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>
According to "The Immortal Count," the scene where Jerry is hanging in mid-air from the doorknob of Jean's room was laughed at by theater audiences at the premiere. See more »
After Dr. Vollin regales his house guests on the subject of Edgar Allan Poe, all rise to retire. Jean Thatcher stops, returns to her former place on the couch, and has to free her gown from the cushion. This action causes her to be the last guest to leave the room, allowing her to have a private moment with Bateman. In their subsequent two-shot, she apologizes to him for having been startled earlier when he'd entered the room where she was fixing her hair. See more »
Karloff gets the top billing in this second feature pairing both horror stars, but it is Bela Lugosi all the way who steals each and every scene he is in. Lugosi is incredible in his over-the-top performance of a morbid, obsessed doctor and Poe aficionado. Each line he utters with flair and gusto, each movement an outrageous, maniacal gesture. He is truly a ham, and an enjoyable one at that. Karloff is quite good as a killer, and the only compassionate character in the story. He is disfigured by Lugosi, so he will kill for the mad doctor. One of the best scenes is Lugosi leaving his patient to see his handiwork. Karloff shoots through several mirrors after realizing the atrocities committed on him, and from a door in the roof of the room.....Lugosi peers through and laughs...laughs with coldness, cruelty, and hysteria. The rest of the film is devoted to Lugosi utilizing his Poe recreations of torture...and I must confess as an earlier reviewer noted that you really feel little sympathy for the other characters involved...and at one point I wanted the pendulum to win. You must see this film as it is the second best of the Karloff/Lugosi pairings...but it really is a Lugosi film.
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