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>
Karloff's performance was voted runner-up to the best performance for the month of August, 1935 by the Screen Actors' Guild. Henry Fonda in "The Farmer Takes a Wife" and Will Rogers in "Steamboat 'Round the Bend" tied for the top award. See more »
The walls of the "stone" pit shaft give way against the weight of bodies. See more »
Well-written and acted, this is a gem of a movie. Discover it and you will realize once again that Karloff truly was a great actor (in a dual role here as a cruel Baron and his kindly twin). The twin angle is played for tension and creepiness and really works in the hands of a great but under recognized director, Roy William Neill. Check out more of Neill's work- most often in the b-movie category but always superbly crafted. Neill's films are always a cut above the average and I believe that his gifts are nowadays finally being noticed and receiving well-deserved recognition.
Marion Marsh hits just the right note in a fine youthful performance as the stunningly beautiful daughter of a local official, committed by family to potential lifetime unhappiness and depravity at the hands of the despicable Baron. Ms. Marsh was one of the most beautiful women ever in the long history of film, but is unaffected by her looks and is almost always natural and effective in her roles. Probably the best word to describe her is simply that she is likable- a good trait for a movie star but too often lacking in many of them.
This film moves along energetically in juggernaut fashion and is marvelously entertaining, totally without any padding or slowness. Its a winner.
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