The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1935)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 163 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

The tenants of an old boarding house are terrorized by an evil slumlord. One day a strange man arrives at the house and begins to help them with their problems.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A female blackmailer with a disfiguring facial scar meets a plastic surgeon who offers her the possibility of looking like a normal woman.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Veidt
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A German submarine is sent to the Orkney Isles in 1917 to sink the British fleet.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Sebastian Shaw
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Jack Conway
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou
Lured (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer in London is murdering young women whom he meets through the personal columns of newspapers; he announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young woman at a girl's school in Switzerland makes up stories about and writes herself letters from an imaginary explorer-adventurer father; and is eventually put in a position where she... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Herbert Marshall, Gail Patrick
Certificate: Passed Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Oxford Professor Richard Myles and new bride Frances are off on a European honeymoon. It isn't your typical honeymoon though, for they are on a spying mission for British intelligence on ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Conrad Veidt
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When a gentlewoman is found dead with her throat torn out, the villagers blame a supernatural monster, but Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Paul Cavanagh
Man Hunt (1941)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders
Escape (1940)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

1938: A young man arrives in Hitler's Germany, frantically seeking information about his German mother, and finds she is pending execution at a concentration camp.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Conrad Veidt
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A paroled prisoner hits a man attacking a woman. He runs away scared that he may have killed him - he did not. From a book "Woman in the Dar" by Dashiell Hammett.

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Fay Wray, Ralph Bellamy, Melvyn Douglas
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie Chan investigates apparent poisonings at a mystery mansion in the Mojave Desert.

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Sidney Toler, Arleen Whelan, Richard Derr


Cast overview:
René Ray ...
Stasia (as Rene Ray)
Frank Cellier ...
John Turnbull ...
Major Tomkin
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
Mrs. Tomkin (as Catherine Nesbitt)
Ronald Ward ...
Chris Penny
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Miss Kite
Jack Livesey ...
Mr. Larkcom
Mrs. de Hooley
Mary Clare ...
Mrs. Sharpe
Barbara Everest ...
Alexander Sarner ...
The Gramophone Man


In a London boarding house, a number of lives exist precariously on the edge of disaster or despair. Stasia, the housemaid, hungers for happiness but is treated like a drudge and constantly threatened with a return to the punishments of her youth. Vivian, a beautiful young girl, loves the architect Chris, but must marry the repugnant Mr. Wright in order to erase her parents' debts. Miss Kite derides all around her out of fear of aging and loss of beauty, while her friend Mr. Larkcom sells mediocre phonograph records though he'd secretly love to be a concert pianist. Into the lives of these and other unhappy residents comes a mysterious stranger, under whose influence they each begin to see the possibility of happiness. But the cynical Mr. Wright prefers to see them in misery and plots to thwart the angelic stranger who lives in the back room of the third floor. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hyvä ihminen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Remake of The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1918) See more »


In a Little Gypsy Tea Room
Written by Joseph A. Burke and Edgar Leslie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Interesting characters, overall entertaining
19 April 2004 | by (Michigan) – See all my reviews

This film is about a boarding house in England that rents rooms to a variety of people. One day a tall, older man wishes to rent a room. At first the landlady does not wish to rent the room, but due to his mesmerizing eyes, she allows him to be her tenant. At the beginning, the house he enters is full of selfish, problem-ridden people who are fairly miserable with their lives and can't have any fun. After a few weeks of living and talking individually with this mysterious stranger, they begin to ease up and live their lives more happily. However, a rich, old scrooge (who looks like Hitler minus the moustache) lives in the house, too. He has evil intentions to destroy everything the stranger has mended in the house by tempting the contented tenants with his dirty money.

This movie had good characters. I especially liked Miss Kite and the stranger. Miss Kite looks a lot like a prettier/smarter Tori Spelling and is quite an intriguing and gutsy character. The stranger is so calm and shaman-like, it's very soothing to see him on screen. He almost mesmerizes YOU!

The character Vivian looks a lot like Drew Barrymore. It's funny how female movie stars seem to keep the same basic aesthetics throughout film history - at least in this film.

I liked the English cynicism presented in this film. For example, while two men are arguing, they are offering each other sugar in their tea, or milk, and being ultra polite to each other. More polite than usual. It is funny to see how polite they are to each other while they are discussing how each will screw the other over. It's like the more polite you are to your enemy, the more points you get towards conquering them.

The only downfall to this movie is, as an American, it was rather difficult for me to understand the 1930's British accents. But this has nothing to do with the film and plot itself. Overall is was an quirky and oddly entertaining film that you would probably enjoy!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The passing of the third floor back david-2594

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: