6.8/10
1,552
43 user 22 critic

Tower of London (1939)

Approved | | Drama, History | 17 November 1939 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Rowland V. Lee

Writer:

Robert N. Lee (original screen play)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Basil Rathbone ... Richard - Duke of Gloucester
Boris Karloff ... Mord
Barbara O'Neil ... Queen Elyzabeth
Ian Hunter ... King Edward IV
Vincent Price ... Duke of Clarence
Nan Grey ... Lady Alice Barton
Ernest Cossart ... Tom Clink
John Sutton ... John Wyatt
Leo G. Carroll ... Lord Hastings
Miles Mander ... King Henry VI
Lionel Belmore ... Beacon
Rose Hobart ... Anne Neville
Ronald Sinclair ... Boy King Edward
John Herbert-Bond John Herbert-Bond ... Young Prince Richard
Ralph Forbes ... Henry Tudor
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Storyline

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 Edward IV of England. As each murder is accomplished he takes particular delight in removing small figurines, each resembling one of the successors, from a throne-room dollhouse, until he alone remains. After the death of Edward he becomes Richard III, King of England, and need only defeat the exiled Henry Tudor to retain power. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

torturer | red wine | gold | king | death | See All (82) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin | French

Release Date:

17 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Torre de Londres See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The battle scenes were an ordeal to film. Principally shot on August 19, 1939 at a ranch in Tarzana, the fog machine proved ineffective in the face of high winds. The 100-degree heat caused the 300 extras to suffer and rain machines caused the soldier's cardboard helmets and shields to disintegrate. Additional battle scenes were shot on August 22 and on September 4, 1939, but the California heat continued to play havoc with the cast, crew and equipment. See more »

Goofs

(at around 15 mins) A person can be seen walking past the window. See more »

Quotes

Mord: [to Richard] You're more than a king, more than a man. You're a god to me!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vincent Price: Renaissance Man (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No, It's not Shakespeare. Nor is it supposed to be.
5 August 2006 | by artzauSee all my reviews

It's unfair to compare this horror movie of the pre-WW2 vintage to Richard III of the Bard. While the Tower of London builds on Shakespeare's vilification of Richard III, this tale is much more of a dark genre that was popular at that time and which continued up until after WW2. These are the days of Revenge of the Cat People, Frankenstein and its sequels and other films that strike the mood of those post depression times. The censors of the time forbade any explicit sex or violence and what you saw was always highly stylized. However, presenting a stylized horror film, mild, if not downright tame, by today's standards, required a great deal of subtlety from the actors, which is something sadly lacking in today's slice 'n dice menus. These new horror films are so predictable and rely on gore and explicit violence to provide the thrill which like pornography requires each new presentation to up the ante in mindless antics, each trying to out-gross the previous. So, what have we here in this fine old film. The classic tale of Richard Crook-back. We have the great Basil Rathbone as the Black Duke and Boris Karloff as his fictional sidekick, Mord. Yes, Karloff is nearly a stereotype for the evil henchmen who's willing to carry out the furious demands of his heartless master. But, there's a young Vinnie Price as the Duke of Clarence awaiting a drowning in a vat of Mumsey wine. The action line of this classic story moves quickly, the lines are spoken clearly and the the acting is superb. What else do you want from a 1939 horror drama?


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