The Strange Door (1951)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  1952 (Austria)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 469 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 11 critic

Noble-born cad Denis (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... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Man investigates the disappearance of two of his friends who were the guests of a sinister Austrian count.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Richard Greene, Boris Karloff, Stephen McNally
The Climax (1944)
Horror | Musical | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A demented physician becomes obsessed with a young singer whose voice sounds similar to his late mistress.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Boris Karloff, Susanna Foster, Turhan Bey
Night Key (1937)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The inventor of a new top-of-the-line burglar alarm system is kidnapped by a gang in order to get him to help them commit robberies.

Director: Lloyd Corrigan
Stars: Boris Karloff, Warren Hull, Jean Rogers
The Raven (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil
Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Dr. Savaard's experiment in cryonics is interrupted by the short-sighted authorities, his volunteer dies, and he is condemned to death. He vows vengeance if he can survive his own hanging.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the 1830s a captain in the East India Company lobbies to investigate the criminal Thugee Cult of Kali, an organized crime group of stranglers and thieves.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Guy Rolfe, Allan Cuthbertson, Andrew Cruickshank
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An evil scientist and a hunchback escape from prison and encounter Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., J. Carrol Naish
Adventure | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In this engaging costume melodrama of skulduggery on the low seas set back in the 18th-century, the Royal Crown suspects a bit of smuggling is going on in this locale, and they send Captain... See full summary »

Director: Peter Graham Scott
Stars: Peter Cushing, Yvonne Romain, Patrick Allen
Drama | Horror | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Terror strikes the London Opera House as a new opera is disrupted by the actions of a deformed specter of the show's past who has an obsession with one of the production's chorus girl.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Herbert Lom, Heather Sears, Edward de Souza
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Ygor brings the monster to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein for care, Ludwig gets the idea of replacing the monster's current criminal brain, with a normal brain.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy


Complete credited cast:
Richard Wyler ...
Denis de Beaulieu (as Richard Stapley)
William Cottrell ...
Count Grassin
Morgan Farley ...
Edmond de Maletroit


Noble-born cad Denis (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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Robert Louis Stevenson's masterpiece of TERROR


Horror | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1952 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Door  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sire Alain de Maletroit: I am desolated, Edmund, I cannot invite you to the wedding supper, but I fear a man who has been dead for twenty years might cast a gloom upon the company.
See more »


Minuet (3rd movement from String Quintette E major, G.275)
Music by Luigi Boccherini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

There's something afoot in the Maletroit home.
3 March 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Strange Door (1951) is released by Universal Pictures, it's directed by Joseph Pevney and stars Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff, and Sally Forrest. Based on the short story, The Sire de Maletroit's Door by Robert Louis Stevenson, it comes with much horror credentials. However, and in spite of it constantly being tagged a horror film, The Strange Door is more a Gothic thriller tinged with madness and all round nastiness.

The story is a solid one as Laughton's Sire Alain de Maletroit plots revenge against his younger brother, Edmund {Paul Cavanagh}, revenge that comes in the form of imprisonment down in the family dungeon for 20 years. Not content with that, Maletroit, after telling her that her father is dead, makes Edmund's daughter, Blanche's {Forrest}, life a misery. Culminating in a forced marriage to scallywag Denis de Beaulieu {Richard Stapley/Whyler)} who has been duped and trapped in the Maletroit castle. But Maletroit hadn't planned for Blanche & Denis to hit it off, and also lurking in the shadows is servant Voltan {Karloff} who is loyal to the imprisoned Edmund.

This is very much an acting piece, both Laughton & Karloff could overact with the best of them, but the results were never less than entertaining. Such is the case here as Pevney creates a moody Gothic atmosphere in the shadowy Maletroit home, and then, lets his actors run with Stevenson's genesis source. There's much dastardly talking and the odd perky moment dotted along the way, but really it's only the lead actors that keep the piece from stagnating. Particularly at the midpoint when the good old romantic thread starts to be pulled.

Still it's a recommended film for sure, for its sets {Universal rarely fails to deliver here}, mood and its two scene stealing lead actors. Just don't go in expecting an outright horror film is all. 6.5/10

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
why does everybody diss this movie?where's the DVD danielj_old999
Sets/Cinematography Bead1971
Discuss The Strange Door (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: