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The Black Room (1935)

Unrated | | Crime, Horror | 15 July 1935 (USA)
Ignoring an ancient prophecy, evil brother Gregor seeks to maintain his feudal power on his his Tyrolean estate by murdering and impersonating his benevolent younger twin.

Director:

(as R. William Neill)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Lt. Albert Lussan
...
Col. Paul Hassel
...
Mashka (as Katherine de Mille)
John Buckler ...
Beran
...
Baron Frederick de Berghman
Colin Tapley ...
Lt. Paul Hassel
...
Peter
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Storyline

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 <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prophecy | baron | twins | castle | servant | See All (74) »

Taglines:

Dead or Alive... He could kill! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 July 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crna soba  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the SON OF SHOCK package of 20 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original Shock Theater release of 52 features one year earlier. This was also one of the 11 Columbia titles, the other 61 all being Universals. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Baron de Berghman: This house began with murder. It will end the same way.
[Reading from the coat-of-arms]
Baron de Berghman: "Principio Et Finem Similia." I end as I began!
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Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Boris Karloff (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hei Xiazi
2 December 2006 | by (Clearwater Fl) – See all my reviews

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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