5.9/10
2,089
77 user 41 critic

The Ghoul (1933)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Horror | 25 November 1933 (USA)
An Egyptologist returns from the dead to take revenge on those who have violated his tomb.

Director:

T. Hayes Hunter

Writers:

Rupert Downing (adaptation), Leonard Hines (play) (as Leonard J. Hines) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Prof. Henry Morlant
Cedric Hardwicke ... Broughton
Ernest Thesiger ... Laing
Dorothy Hyson ... Betty Harlon
Anthony Bushell ... Ralph Morlant
Kathleen Harrison ... Kaney
Harold Huth Harold Huth ... Aga Ben Dragore
D.A. Clarke-Smith D.A. Clarke-Smith ... Mahmoud
Ralph Richardson ... Nigel Hartley
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Storyline

Aga Ben Dragore, a knife-wielding, enigmatic Egyptian Arab, is seeking a sacred jewel which has been stolen from an ancient tomb. The thief tells him that he sold it to Professor Morlant, a fanatical Egyptologist who fervently believes in the pagan power of the ancient Egyptian gods. Dying from a mysteriously disfiguring ailment, Morlant entrusts his faithful manservant to bandage the jewel in his hand and warns him of dire consequences if his dying wishes aren't carried out. After his burial in an Egyptian-type tomb on his estate, an anonymous robber steals the precious stone from the corpse. Although the ghastly-looking dead man rises at the next full moon to seek revenge, neither he nor the audience know which member of the household possesses the powerful jewel. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Weird Happenings in a House of Mystery See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bes: Kletba fantomú See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the early 1980s, while men were clearing one of the soundstages at Shepperton Studios in England, of old sets and other waste and debris, they found a locked door blocked by stacked lumber. Behind the door was a disused and long forgotten film vault that had not been used since the mid 1930s. It was cleared, and among the many cans of old film, was the original nitrate camera negative of this movie in perfect condition. The British Film Institute had new prints made, and the complete version aired on Channel 4 in the U.K. in 1984. Bootleg videotapes of this broadcast were shared among collectors for years, but when an official VHS release arrived from MGM/UA Home Video, it proved to be the virtually unwatchable Czech subtitled and heavily cut version. Finally, in 2003, just as the title was being prepared for DVD, MGM/UA obtained the superior material from the British Film Institute for release. This restored copy has substantially raised critical appreciation of the movie in modern times, and has been re-issued in 2008 by Network for a bargain price. See more »

Goofs

Ralph backs up against a wall twice when Dragore comes in and draws a gun on him and Betty. See more »

Quotes

Kaney: That's the last time I'll ever try to make coffee in a strange house!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Most theatrical/TV prints run 73 minutes. Video release restores original running length of 79 minutes. See more »

Connections

Edited into Pale Moonlight Theater: The Ghoul (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Siegfried's Funeral March
(uncredited)
from "Der Götterdämmerung"
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by 'Louis Levy'
Played during Morlant's funeral procession and thereafter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

What was lost has been found... a rarity from the 30's
24 May 2001 | by ozziefilmbuffSee all my reviews

If you can locate a copy of this exceptional talkie you are indeed fortunate. It took me years to find, yet it was well worth the wait.

The history of this Karloff gem is fascinating. 'The Ghoul' had completely disappeared, not even the trailer survived. Yet in the 1980's (if I remember correctly), a lone nitrate print turned up in Prague, (with Hungarian subtitles) in *appalling* condition. Apparently, the nitrate film had shrunk to a mere third of it's original width, was exceptionally brittle and in a number of pieces yet was effectively restored... albeit not to the quality of it's release. Therefore, I was prepared to overlook the graininess, variable contrast and sound-track distortions.

'The Ghoul' belongs to Karloff. Had the film not vanished it would have become a hardy perennial of late night television horror alongside the Lemalle classics. As for the cast, sets and script (in that order), the film is superior to other horror classics of the period.

The story-line is vaguely reminiscent... an eccentric, terminally ill man (of Egyptian ancestry) decrees that a rare artefact must be entombed with him otherwise trouble will befall. As to be anticipated, the scarab jewel is removed from the hand of his corpse by a tomb robber not long after internment providing the impetus to wreak revenge in the signature fashion.

The quality of the film may distract some viewers, but the atmosphere retains most of it's inaugural impact. Definitely an eight and a half!


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