Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »
Noble-born cad Dennis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), an evil madman who can't get over the death of his beloved, ... See full summary »
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>
Present extant version, as presented on Turner Classic Movies, bears title and end credits redesigned for the 1955 wide screen re-release. See more »
When Col. Hassell arrives at the inn to meet Anton near the beginning, there is no glass on the carriage window when the carriage arrives at the inn. There is also no sign of broken glass when the carriage arrives at the castle, but a shot is fired through the carriage's glass window en route. See more »
Col. Paul Hassel:
Your attack is weak as your brother Gregor's was brilliant. Chess, by the way, was the only virtue I ever discovered in him.
Baron Gregor de Bergmann:
I received a letter today from him from Warsaw. Most of it was devoted to begging me to send his love to you, Colonel.
Col. Paul Hassel:
His love to me? Well, if I have to accept it, I'd rather have it by post than any way I can think of.
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The Black Room is a great movie. The sets are poor, it lacks the grandeur necessary for a period movie, it obviously had an incredibly low budget, even the premise is poor (though the script had a good twist), mostly Z-grade material, and if that weren't enough, the acting by Karloff's colleagues is abysmal. However Boris Karloff is GREAT in this, I have seen many of his films, which range in quality quite staggeringly, my favourites being the Tourneur movies (least favourite the mad doctors), however in this film his acting is EXTRAORDINARY.
In what is perhaps his greatest performance he plays twin brothers Anton and Gregor so incredibly convincingly. One is an innocent sensitive fop, the other an evil sociopath, what range, what awesome acting! Somehow he seems to make both of them endearing! Let me tell you they certainly don't do it like this anymore.
I am an identical twin myself and it is hard to believe that you aren't watching the performances of twin brothers. The twin dynamic is certainly there, and the scenes when both characters are on screen together are seamless, due to some obviously very clever trickery and Karloff's skill. I can't think offhand of many examples of greater acting in film history, certainly few other actors have Karloff's range.
Highly recommended movie. A fratricidal epic!
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