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
A wealthy judge coaxes the brilliant but eccentric neurological surgeon Dr. Vollin (Lugosi), who also has an obsessive penchant for Edgar Allen Poe, out of retirement to save the life of his daughter, a dancer crippled and brain damaged in an auto wreck. Vollin restores her completely, but also envisions her as his "Lenore," and cooks up a scheme to kidnap the woman and torture and kill her fiance' and father in his Poe-inspired dungeon. To do his dirty work, Vollin recruits a wanted criminal (Karloff), and turns him into a hideous monster to guarantee his subservience.Written by
Kevin Rayburn <kprayb01@homer.Louisville.edu>
The on-screen billing switches the character names played by Spencer Charters and Ian Wolfe. Charters actually portrays Colonel Bertram Grant, while Wolfe appears as Geoffrey "Pinky" Burns. See more »
When Judge Thatcher goes to Vollin's home to plead his case, the shadow of Vollin's stuffed raven changes position. First, it is in front of Thatcher's shadow, then behind, then in front again. See more »
Great fun with Lugosi stealing the spotlight as mad surgeon...
BELA LUGOSI never had a role that made better use of his stylized ham emoting than his mad surgeon here. The camera holds him in close-ups that emphasize the penetrating gaze and knitted eyebrows as he obsesses about an attractive woman he wishes to marry.
He steals every scene he's in with his heavy emphasis on certain words and his inflection that has menace in every syllable. By comparison, Boris Karloff (top-billed) has a cameo role that he plays with his usual skill, managing to get some sympathy for a basically unsympathetic character--a man who served time as a killer. Between the two of them, they create a minor thriller that is the kind of horror film Universal was famous for in the '30s.
Lugosi being a man obsessed by Edgar Allen Poe's torture devices in stories like 'The Pit and the Pendulum', approaches every scene with relish, obviously delighted with his role as a surgeon who declares: "I love torture!" The plot, of course, is outrageously preposterous but just try to turn away as he puts into place his plan for the girl, her father and her fiance--as well as his servant Karloff.
None of it is believable, but it's all great fun in the tradition of Universal thrillers. Perfect for Halloween!!
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