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The Dark Tower (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 18 October 1943 (UK)
A struggling circus finds salvation in the form of an exciting new twist on their high-wire act.


John Harlow


Sam H. Harris (based on his production of the play), George S. Kaufman (based on the play by) | 3 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Ben Lyon ... Phil Danton
Anne Crawford ... Mary
David Farrar ... Tom Danton
Herbert Lom ... Stephen Torg
Frederick Burtwell Frederick Burtwell ... Willie Wainwright
William Hartnell ... Jim Towers (as Bill Hartnell)
Josephine Wilson Josephine Wilson ... Dora Shogun
Elsie Wagstaff ... Eve Wainwright (as Elsie Wagstaffe)
J.H. Roberts ... Dr. Wilson
Aubrey Mallalieu Aubrey Mallalieu ... Doctor


High drama beneath the big top. Forbidden romance, rivalry, murder, betrayed friends. A retired hypnotist falls in love with a trapeze artiste whose jealous partner is the brother of the circus owner. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 October 1943 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dantonmysteriet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"The Dark Tower" was a play by George S. Kaufman and Alexander Woollcott which ran for 57 performances on Broadway between November 1933 and January 1934. Warner Brothers bought the rights and made it as a vehicle for Edward G. Robinson later that year under the title "The Man with Two Faces". Nine years later Warner Brothers U.K. remade the film under the original title "The Dark Tower". The two films have very little resemblance to each other in their plots and backgrounds except for the heroine falling under the spell of a demonic fiend who controls her mind. The Hollywood version is faithful to the original with a Broadway actor trying to rescue his sister from her Svengali husband; the British version has an aerial artist in the power of a hypnotist against a circus background. Both films are highly enjoyable. See more »


Willie Wainwright: Ladies and gentlemen, once more we bring to your town the thrill of a lifetime. The unparalled, the inimical, unrivalled Empire Circus. Come in your thousands and enjoy this feast of equine dexterity and acrobatic marvels we shall place before your astounded gaze. Never before in the history of this town has such a gay galaxy of talent and of beauty been set before you.
See more »


Remake of The Man with Two Faces (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Hypnotism in the hands of ruthless people is a dangerous thing
18 June 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Trilby&Svengali saga is given another version in The Dark Tower. This is a film made by Warner Brothers at its British studio facilities and it's a well done piece of work.

Ben Lyon is boss of a circus that's hardly the operation of Ringling Brothers. It's a failing small show and at the beginning of the film he can't even meet the payroll. Into his life walks Herbert Lom, a strange and brooding man who has a great gift as a hypnotist. On both animals and people.

The main attraction of the circus is the aerial act that Lyon's brother David Farrar does with Anne Crawford and Crawford has fears that may be insurmountable. With hypnosis not so says Lom and he hypnotizes her to conquer her fears. Pretty soon she's his puppet.

With his mesmerizing methods the show becomes a success. But Lom starts intruding on everything in the show and extorts a partnership out of Lyon. To a person they all hate him in the show save Crawford, but know he's their meal ticket. In the end something is done about Lom.

Lom is the center of this film, he gives a fascinating performance about a brooding and vengeful man. In a key scene with Crawford he tells of being bullied as a child and then discovering his gift made a lot of people bend to his will. A lot of bullied kids and former bullied kids who watch this film will cheer on Herbert Lom.

Don't miss this film if broadcast especially if you are fan of Herbert Lom's work.

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