Robert Miles is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidentally is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his ... See full summary »
Honeymooning in Hungary, Joan and Peter Allison share their train compartment with Dr. Vitus Verdegast, a courtly but tragic man who is returning to the remains of the town he defended before becoming a prisoner of war for fifteen years. When their hotel-bound bus crashes in a mountain storm and Joan is injured, the travellers seek refuge in the home, built fortress-like upon the site of a bloody battlefield, of famed architect Hjalmar Poelzig. There, cat-phobic Verdegast learns his wife's fate, grieves for his lost daughter, and must play a game of chess for Allison's life. Written by
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Director Edgar G. Ulmer, when writing this film, loosely based the villain Hjalmar Poelzig, played by Boris Karloff, on director Fritz Lang. Ulmer knew Lang from the German-Austrian film scene and, though he was a huge admirer of Lang's films, felt Lang to be a sadist as a director. See more »
One of the women in Poelzig's glass coffins visibly moves while he is admiring her. See more »
[looking over Joan's passport]
Mr. and Mrs. Alison, Car 96, Compartment F. Orient Express, Budapest, Visegrad.
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I can't imaging how this movie would have been without both Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, probably very very bad. The chemistry between the two is amazing.
This is one of those movies in which the story absolutely doesn't matter. The story is totally absurd and very simple (The black cat storyline has absolutely nothing to do with the movie and serves no purpose at all) but yet that is what maybe makes this movie extremely fun and easy to watch.
Watching this movie made me realize something; Bela Lugosi actually was a very good actor that was ahead of his time. The way he delivers his lines and his eye for details shows that acting was a great passion for him. Yes I think I can now be considered one of his fans.
Another great thing were the sets that were wonderful and even now 70 years later they still look very modern.
Don't expect a movie with ghouls and monsters, it rather is more fun to watch then it is scary and the Lugosi/Karloff combination is what makes this movie a real classic.
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