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Tower of London (1939)

Approved | | Drama, History | 17 November 1939 (USA)
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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Cast

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Tom Clink
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John Wyatt
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Beacon
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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>

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Drama | History

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Release Date:

17 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Torre de Londres  »

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(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The battle scenes were an ordeal to film. Principally shot on August 19, 1939 at a ranch in Tarzana, the fog machine proved ineffective in the face of high winds. The 100-degree heat caused the 300 extras to suffer and rain machines caused the soldier's cardboard helmets and shields to disintegrate. Additional battle scenes were shot on August 22 and on September 4, 1939, but the California heat continued to play havoc with the cast, crew and equipment. 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!
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
All the King's Madmen.
22 October 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Not really a horror film, but a uniquely sinister and highly compelling history lesson, this late 1930's Universal production brings together a marvelous cast and tells a rather loose interpretation of William Shakespeare's famous play "Richard III". It's once again Boris Karloff's charismatic face that parades the DVD-cover, but the true personification of greed and wickedness here comes from the fantastic Basil Rathbone, who plays Richard the Duke of Gloucester and brother to Edward; King of England. Richard already heavily influences all the king's decisions, but he wants to reign by himself and thinks of fiendish plans to eliminate all those preceding him in line of the throne. He even owns a miniature theater where his progress to owning the royal crown is illustrated by dolls! Richard most loyal partner in crime is the barbaric and uncanny looking executioner Mord, performed by Boris Karloff. And yet another icon of horror cinema can be found in the cast list, moreover in the earliest phase of his rich career, namely Vincent Price. He splendidly gives image to the Duke of Clarence and appears in the film's absolute best sequence where he and Richard hold an unfair drinking contest. The story is sometimes confusing and not entirely without flaws, but the wholesome is very atmospheric and suspenseful. Near the beginning there's a morbid execution sequence and later in the film there are two spectacular and typically medieval battle scenes. The costumes and settings were convincing enough for me and every line that comes out of Rathbone's mouth is a fascinating experience. Roger Corman re-told this story in 1962, again starring Vincent Price, although that version put the emphasis more on explicit torture and supernatural elements. Very much recommended.


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