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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Vastly underrated, at least compared to the IMDb rating (5.9). I mean, come on, a movie starring Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff? That alone makes it pretty awesome. And even aside from them, the movie's just darn good. It's a Gothic horror about a French nobleman (Laughton) who captures a rogue (Richard Wyler) and tries to force him to marry his niece (Sally Forrest) to spite her father (Paul Cavanagh), whom Laughton has imprisoned in his dungeon for the past 20 years. Karloff plays Cavanagh's guard. The only real problem, besides its having an utterly forgettable title, is the hero, Wyler, who is not that good an actor. Fortunately, it's the kind of film where all eyes are on the awesome supporting cast, so it's easy to forget about him. Joseph Pevney is probably best known for directing 14 Star Trek episodes, including "The Trouble with Tribbles".
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