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 »
On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »
A federal agent goes undercover to infiltrate a drug smuggling operation headed by a mysterious Mr. X, a criminal mastermind whose identity is unknown even to his henchmen. Mr. X is also ... See full summary »
John Francis Dillon
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 »
A prestigious house starts when a younger twin kills the older and a prophesy says some day the house will end by the same method. Today the house is run by a baron with a younger brother, though the younger has moved away and has a gimpy arm. But when the younger brother returns and the people have turned against the older, a crucial moment arrives -- how can the older brother satisfy the people without fulfilling the prophecy? Can it be avoided? How has "The Black Room" gone so many years under my radar? Boris Karloff is amazingly versatile here, playing both brothers (sometimes on the screen at the same time). Marian Marsh plays both brothers' love interest. The picture is crisp, the sound is clear and the production value is beyond impressive for 1935. And the plot? Intriguing, to say the least. While the baron can't be considered a villain on the level of Dracula or Frankenstein's monster, the story here is gripping and the setting really anticipates the works of Roger Corman in the 1960s.
A special note must be payed to the lovely Marian Marsh. Marsh rounds out the cast and does a fantastic job alongside the dominant men of the cast (not just Karloff, but practically everyone). Her beauty and charm sell the picture well, as the Baron's love for her character really drives the plot. Sadly, Marsh gave up acting in 1959 to become an environmentalist. While I fully sympathize with the move, Hollywood was denied a great talent and spirit for the next forty years (the time of Marsh's death).
I strongly encourage those who enjoy older films to give this one a try. I found it both enjoyable and critically satisfying. So many thrillers of the 1930s seem one-dimensional and cliché, but "The Black Room" is fresh, prescient and timeless. I would love to see a deluxe edition of this film, though I suppose it is now too late. Its due failed to come when it mattered most.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?