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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
...
...
Mashka (as Katherine de Mille)
John Buckler ...
...
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

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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

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 »

Quotes

Mashka: Don't you want to kiss me?
Baron Gregor de Bergmann: [Cutting a juicy pear with his knife and eating it as he talks] A pear is the best fruit!
Mashka: Every time you see her, you want to be rid of me.
Baron Gregor de Bergmann: [Seemingly ignoring her] Lots of juice in a pear!
Mashka: Well, you'll find out I'll not be got rid of so easily! Do you hear what I say?
Baron Gregor de Bergmann: Adam should've chosen a pear.
Mashka: You've got it all planned, haven't you? You're gonna marry her. You're gonna make her your wife, your baroness!
Baron Gregor de Bergmann: I like the feel of a pear! And when you're through with it...
[...]
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

Did They Pay Karloff Double?
30 October 2008 | by See all my reviews

Director Roy William Neill may never have gotten past B-movies (most prominently, the Sherlock Holmes series), but his work shows real visual flair. This is an especially well- mounted and visually complex horror film with Karloff at his acting best. Here he plays two roles, identical twins-- one a cruel tyrant, the other a kindly commoner. Needless to say he's at his menacing best as the tyrant (note Karloff's unusually powerful build which adds to the menace). It's also an effectively tight script with a nicely ironical, if predictable, ending. But what I think really makes the movie are the richly done sets (especially the wedding scene) and Neill's imaginative camera set-ups. As a result, the castle looks both heavy and dark, an oppressive atmosphere where anything might happen. It's an artistic complement to the gruesome goings-on. Frankly, the quality of the production surprises me since it comes from the usually budget-minded Columbia studio. Perhaps the money-saving came from the feature's relatively brief length, only 67 minutes. If there's a downside, it's Thea's (Marian Marsh) callow suitor Lt. Lussan (Robert Allen), whose bad acting undercuts his scenes, which fortunately are few. Also, sticking crucifixion crosses into SoCal scrublands to give the chase scenes a European look just doesn't work. The contrast here with the rest of the movie is simply too strong to be convincing. Nonetheless, this is an effective and rather artistically done horror film, a credit to both Karloff and the under-rated Roy William Neill.


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