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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 »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Prof. Henry Morlant
Cedric Hardwicke ... Broughton
Ernest Thesiger ... Laing
Dorothy Hyson 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

Even though Boris Karloff is given top billing, his actual screen time is less than that of the supporting cast. In addition, he doesn't have any dialogue after his opening scene. 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

Nigel Hartley: I'm sorry there should be this sort of atmosphere. After all, we're only ships that pass in the night.
Broughton: Hmmm. Do you want a drink, or will you pass now?
Aga Ben Dragore: [as the romantic Kaney is making tea for the household] Six cups? That's just... just four too many.
[Grabbing her hand]
Aga Ben Dragore: Eh?
Kaney: Tell me about Egypt. Have you ever seen a shiek?
Aga Ben Dragore: [Imperiously folding his arms a la Valentino] I am one!
Kaney: [Shocked] What?
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Remade as No Place Like Homicide! (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Dramatic Prelude No.1
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by 'Louis Levy'
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thoroughly Modern Mummy!
8 September 2005 | by benoit-3See all my reviews

I just watched this jaw-droppingly pristine copy of "The Ghoul" available on MGM DVD, which is a transfer of a recently discovered practically unused and complete print of the film found at the British Film Institute. The image is unbelievably clear and the sound has been processed (by the engineers at Sonic Solutions) so that it is quite comparable to recordings made at least 30 years later and possibly even better since it is engineered to fill up both channels of a stereo set-up (with no background hiss or grating of any kind). The original music by Louis Levy (aided by Leighton Lucas) is innovative and prescient for the time.

The photography and art direction - by two German expressionists of renown, including The Archers' legendary Alfred Junge - are stupendous, especially the London fog scenes and the great details of the interior scenes. I was also pleasantly surprised by the mobility of the camera at all times and the realistic aspect of the action scenes. The atmosphere is suspenseful and chillingly mysterious and all the actors are extremely good (and famous!), including the two "young adorables" acting as principals, shapely Dorothy Hyson and stalwart Anthony Bushell.

The dialog is at least twice as witty as that found in the Universal horror flicks of the same era and the story actually makes sense, although, unfortunately, it is of the "Scooby-Doo" school of old dark house mysteries where everything is neatly tied up with a rational explanation at the end, leaving absolutely no room for belief in the supernatural. But this doesn't distract from the extreme intelligence of the whole, the great fun of watching all those clever actors turning in memorable performances and the extra bonus of watching a relative unknown one (Kathleen Harrison in an amorous Carol Burnett-type of persona) stealing the show from everyone else at the end.

This film has a little bit of everything for everybody but it should be prized at least for having been saved from total disappearance and as a precious time-travel piece that actually shows the viewer what a brand-new horror film looked like on its first day of projection back in 1933. I enjoyed Ralph Richardson (as a country pastor) in every frame he's in and I am still in awe of Cedric Hardwicke's interpretation of an enigmatic solicitor which so closely resembles an impersonation of "Mr. Rat" from "The Wind in the Willows". Karloff is underemployed but effective as usual as Professor Morlant (which sounds like "slow death" - mort lente - in French) but Ernest Thesiger is priceless as a slow-witted butler with a club-foot and a Scottish brogue.

This film has very high entertainment and repeat value for the discriminating viewer and the DVD is being sold for practically no money. After surviving 70 years on the shelf, "The Ghoul" has become a must-have instant classic.


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