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Norman Z. McLeod
Noble-born cad Dennis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), an evil madman who can't get over the death of his beloved, twenty years after she married his brother (Cavanagh) instead and subsequently passed away during childbirth. Maletroit is determined to have his revenge: the brother has been stowed away in the dungeon for two decades, while he's convinced his disreputable house guest will make a suitably hellish husband for his niece. As luck would have it, the young couple manage to fall in love, and with the help of manservant Voltan (Karloff), they try to make their escape, but not before a final confrontation with Maletroit in the dungeon's crushing deathtrap. Written by
Stephen Cooke <email@example.com>
The Story Alain de Maletroit (Charles Laughton) kidnaps Dennis de Beaulieu (Richard Wyler) and blackmails him to marry his niece Blanche de Maletroit (Sally Forrest).
My Review The movie starts out very interesting with the setup at the pub to trick Dennis into coming into Alain's castle. The ending is also pretty decent with the dungeon crushing walls. Sadly, the middle is pretty much a waste of time. The story is slow and uninteresting. The settings were nicely done, but it just doesn't make up for the shortcomings.
Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff are both pretty much wasted in this movie. Laughton is overacting and Karloff's role is limited. Richard Wyler both do adequate jobs as the kidnapped couple who Alain forces to marry.
My recommendation: Overall, I don't see a good reason to see this film.
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