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The Black Castle (1952)

Unrated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 20 March 1953 (UK)
Man investigates the disappearance of two of his friends who were the guests of a sinister Austrian count.


Nathan Juran


Jerry Sackheim (story), Jerry Sackheim (screenplay)

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Richard Greene ... Sir Ronald Burton, alias Richard Beckett
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Meissen
Stephen McNally ... Count Karl von Bruno
Rita Corday ... Countess Elga von Bruno (as Paula Corday)
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Gargon (as Lon Chaney)
John Hoyt ... Count Steiken
Michael Pate ... Count Ernst von Melcher
Nancy Valentine ... Therese Von Wilk
Tudor Owen ... Romley
Henry Corden ... Fender
Otto Waldis ... Krantz - the innkeeper


Man investigates the disappearance of two of his friends who were the guests of a sinister Austrian count.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is the Night that Horror Walks on Two Feet! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 March 1953 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Das schwarze Schloß See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lon Chaney Jr's last horror film for Universal. See more »


The movie was supposed to be set in the 18th century, yet there are German Shepherds in he courtyard. The German Shepherd came into being around 1900. See more »


Sir Ronald Burton, alias Richard Beckett: I can condone poor swordsmanship but not bad manners. Gentlemen, Mr. Fender will accept your apologies
See more »


Featured in Son of Svengoolie: The Black Castle (1952) (1980) See more »


Eine kleine Nachtmusik [K.525]
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1973
1 June 2011 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

1952's "The Black Castle" was a followup to the prior season's "The Strange Door," Universal Gothics preceding the studio's switch to science fiction with 1953's "It Came from Outer Space." The opening credits roll in front of the miniature castle seen in "The Ghost of Frankenstein," with familiar musical cues from "The Wolf Man," "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man," "House of Frankenstein," even "Son of Frankenstein." Charles Laughton enjoyed a field day in "The Strange Door," which focused on the villains, while this slightly lesser feature (both scripted by Jerry Sackheim) centers on the heroic Englishman Sir Ronald Burton (Richard Greene), who journeys to The Black Forest and the domain of Count Karl Von Bruno (Stephen McNally), a former adversary in Africa, who had set himself up as a god with the local natives, only to be driven out after encountering Sir Ronald's forces, losing his right eye in the process. Burton is certain that two trusted allies were victims of the sadistic Von Bruno, whose lovely Countess (Paula Corday, "The Body Snatcher") takes a shine to the newcomer (soon to play Robin Hood on British television), who demonstrates his swordsmanship in a brief encounter with Michael Pate and John Hoyt, as henchmen of the Count. This castle comes with a dungeon, a black leopard, a pit full of alligators, and a coffin containing the skeleton of the wicked Count's first wife. Lon Chaney gets a stirring entrance but little screen time as Gargon, the Count's hulking mute caretaker, whose tongue was ripped out by the angry natives, while Boris Karloff also gets shortchanged in the small role of Dr. Meissen, physician to the Count but devoted to the Countess. He at least sets up the climax, the lovers taking a page out of Shakespeare by swallowing a potion that simulates death, delighting the villains who congratulate the doctor for allowing such a fitting demise for their enemies (buried alive). Together for the second time (after 1944's "House of Frankenstein"), Karloff and Chaney would be reunited once more, in the ROUTE 66 episode "Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing." Stephen McNally has fewer opportunities to shine than Charles Laughton, but rises to the occasion once faced with Burton's true identity. Michael Pate enjoys more screen time than he had in "The Strange Door," and would work with John Hoyt again in 1959's "Curse of the Undead." Like most of Universal's popular 50s catalog, this film aired on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater four times- Dec 8 1973 (following 1960's "Psycho"), December 21 1974 (preceding 1956's "The Mole People"), June 21 1975 (preceding 1955's "Tarantula"), and March 12 1977 (following 1958's "Monster on the Campus").

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