51 user 29 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.


Roy William Neill (as R. William Neill)


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




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


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


Dead or Alive... He could kill! See more »


Crime | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


Baron Gregor de Bergmann: [as Anton lies dying in the well of the Black Room] Goodbye, brother. There's nothing to fear now. The prophecy can't be fulfilled.
Anton de Bergmann: [With certitude] It will be fulfilled!
Baron Gregor de Bergmann: Perhaps you will come back from the dead to kill me?
Anton de Bergmann: [Dying words] Even from the dead!
See more »

User Reviews

Great film
18 March 2015 | by PanamintSee all my reviews

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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Release Date:

15 July 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crna soba See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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