and the recollections of those who saw the film decades ago, like the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman.
The general consensus is that, though Chaney's makeup is typically excellent, the film was only mediocre and its lost status is no great blow to film history. That being said, it is certain that the rediscovery of this film would send hundred of movie buffs into an absolute frenzy. As the IMDB says, "Check your attic!"
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