MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 35,623 this week

The Terror (1928)

6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 13 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

Guests at an old English manor house are stalked by a mysterious killer known only as 'The Terror.'

Director:

Writers:

, (titles), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 224 titles
created 07 Nov 2011
 
a list of 16 titles
created 31 Mar 2012
 
a list of 1152 titles
created 11 months ago
 
list image
a list of 97 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Terror" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Terror (1928)

The Terror (1928) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Terror.
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Olga Redmayne
...
Mrs. Elvery
...
Alec B. Francis ...
Matthew Betz ...
Holmes Herbert ...
Goodman (as Holmes E. Herbert)
Otto Hoffman ...
Joseph W. Girard ...
Supt. Hallick (as Joseph Gerard)
John Miljan ...
Alfred Katman
Frank Austin ...
Cotton
Edit

Storyline

Guests at an old English manor house are stalked by a mysterious killer known only as 'The Terror.'

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A TALKING PICTURE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Horror

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 September 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Schrecken von Piccadilly  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reels #2721-2729 See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are spoken by a caped and masked Conrad Nagel See more »

Connections

Version of The Sinister Monk (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Creaky talkie: squeaky, squawky
1 October 2002 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

"The Terror", one of the very first all-talking pictures, was released without a film soundtrack. The dialogue and sound effects were recorded on a separate Vitaphone disc (a large 33.3rpm phonograph record). The cinema projectionist was supposed to start playing the record and the first reel of the (silent) film at the same time, hoping that the sound and the image stayed in synch through the successive reels.

I saw this movie in difficult circumstances. In the 1980s, I tracked down a copy of the Vitaphone disc (the sound without the images) in a film archive, and I was able to play back the disc with no expectation of ever seeing the> movie itself. About twenty years later, I located an incomplete nitrate print of the film (the images without the sound) in the possession of a private collector, who permitted me to screen it on a hand-cranked Movieola. So, I heard this film about 20 years before I saw it. Fortunately, I took notes when I audited the sound disc (and I'm familiar with the source material), so I've got a halfway-decent idea of how the sounds and the images would go together. Also, I've seen the 1938 remake, filmed in England... which is, frankly, a much better movie than this version.

"The Terror" was originally a stage play by the prolific English author Edgar Wallace. It's a spooky-old-house thriller, of the sort that was so popular in the 1920s. ("The Bat", "The Cat and the Canary", "The Gorilla", "The Last Warning", etc.) This Hollywood version retains the British references of the original play, but (confusingly) features a primarily American cast, most of whom make no attempt to impersonate English characters.

The Terror is a mysterious criminal who has committed many murders and thefts, always escaping: his true identity is unknown. Rumour has it that the Terror has been skulking in the vicinity of an old house, currently tenanted by Doctor Redmayne. As so often happens in this sort of play, Redmayne has summoned a motley collection of guests. Among them are Mrs Elvery (a self-described psychic) and Ferdy Fayne, an accident-prone simpleton. Also present are Joe and Soapy, a couple of convicts temporarily released from prison to help trap the Terror ... and Superintendent Hallick of Scotland Yard, who's here to keep an eye on Joe and Soapy. Obviously, SOMEONE present is the Terror in disguise ... ah, but who?

The actors who play the two criminals (Matthew Betz and Otto Hoffman) are excellent, although Hoffman has a suspiciously stage-trained voice for a guy who's playing a career criminal. Handsome John Miljan is good in a small role. SPOILERS COMING. Edward Everett Horton, as Ferdy Fayne, is excellent in a role that departs significantly from Horton's usual nervous-nelly routine. Fayne is rather dim-witted, until late in the film when Horton reveals that he's actually a detective working undercover to catch the Terror. At this point, a total change comes over Edward Everett Horton, and he suddenly becomes resolute and intelligent. I wish that Horton's long film career had given him more opportunities to play forthright roles like this.

The worst performance is given by the film's leading lady, May McAvoy, a silent-film ingenue whose voice was too weak for talkies. McAvoy swallows her words, mumbles, stammers, and lisps. She's very pretty, but her voice is terrible. As the damsel in distress, McAvoy has to scream several times in this film: the camera always cuts away from her at these moments, and the full-throated screams which result are clearly supplied by some other actress serving as a voice-double: the screams are much louder and clearer than any of the dialogue that McAvoy speaks in this film. There are some very unconvincing sound effects at inopportune moments.

To make this film "officially" a talkie, the credits are spoken by Conrad Nagel, appearing on screen in an opera cape and domino mask. Roy Del Ruth is an underrated director, but his work here is below his usual standard, probably due to the technical requirements: the camera barely moves, and there are long sequences without a cut.

"The Terror" is a stagebound story that should have remained on the stage. This film is interesting as a creaky curiosity, but its entertainment value is negligible. I'll rate it 2 points out of 10.


22 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
ad image mmtoucan
Discuss The Terror (1928) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?