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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.


(as R. William Neill)


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

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


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) »


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


Crime | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 July 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crna soba  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Baron Gregor de Bergmann: [as Anton lies dying in the well of the Black Room] Goodbye, brother. There's nothing to fear now. The prophecy can't be fulfilled.
Anton de Bergmann: [With certitude] It will be fulfilled!
Baron Gregor de Bergmann: Perhaps you will come back from the dead to kill me?
Anton de Bergmann: [Dying words] Even from the dead!
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Karloff at his best
4 September 2001 | by (Chicago, Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

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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