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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   719 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:
Dr. Boris and Mr. Karloff! See more (24 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)
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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
 

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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:
Referenced in Haunted Memories (2007) (V)See more »

FAQ

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Dr. Boris and Mr. Karloff!, 2 January 2006
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls

The fabulous BBC couldn't possibly start the new year 2006 better than by showing this little known but surprisingly gripping 50's chiller. "Grip of the Strangler" is excellent (but scandalously underrated) with one of Karloff's most impeccable performances and a gloomy Victorian atmosphere. The screenplay is a extra violent variation on the famous "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" story, with Boris as a respected novelist investigating a serial-killer case that took place 20 years earlier. According to his research, the person who got executed was actually innocent, and he intend to use the case to make a statement regarding the lousy defense poor people receive when they're on trial. He discovers a LOT more than he bargained for, however, and he as well as his family are about to meet the real Haymarket Strangler... This film contains a lot of tension, engaging plot-twists and some very grim moments. The opening sequence, for example, is extremely disturbing as it shows a public hanging where a crowd of socially low classed people are laughing hysterically (!). The make up effects on the mad-raving killer are genuinely scary and the filming locations really fit the obscure nature of the Victorian era. There are nasty cemeteries, dark police archives and – above all – the Judas Hole; a sleazy nightclub where there's little left to the imagination. Great shocker, definitely one of the best story-driven horror films since Val Lewton's finest productions of the early 40's. A must for all fans of classic horror!

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