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The Unholy Night (1929)

Passed | | Mystery, Thriller | 14 September 1929 (USA)
On a dark foggy London night, someone tries to strangle Lord Montague, but he escapes. Only to discover the four other men who did get killed were old regimental comrades in Gallipoli. When... See full summary »



(story), (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Ballou
Lady Efra Cavendar
Lady Violet Montague
Sydney Jarvis ...
The Butler
Frey - Lord Montague's Orderly
Sôjin Kamiyama ...
The Mystic (as Sojin)
Claude Fleming ...
Inspector Lewis (as Clarence Geldert)
Major Mallory
Col. Davidson
Capt. Dorchester
Philip Strange ...
Lieut. Williams
Lieut. Savor


On a dark foggy London night, someone tries to strangle Lord Montague, but he escapes. Only to discover the four other men who did get killed were old regimental comrades in Gallipoli. When Scotland Yard gets Monty to gather the other nine surviving officers at his home, one of them is murdered, and no one else has entered the house. Now, they must determine who the murderer is. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All Talking Thrilling Mystery Marvel See more »


Mystery | Thriller






Release Date:

14 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El espectro verde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Phoenix Saturday 2 March 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), followed by Minneapolis Saturday 23 March 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); in New York City it first aired Monday 18 November 1957 on the Late, Late Show on WCBS (Channel 2); it afterwards was taken out of the vault in Norfalk VA 12 December 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Honolulu 28 December 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Hartford CT 7 January 1958 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Salt Lake City 3 April 1958 KTVT (Channel 4) and in Green Bay WI 25 August 1958 on WFRV (Channel 5). Because of its age and obscurity, local television broadcasts were sparse and usually limited to the less predominant locales because of major market sponsor resistance. Today, it's occasionally resurrected on Turner Classic Movies much to the delight of vintage film fans. See more »


Lord 'Monte' Montague: It was rather difficult navigating in the fog, you see. I remember thinking at the time that it was as thick as my creditors used to be before my uncle died... Yes. You know, I never began to live until my uncle died.
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Crazy Credits

[preface] The amazing revelations pictured here are compiled from one the most sensational murder cases on police record. The rare psychosis of the crime and the method of its exposure are stranger than fiction.....because they are true! See more »


Alternate-language version of Le spectre vert (1930) See more »


There's a Long, Long Trail
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Zo Elliott
Lyrics by Stoddard King
Sung a cappella by the men of the regiment offscreen
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User Reviews

Throughout the film, most of the actors took turns overacting--sort of like some sort of actors' game!
18 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

The film begins with five people being killed and one other (Young) almost being killed. The police soon find out that ALL were members of the same unit in Gallipoli during WWI--so obviously this is no coincidence. The police arrange for the surviving members to all meet at the home of the guy who was almost killed--then they can determine if any of them are behind this. However, soon one of these guests dies and a weirdo foreign lawyer (Karloff) comes in and announces that a disgraced member of the unit has most likely orchestrated the killing. While this guy didn't do the killings since he's supposedly dead, his bizarre will did. He's left a million bucks to the surviving member of the unit--and assumes they'll all kill each other to get it! And, if this doesn't get the men killing, he's left the other half to a pretty lady, as he apparently hopes the woman will also come between the men and give them incentive to kill! Perhaps that is why the killings have occurred. What's next? See the film...or don't bother if you haven't got a lot of patience!

I will cut "The Unholy Night" some slack. After all, it's an early talking picture, so you have to expect that the acting style isn't going to be great. Overacting is inevitable to some degree--but this film goes WAY beyond other 1928-29 productions! This is because it's like a tag-team film--where actors keep taking turns over-acting! The worst of these is probably Boris Karloff and a few, such as Roland Young, who actually were pretty restrained. But overall, it's incredibly dated and despite a neat plot idea, the film is only for old movie buffs who are not overly critical and who have realistic expectations!

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