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White Zombie (1932)

Passed  |   |  Horror  |  4 August 1932 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 6,234 users  
Reviews: 143 user | 100 critic

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.

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Writers:

(story), (dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Madeline Short Parker
Joseph Cawthorn ...
Dr. Bruner
Robert Frazer ...
Charles Beaumont
John Harron ...
Neil Parker
Brandon Hurst ...
Silver
George Burr Macannan ...
Von Gelder - Zombie (as George Burr MacAnnan)
Frederick Peters ...
Chauvin - Zombie
Annette Stone ...
Maid
John Printz ...
Ledot - Zombie
Dan Crimmins ...
Pierre - Witch Doctor
Claude Morgan ...
Zombie
John Fergusson ...
Zombie
Velma Gresham ...
Tall Maid
Edit

Storyline

Young couple Madeleine and Neil are coaxed by acquaintance Monsieur Beaumont to get married on his Haitian plantation. Beaumont's motives are purely selfish as he makes every attempt to convince the beautiful young girl to run away with him. For help Beaumont turns to the devious Legendre, a man who runs his mill by mind controlling people he has turned into zombies. After Beaumont uses Legendre's zombie potion on Madeleine, he is dissatisfied with her emotionless being and wants her to be changed back. Legendre has no intention of doing this and he drugs Beaumont as well to add to his zombie collection. Meanwhile, grieving 'widower' Neil is convinced by a local priest that Madeleine may still be alive and he seeks her out. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Stranger things are happening than you ever dreamed of! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A fehér zombi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Roan restoration) | (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was shot in only eleven days, completed March 1932. See more »

Goofs

When a butler is being thrown into bubbling water by Legendre's zombies, he holds his nose as he goes in, while he is supposed to be paralyzed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Neil Parker: Looks like a burial.
Madeline: In the road?
See more »

Crazy Credits

A huge percentage of this film's credited crew have their names simply listed under the heading "Art and Technical" with no further identification of job. See more »

Connections

Featured in 'Weird Al' Yankovic: The Videos (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Ill at Ease
(uncredited)
Music by H. Maurice Jacquet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's all about the atmosphere in this one!
29 July 2005 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Zombie movies from the '30's and '40's are quite different from the zombie movies most people know from the '70's till present time. In the '30's and '40's, zombies and voodoo kind of rituals always walked hand in hand. As a result of this zombie movies from the '30's and '40's have a certain creepy atmosphere and scary voodoo sound effects.

"White Zombie" is the very first (still excising) zombie movie ever made. The zombies look extremely good and creepy thanks to the charismatic actors that perform them. Don't underestimate this people, acting with just your body and mostly face is also a form of tough acting. I think that it is thanks to the fine casting of the zombies that most of the scene's with them in it, work really well.

Bela Lugosi is totally fantastic as sort of witch doctor and 'king of the zombies'. He plays one scary monsieur. I even tend to say that this is his best villain role he has ever portrayed, yes even better as Count Dracula. Lugosi was always at his best in roles like these and just like in "Dracula" he is once more acting very well with also both his hands and face, especially his typical horror-like-eyes make him one legendary villain. For the Lugosi fans this is an absolute must see!

The story is very intriguing and sad and its told in a beautiful way. Especially the ending was fantastic and actually also quite tense.

Unfortunately time has not been kind on this movie. The movie had been lost for many years until the '60's after acquiring the rights to distribute the movie, the quality was already beyond restoration, so now days we can never watch this movie in its full glory. The movie has the grainy and visual look of movies from the 1920's and at times small chunks of sound and music are missing.

The cinematography is absolutely fantastic and the experimental editing provides some unique and extremely well looking sequences. It reminded me of some of Brian De Palma's early work. There is one unique and brilliant scene that I can't even describe. It features a split screen but the scene is constructed more complex than I make it sound. Really something you have to see for yourself.

OK maybe the beginning of the movie isn't that good and memorable and quite standard and typical for the horror genre in the '30's but the last half hour or so is really unique, excellent, tense and just a shear delight to watch, mainly thanks to Bela Lugosi's his character 'Murder' Legendre (what a brilliant name by the way) and the story in which once more love conquers all.

By the way this is the movie Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi were watching together in the movie "Ed Wood". Most people think that it was a Dracula movie with Lugosi but it in fact is this movie they're watching.

A really unique little forgotten horror masterpiece, that's worth seeing already alone for its movie historical value and Lugosi's fantastic, passioned villain role.

8/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/


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