IMDb > The Haunted Strangler (1958)
Grip of the Strangler
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The Haunted Strangler (1958) More at IMDbPro »Grip of the Strangler (original title)

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The Haunted Strangler -- A writer investigating the execution of a serial killer known as "The Haymarket Strangler" 20 years previously begins to suspect that the wrong man might have been hanged...
The Haunted Strangler -- Nineteenth-century English author James Rankin (Boris Karloff) believes that the wrong man was hanged twenty years earlier for a series of murders, but his investigations lead him to a horrible and, for him, gruesomely inescapable secret.

Overview

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6.2/10   749 votes »
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Genre:
Tagline:
Their wild beauty marked them for death by . . . The Haunted Strangler See more »
Plot:
A researcher investigating a notorious serial killer who was hanged 20 years earlier seemingly becomes possessed by the long dead strangler. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(9 articles)
31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: Top 200
 (From SoundOnSight. 31 October 2013, 9:27 AM, PDT)

100 + Greatest Horror Movies (pt.3) 100-76
 (From SoundOnSight. 15 October 2012, 2:29 PM, PDT)

Daily Briefing. Radical America in 1980
 (From MUBI. 12 November 2011, 7:18 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Just a so-so b-movie horror even if it could have been a lot better with some key changes See more (26 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Boris Karloff ... James Rankin
Jean Kent ... Cora Seth
Elizabeth Allan ... Barbara Rankin

Anthony Dawson ... Supt. Burk
Vera Day ... Pearl
Tim Turner ... Dr. Kenneth McColl
Diane Aubrey ... Lily Rankin
Max Brimmell ... Newgate Prison Turnkey
Leslie Perrins ... Newgate Prison Governor
Jessica Cairns ... Asylum Maid
Dorothy Gordon ... Hannah
Desmond Roberts ... Dr. Johnson
Roy Russell ... Medical Superintendent
Derek Birch ... Guyse Hospital Superintendent
Peggy Ann Clifford ... Kate
John Fabian ... Young Blood
Joan Elvin ... Can-Can Girl
Audrey Sykes ... Laughing Lady at Hanging
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Atkinson ... Edward Styles (uncredited)
Harry Brunning ... Prison Chaplain (uncredited)
Yvonne Buckingham ... Whore (uncredited)
Jimmy Charters ... Spectator at Hanging (uncredited)
Robert Day ... Asylum Van Driver (uncredited)
Marie Devereux ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tex Fuller ... Guard with Whip (uncredited)
Arthur Hall ... Newgate Governor at Hanging (uncredited)
Victor Harrington ... Judas Hole Patron Constable (uncredited)
John G. Heller ... Asylum Attendant (uncredited)
George Hirste ... Lost Property Man (uncredited)
Anthony Lang ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Arthur Mason ... Asylum Attendant (uncredited)
Arthur Mullard ... Asylum Attendant (uncredited)
Peter Perkins ... Asylum Attendant (uncredited)
Leonard Sharp ... George - Judas Hole Waiter (uncredited)
George Spence ... Hangman (uncredited)
Brian Sunners ... Paper Hawker (uncredited)
Jeremy Young ... Judas Hole Waiter (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Day 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John Croydon  (as John C. Cooper)
Jan Read  screenplay
Jan Read  story "Stranglehold"

Produced by
John Croydon .... producer
Richard Gordon .... executive producer (uncredited)
Charles F. Vetter .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Buxton Orr 
 
Cinematography by
Lionel Banes (lighting cameraman)
 
Film Editing by
Peter Mayhew 
 
Makeup Department
Barbara Barnard .... hair stylist
Jim Hydes .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Ronald Kinnoch .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Hickox .... assistant director
 
Art Department
John Elphick .... set designer
 
Sound Department
H.C. Pearson .... sound
Terry Poulton .... dubbing editor
 
Special Effects by
Les Bowie .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Leo Rogers .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anna Duse .... dress supervisor
 
Music Department
Frederick Lewis .... conductor (as Frederic Lewis)
 
Other crew
Hazel Swift .... continuity
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Grip of the Strangler" - UK (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
USA:78 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
While director Robert Day and the make-up man were discussing how to achieve Boris Karloff's metamorphosis without undue complication or expense, the actor volunteered that he could achieve the effect by taking out his dentures.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: One scene shows an evidence box from the Jack the Ripper case but the Haymarket Strangler that starts the movie took place in 1860 and the rest of the movie is 20 years later(1880). The Ripper killings were in 1888, 8 years after the movie takes place.See more »
Quotes:
James Rankin:I'm sorry, Barbara, but a man must do the work in which he believes!See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Just a so-so b-movie horror even if it could have been a lot better with some key changes, 22 June 2008
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

The infamous serial killer "The Haymarket Strangler" may be long dead but writer James Rankin is convinced that the wrong man was hanged and sets out to investigate the crimes and the killer for himself. He makes progress into the case and it begins to appear that he is correct. However when he recovers the scalper supposedly used by the murderer he finds himself compelled to kill as his personality splits – with his normal, composed self becoming more and more desperate to prevent further deaths.

This film has got so-so reviews and, always one to stick my nose in where not required, I'd like to agree with everyone who simply said "is OK" about it, because it is. Some have ripped into it and I think that is unfair because really the film delivers a basic B movie horror that didn't bore me even if it wasn't what I hoped it would be. For me the film falls down in its aspirations because it seems happy to be basic when it could have been more complex and engaging. The film takes too long to get to the point of finding the knife (and making the transformation happen) and up to this point, yes, it is a little dull. The bigger downside of this delay, though was that it mean the second half of the film (the potentially strongest half) is too short and rushed. So instead of a complex story where Rankin struggles with a demon from inside himself mostly it is just a straight "pull a face, get to killing" story.

To make this work it does need to be urgent and scary but sadly it doesn't really deliver on that either, allowing the viewer to wander in their thoughts and think of what might have been. It is perfectly fine as a bit of Karloff b-movie and it does have some nice atmosphere and twists to the delivery but what with what "could" have been and all the weak material that does take up time in the first half, it only comes out as "OK". Karloff has his moments and I did think he was very good when Rankin was near-frantic as he understood what he was doing but mostly he just contorts his face and lurches forward in the time-honoured fashion. His supporting cast are OK but nobody really stuck in the mind – which I think speaks volumes.

So an OK film but nothing special whatsoever. Meeting it on its own terms will help but it still isn't that good and one cannot help look at it and see several major ways that it could have been a lot better.

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