6.3/10
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2 user 3 critic

The Living Dead (1932)

Unheimliche Geschichten (original title)
A crazed scientist murders his wife, walls her up, then flees. A reporter sets out to track him down.

Director:

Richard Oswald
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Wegener ... Mörder
Maria Koppenhöfer Maria Koppenhöfer ... Hoheit
Blandine Ebinger Blandine Ebinger ... Junge Dame im Selbstmörderklub
Eugen Klöpfer Eugen Klöpfer ... Chefarzt
Harald Paulsen ... Frank Briggs, Journalist
Roma Bahn Roma Bahn ... Frau des Mörders
Mary Parker Mary Parker ... Briggs' Fiancée
Paul Henckels ... Arzt in der Unfallstation
Gerhard Bienert Gerhard Bienert ... Kriminalkommissar
John Gottowt John Gottowt ... Beamter des Mechanischen Museums
Erwin Kalser Erwin Kalser ... Redner in der Irrenanstalt
Franz Stein Franz Stein ... Kreisel in der Irrenanstalt
Gretel Berndt Gretel Berndt ... Junges Mädchen in der Irrenanstalt
Ilse Fürstenberg Ilse Fürstenberg ... Frau in der Irrenanstalt
Carl Heinz Charrell Carl Heinz Charrell ... Portier in der Irrenanstalt
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Storyline

A crazed scientist murders his wife, walls her up, then flees. A reporter sets out to track him down. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

anthology | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi | Horror

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

16 December 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghastly Tales See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roto Film,G.P. Film GmbH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. See more »

Connections

Edited into Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A forgotten "spoof" worth seeking out
13 October 2012 | by darkwebonlinedotcomSee all my reviews

Paul Wegener, in his first talkie film, plays an evil inventor who is pursued by investigative journalist (Harald Paulsen) through four famous horror tales. The first is based on Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Black Cat'. Wegener kills his wife and hides her behind a wall in his basement. The reporter, who hears the wife's screams as he is passing by, calls in the police days later after she is reported missing. The journalist and the police eventually find her body thanks to her meowing cat, which was also accidentally walled with the body.

The inventor escapes, only to hide in a wax museum (spoofing Paul Leni's 'Waxworks'), where a sinister game of cat and mouse develops. The chase soon moves to an asylum (taken from another Poe story, 'The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether') and later, to a strange gentlemen's club which runs a sinister suicide game (from Robert Lewis Stevenson's 'The Suicide Club').

This is a remake of the director's own 'Eerie Tales' (1919), which also included adaptations of 'The Black Cat' and 'The Suicide Club'. All three stories here have been filmed since as well - 'Tales of Terror' (1962), 'Curse of the Stone Hand' (1964) and 'Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon' (1973) stand out as examples – so this may all feel quite familiar. Despite this, it's still very entertaining.

The novel approach of linking the separate well-known short stories into one adds a new dimension to the horror anthology sub-genre. It's intended as a spoof of Germany Expressionism, but while it may not exactly have your sides splitting, it still works as a creepy, atmospheric melodrama.

It's always fun to see Wegener, whose three silent portrayals of the Golem have ensure his place in horror history. He's great here as the villain; his stony face and narrow eyes make him appear every bit the devious killer. The rest of the less well-known cast do well too.

Austrian Director Oswald, who is accredited with directing the first vampire film in 1916 ('A Night of Horror' - now lost), does a fine job of creating a different atmosphere for each story. Of particular note is the 'Dr. Tarr' segment, in which a whole host of lunatics attempt to put our hero on trial.

This is a very difficult film to find which is a real shame. Highly recommended for fans of early horror.


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