A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »
Rowland V. Lee
Noble-born cad Denis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), an evil madman who can't get over the death of his beloved, twenty... See full summary »
Prophecy has it that younger twin Anton will kill brother Gregor in the castle's Black Room. Anton returns to the castle after a 10 year hiatus. Gregor, a Baron, has many attempts on his life as his subjects detest his tyranny. However, good natured Anton earns the subjects' respect, and the admiration of Col.Hassel, uncle of the beautiful Thea. When Gregor kills young servant Mashka, his subjects storm the castle to remove him. Devious Gregor renounces his title in favour of brother Anton to appease them. He then kills Anton to assume his identity and the Baronship again. He is free to pursue Thea with Col.Hassel's blessing. When Col.Hassel discovers Gregor's impersonation, he also meets death. With Thea's true love, Lt. Lussan, wrongfully convicted of Hassel's murder, it appears nothing can stop evil Gregor from ambushing her into marriage. But what of that prophecy?Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shooting began May 6, 1935, finished June 7, released July 15, 1935. Boris Karloff completed his scenes for "The Raven" one month earlier, on April 5. See more »
When Col. Hassell arrives at the inn to meet Anton near the beginning, there is no glass on the carriage window when the carriage arrives at the inn. There is also no sign of broken glass when the carriage arrives at the castle, but a shot is fired through the carriage's glass window en route. See more »
Nicely plotted period horror tale that just goes to show the kind of talent that the legendary Boris Karloff possessed. As directed by Roy William Neill, it's great fun, with a fine supporting cast, an adequate pace, thunderous music, and respectable atmosphere. It leads to a solid action climax and a satisfying denouement. This may not be one of Karloffs' better known vehicles, but it does deserve more exposure.
Karloff plays twin brothers (one good and one evil, naturally) who have a nasty family prophecy hanging over their heads, seemingly solved when a room inside their castle is sealed up. Also helping matters is the fact that Anton, the nice younger twin, travels the world for a while before being summoned home by his brother, a cruel despot who abuses his position of power. This leads to a great twist, but it won't be revealed here. Gregor, the evil twin, has his eye on beautiful young Thea (the radiant Marian Marsh), and intends to marry her despite the fact that she's already attached to another man, Lt. Lussan (Robert Allen), whom he frames for murder.
"The Black Room" does have its assets, but chief among them are the dual Karloff performances; he's superb at creating two very different personalities. His delicious villainy when he plays Gregor easily rivals his equally compelling turn in "The Body Snatcher" a decade later. Also doing creditable work are Thurston Hall, Katherine DeMille, John Buckler, and Henry Kolker. The dog, Thor, is great too.
Highly recommended to Karloff fans.
Eight out of 10.
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