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The Monster (1925)

Passed | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 16 March 1925 (USA)
A meek clerk who doubles as an amateur detective investigates some very strange goings-on at a remote mental sanitarium.

Director:

Roland West

Writers:

Roland West (stage production), Crane Wilbur (stage play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Dr. Ziska
Gertrude Olmstead ... Betty Watson
Hallam Cooley ... Watson's Head Clerk
Johnny Arthur ... The Under Clerk
Charles Sellon ... The Constable (as Charles A. Sellon)
Walter James Walter James ... Caliban
Knute Erickson ... Daffy Dan
Frank Austin Frank Austin ... Rigo (as George Austin)
Edward McWade ... Luke Watson
Ethel Wales ... Mrs. Watson
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Storyline

A general store clerk and aspiring detective investigates a mysterious disappearance that took place quite close to an empty insane asylum... Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll Guess! You'll Gasp! You'll love it! (Print Ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Palmers unheimliches Haus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (New York opening)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play opened in New York on 9 August 1922 and had 101 performances. Walter James originated his movie role as Calaban in the play. In the 1933 revival, DeWolf Hopper Sr. played Dr. Ziska. See more »

Goofs

When Johnnie flies out of the door, into the rainstorm again, you can see the wire that holds him, right when he is crushing into Rigo. See more »

Quotes

Intertitle: Bowman's disappearance was Danburg's biggest thrill since the milkman eloped with the bootlegger's wife.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) showed an 86-minute version with an uncredited music score on cable. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Monster (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Things Go Bump In The Night With Lon Chaney
18 October 2001 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A belittled clerk uses his ingenuity as an amateur detective to track down THE MONSTER responsible for some rather eerie recent disappearances.

This is a wonderfully creepy silent film. With very good acting & excellent production values courtesy of MGM, it is too bad this movie is not better known. The large amounts of humor help to lighten the load considerably and are very welcome.

The Master, Lon Chaney, adds another portrait to his gallery of grotesques. Slyly underplaying his character and letting his marvelous face act for him, Chaney more than makes up for the fact that his role is rather small. It is certainly ironic that this gentle man & terrific actor should be remembered principally for his bizarre & monstrous creations.

Comic Johnny Arthur receives co-star billing with Chaney and he deserves it, since he carries the bulk of the action. He does a fine job with his character, giving him backbone & spunk rather than allowing any milquetoast tendencies to ever predominate. With the coming of sound, Arthur would perfect a nervous, whiny persona. He made his last screen appearance in 1951, the year of his death at the age of 68.

Special kudos should be given to Walter James, Knute Erickson & George Austin for their strong support as a trio of very odd lunatics, all quite different & memorable.

THE MONSTER is considered by many to be the first in a long line of Mad Doctor films. It is also a prime example of the Old Dark House genre of spook stories. It certainly has many of the elements: a crumbling edifice, a distressed young lady, escaped madmen, bony hands appearing from hidden panels, secret passageways and sudden death. The Old Dark House has for long years been a respected avenue in literature & movies to maximize suspense & tension. Indeed, it's only a short walk from the Edwards Sanitarium in this film to Wuthering Heights, Baskerville Hall, Manderley & the Bates House...


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