Prophecy has it that younger twin Anton will kill brother Gregor in the castle's Black Room. Anton returns to the castle after a 10 year hiatus. Gregor, a Baron, has many attempts on his life as his subjects detest his tyranny. However, good natured Anton earns the subjects' respect, and the admiration of Col.Hassel, uncle of the beautiful Thea. When Gregor kills young servant Mashka, his subjects storm the castle to remove him. Devious Gregor renounces his title in favour of brother Anton to appease them. He then kills Anton to assume his identity and the Baronship again. He is free to pursue Thea with Col.Hassel's blessing. When Col.Hassel discovers Gregor's impersonation, he also meets death. With Thea's true love, Lt. Lussan, wrongfully convicted of Hassel's murder, it appears nothing can stop evil Gregor from ambushing her into marriage. But what of that prophecy? Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Karloff's performance was voted runner-up to the best performance for the month of August, 1935 by the Screen Actors' Guild. Henry Fonda in "The Farmer takes a wife" and Will Rogers in "Steamboat 'Round the bend" tied for the top award. See more »
The film is set in the early 1800s, yet a statue of St. Therese of Lisieux (Therese Martin) is prominently displayed in the castle three times (at 17:26, 40:09, and 47:08). Therese Martin was not born until 1873. Furthermore, no statue of St. Therese was made or displayed until after she was canonized, in 1925. See more »
The Black Room: 7 out of 10: In the Tim Burton film "Ed Wood" Martin Landau's Bela Lugosi complains about his rival Boris Karloff continuing to work even though he played Frankenstein which required only grunting under heavy make-up as opposed to accented seductive Dracula.
Well I hate to point this out to a long dead actor but Karloff can really act. The Black Room is a tour de force performance.
Karloff plays three roles (two twins and one twin pretending to be the other) and manages to give them such a distinctive nuanced performances I squinted at the screen to make sure it really was the same actor in the roles.
The story itself is quite a good set-up. With one brother a devilish tyrant with a taste for village girls and the other a slightly fey traveler with a birth defect. Hanging over their head is a family curse that states one brother will kill the other in the titular Black Room.
There are twists and turns and as many reviews have pointed out this is more a costume drama/mystery than straight horror film. The supporting cast is competent and the sets are well done but this is Karloff's show and he runs away with it.
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