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Tower of London (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History  |  17 November 1939 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,236 users  
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In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »

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Title: Tower of London (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard - Duke of Gloucester
...
...
Ian Hunter ...
...
Nan Grey ...
Lady Alice Barton
Ernest Cossart ...
Tom Clink
John Sutton ...
John Wyatt
...
...
Lionel Belmore ...
Beacon
Rose Hobart ...
...
John Herbert-Bond ...
...
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Storyline

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King Edward IV of England. As each murder is accomplished he takes particular delight in removing small figurines, each resembling one of the successors, from a throne-room dollhouse, until he alone remains. After the death of Edward he becomes Richard III, King of England, and need only defeat the exiled Henry Tudor to retain power. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

17 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Torre de Londres  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After a preview screening in November, 1939, studio heads were alarmed that the score contained nothing but period music and ordered a new score be written. Time considerations ultimately prevented this, with Frank Skinner cobbling together pieces from his score from Son of Frankenstein (1939). Only pieces of the original score survived the final cut. See more »

Goofs

(at around 15 mins) A person can be seen walking past the window. See more »

Quotes

Mord: [to Richard] You're more than a king, more than a man. You're a god to me!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Vincent Price: The Sinister Image (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
And Then There Were None!
2 October 2006 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Tower of London" was made by the same Director (Rowland V. Lee) and the same stars (Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff), that had made "Son of Frankenstein earlier the same year.

This is the story of the evil King Richard III's (Rathbone) rise to the throne of England in the 15th century. We learn that Richard (known as crooked back because of a deformity) as the Duke of Gloucester is sixth in the line of succession. Standing in his way are his brother King Edward IV (Ian Hunter), the feeble minded King Henry VI (Miles Mander) who is being kept prisoner, the Prince of Wales, Edward's two young sons and Richard's other brother the Duke of Clarence (Vincent Price).

With his faithful servant, the club-footed executioner Mord (Karloff) Richard begins to destroy all who stand in his way. Queen Elizabeth's (Barbara O'Neill) nephew John Wyatt (John Sutton) refuses to marry the King's choice, preferring instead the Queen's lovely handmaiden Lady Alice Barton (Nan Grey) instead. Wyatt is imprisoned and tortured, however, the Queen aids his escape. Wyatt escapes to France and plots the overthrow of Edward with Henry Tudor (Ralph Forbes).

Meanwhile, Richard has started to move up the line of succession. First to go is Henry who has emerged as a hero following his survival in a battle in which he was supposed to be killed. The Prince of Wales is killed in the battle. The Duke of Clarence is drowned in a barrel of wine and ultimately Edward dies of natural causes.

Richard is appointed Prortector of the two young princes (Ronald Sinclair, John-Herbert Bond). He soon proclaims himself king and to be sure has Mord murder the two young princes.

Wyatt returns to England to claim his bride. After stealing the King's treasure Wyatt returns to France and turns the treasure over to Henry Tudor. Tudor mounts an invasion of England and......

Director Lee gives us a couple of exciting battle sequences over the course of the film. The murder of the two young princes cements the true evil of Richard.

Rathbone's character is behind Price's in the line of succession, which would make him younger. Rathbone however, was almost 20 years older than price. Karloff has merely a supporting role here but does his best as the evil Mord. John Rodian who plays Lord DeVere who is executed at the start of the film was Rathbone's real life son.

Karloff and Price would not work together again until 1963's "The Raven" for Roger Corman. Price had starred in the remake of "The Tower of London" in a low budget re-make, also for Corman in 1962. Price, Karloff and Rathbone, appeared together in Corman's "The Comedy of Terrors" (1964).


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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