A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »
Rowland V. Lee
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 <email@example.com>
Present extant version, as presented on Turner Classic Movies, bears title and end credits redesigned for the 1955 wide screen re-release. 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 »
I must agree with the other posts on this site, Karloff is excellent here. In fact, this is just about the best example of his acting skill I've come across. In this film, he is not just a generic Halloween ghoul, but shows a very nice range of characterization, as he plays twin brothers who are polar opposites. The film is beautiful to look at, and well paced and plotted. Even if you see the ironic ending coming at you a mile and a half away, it's still fun to anticipate it.
Incidentally, is it just me, or does the loud brass fanfare that occurs in the title sequence, and throughout the film at dramatic moments, sound like part of the song "Come Rain or Come Shine" ("days may be cloudy or sunny...")? I just found it a bit distracting to suddenly picture Judy Garland in my mind at all the most tense and dramatic moments of the story.
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