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49 user 24 critic

The Black Room (1935)

Unrated | | Crime , Horror | 15 July 1935 (USA)
Ignoring an ancient prophecy, evil brother Gregor seeks to maintain his feudal power on his his Tyrolean estate by murdering and impersonating his benevolent younger twin.

Director:

Roy William Neill (as R. William Neill)

Writers:

Arthur Strawn (screenplay), Henry Myers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Baron Gregor de Berghman / Anton de Berghman
Marian Marsh ... Thea Hassel
Robert Allen ... Lt. Albert Lussan
Thurston Hall ... Col. Paul Hassel
Katherine DeMille ... Mashka (as Katherine de Mille)
John Buckler John Buckler ... Beran
Henry Kolker ... Baron Frederick de Berghman
Colin Tapley ... Lt. Paul Hassel
Torben Meyer ... Peter
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Storyline

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 <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prophecy | baron | twins | castle | servant | See All (74) »

Taglines:

HE WAS A DEMON OF DEATH -- ...WHOSE MYSTERIOUS CHAMBERS HELD GRUESOME SECRETS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 July 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crna soba See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Baron de Berghman: This house began with murder. It will end the same way.
[Reading from the coat-of-arms]
Baron de Berghman: "Principio Et Finem Similia." I end as I began!
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User Reviews

 
Most enjoyable.
11 May 2014 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

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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