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The Black Room
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The Black Room (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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The Black Room -- Boris Karloff is superb in a dual role as twin brothers (one evil, one good), born to the ruling family in the early 1800's in Czechoslovakia. The bad twin inherits the castle and becomes infamous for his sadistic behavior and murders the good twin, assuming his identiy so that he might continue his heinous acts.

Overview

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7.0/10   1,075 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Arthur Strawn (screenplay) &
Henry Myers (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Black Room on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 July 1935 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Embraced by the Devil! Monster . . . his kiss the password to oblivion! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Grossly Underrated Film of the 1930s See more (45 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Boris Karloff ... Baron Gregor de Berghman / Anton de Berghman
Marian Marsh ... Thea Hassel
Robert Allen ... Lt. Albert Lussan
Thurston Hall ... Col. Paul Hassel
Katherine DeMille ... Mashka (as Katherine de Mille)
John Buckler ... Beran
Henry Kolker ... Baron Frederick de Berghman
Colin Tapley ... Lt. Paul Hassel
Torben Meyer ... Peter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Beck ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Daniel Joseph Bleifer ... Anton as a Child (uncredited)
John Bleifer ... Franz - Captured Assassin-Villager (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Gregor's Hairdresser (uncredited)
Egon Brecher ... Karl - Lead Villager (uncredited)
Carrie Daumery ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
Edwards Davis ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
Victor De Linsky ... Michael the Footman (uncredited)
Abe Dinovitch ... Gatekeeper (uncredited)
Von the Dog ... Thor (uncredited)
Herbert Evans ... Servant (uncredited)
Phyllis Fraser ... A Bridesmaid (uncredited)
John George ... Inn Waiter (uncredited)
Octavio Giraud ... Judge (uncredited)
Grace Goodall ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
James Gordon ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Helena Grant ... Anna the Housekeeper (uncredited)
Bert Howard ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Edith Kingdon ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
Richard Lancaster ... Gentleman (uncredited)
Marion Lessing ... Maria the Chambermaid (uncredited)
Lois Lindsay ... A Bridesmaid (uncredited)
Ivan Linow ... Gatekeeper (uncredited)
George Burr Macannan ... A Servant (uncredited)
George MacQuarrie ... The Judge (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Peasant (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
Alex Melesh ... Judge (uncredited)
Louis Merrill ... Story Teller in Trailer (uncredited)
Robert Middlemass ... The Prosecutor (uncredited)
Wilfrid North ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
Reinhold Pasch ... Gregor's Tailor (uncredited)
Constantine Romanoff ... Peasant (uncredited)
John Singer ... Raoul the Butler (uncredited)
Bert Sprotte ... A Peasant (uncredited)
Count Stefenelli ... Member of the Court (uncredited)
John M. Sullivan ... The Archbishop (uncredited)
Edward Van Sloan ... Doctor (uncredited)
Frederick Vogeding ... Josef, Resentful Villager with Heavy Moustache (uncredited)
Hans von Morhart ... A Servant (uncredited)
Paul Weigel ... A Peasant (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy William Neill  (as R. William Neill)
 
Writing credits
Arthur Strawn (screenplay) &
Henry Myers (screenplay)

Arthur Strawn (story)

Original Music by
R.H. Bassett (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
Louis Silvers (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Allen G. Siegler 
 
Film Editing by
Richard Cahoon 
 
Art Direction by
Stephen Goosson 
 
Costume Design by
Murray Mayer 
 
Sound Department
Edward Bernds .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Jack Cosgrove .... matte painter (uncredited)
Roy Davidson .... process shots (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Gert Andersen .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Fayte M. Browne .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Louis Silvers .... musical director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Edmund Ross .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Harry Cohn .... president
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
70 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:

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:
Anachronisms: 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:
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...
[He carelessly tosses it across the room]
See more »
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FAQ

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Grossly Underrated Film of the 1930s, 24 May 2008
Author: gavin6942 from United States

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (45 total) »

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