The Old Dark House (1932)

TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  20 October 1932 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,017 users  
Reviews: 105 user | 59 critic

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when the stumble upon the Femm family estate.



(from the novel by) (as J.B. Priestly) , (screen play), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Black Cat (1934)
Horror | Crime | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

American honeymooners in Hungary are trapped in the home of a Satan- worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
The Raven (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames
The Mummy (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A living mummy stalks the beautiful woman he believes is the reincarnation of his lover.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners
Adventure | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein (goaded by an even madder scientist) builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive
White Zombie (1932)
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiance, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake
Frankenstein (1931)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
The Wolf Man (1941)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr.


Complete credited cast:
Sir William Porterhouse
Gladys (as Lillian Bond)
Horace Femm
Eva Moore ...
Rebecca Femm
Philip Waverton
Margaret Waverton
Elspeth Dudgeon ...
Sir Roderick Femm (as John Dudgeon)
Brember Wills ...
Saul Femm


Seeking shelter from a pounding rainstorm in a remote region of Wales, several travellers are admitted to a gloomy, foreboding mansion belonging to the extremely strange Femm family. Trying to make the best of it, the guests must deal with their sepulchral host, Horace Femm and his obsessive, malevolent sister Rebecca. Things get worse as the brutish manservant Morgan gets drunk, runs amuck and releases the long pent-up brother Saul, a psychotic pyromaniac who gleefully tries to destroy the residence by setting it on fire. Written by Doug Sederberg <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Beware the night!


Comedy | Horror


TV-G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 October 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Casa Sinistra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In a 1988 interview Gloria Stuart recalled that Boris Karloff ran up and down a flight of stairs to achieve the desired effect of being out of breath. She remarked that she would have just acted out-of-breath. See more »


On the back cover of the Kino DVD release, the roles played by Gloria Stuart and Lilian Bond are reversed. See more »


[repeated line]
Horace Femm: Have a potato.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the introductory credits there is a 'producer's note' (but it comes before EVERYTHING, including the studio logo, on the version shown by Turner Classic Movies): 'Karloff, the mad butler in this production, is the same Karloff who created the part of the mechanical monster in "Frankenstein". We explain this to settle all disputes in advance, even though such disputes are a tribute to his great versatility.' See more »


Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »


Oh! Mr. Porter
By George Le Brunn
Improvised on by Melvyn Douglas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Collection of Weirdos
12 October 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

First one carload of normal people who can't go on due to flash flooding stop in a Gothic horror house for food and shelter and then another. Strange doings are happening at the house occupied by the Femm family and their mute servant Morgan.

You can't really say there is any kind of coherent plot to the unfolding events and plot for me is usually the one indispensable part of any film. But in this case I make an exception because obviously Director James Whale was having a little fun with the audience by now used to Universal Studios horror film products. Whale creates a film of dark moods and light banter among the guests who can't quite figure out what's with this family of weirdos.

The Old Dark House marked the American film debut of Charles Laughton and Laughton overacts outrageously as does the whole cast in the role a bluff, overbearing, but essentially good hearted Manchester businessman who's got himself a Sir before his name and is right proud of it. This was also early work for Melvyn Douglas and Raymond Massey as another two of the guests.

Boris Karloff plays the sinister and mute servant Morgan. Karloff had one of the great speaking voices ever in films and interesting that this and his break through role as the Frankenstein monster required no dialog.

The Old Dark House is one great Halloween movie and listen close to the campy dialog that will tickle your funny bone if you don't miss it.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Any more like it? Jpebony123
Where do you get a decent print of this? drzom
Reminds one that horror can be more than teenage angst films fluffymonk
I don't think Eva Moore played Rebecca Femm...... mamamk
Morgan Oldphan
Faithful adaptation 16mmRay
Discuss The Old Dark House (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: