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||IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from 1,094 votes
||Release: 15 July 1935 (USA) /
||Genre: Crime, Horror
||Director: Roy William Neill,
||Stars: Boris Karloff, Colin Tapley, Henry Kolker, John Buckler, Katherine DeMille, Marian Marsh, Robert Allen, Thurston Hall, Torben Meyer
||Synopsis: Prophecy has it that younger twin Anton will kill brother Gregor in the castle's Black Room. Anton returns to the castle after a 10 year hiatus. Gregor, a Baron, has many attempts on his life as his subjects detest his tyranny. However, good natured Anton earns the subjects' respect, and the admiration of Col.Hassel, uncle of the beautiful Thea. When Gregor kills young servant Mashka, his subjects storm the castle to remove him. Devious Gregor renounces his title in favour of brother Anton to appease them. He then kills Anton to assume his identity and the Baronship again. He is free to pursue Thea with Col.Hassel's blessing. When Col.Hassel discovers Gregor's impersonation, he also meets death. With Thea's true love, Lt. Lussan, wrongfully convicted of Hassel's murder, it appears nothing can stop evil Gregor from ambushing her into marriage. But what of that prophecy? Written by Gary Jackson <[email protected]>
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Watch The Black Room - Alternative Versions.
Boris Karloff only made a handful of movies that demonstrated he had some
real range as an actor, and of that handful, THE BLACK ROOM has to rate as
one of the best. In this work, Karloff plays twin brothers of a family of
aristocrats. The older brother Gregor is a nasty piece of work. He is the
titular head of the family of land barons, and has long developed a
reputation for brutality in the region he governs. His estate is notorious
for having disappeared several young women. Anton, the younger of the
twins, is a cosmopolitan sort, has been away travelling and studying for
many years. Both men are haunted by a family prophecy, in which the younger
of the two twins is supposed to slay the older in order to complete a family
curse, which apparently began in the "black room" of the film's
The room itself was ordered sealed shortly after the birth of the twins in
order to avert a repeat of the tragedy. Unbeknownst to the villagers,
Gregor has found a hidden passage into the black room, and it is the torture
pit of the room where he disposes of the bodies of his victims.
Anton, the younger brother, returns home upon the urging of his brother
Gregor, who has, after several attempts on his life, realized that he must
step aside in order to calm the people down. Gregor has in mind a phoney
abdication in which he seems to step aside in favor of his twin. His actual
plan is to murder Anton, and to continue to reign in Anton's identity, in
his own twist on the family curse. He falls over his own hubris for a
number of personal reasons, but before film's end, he manages to indulge in
a round of crafty Karloffian mayhem.
Karloff plays both the monstrous and benign brothers, but in addition, he
portrays the nasty brother imitating the gentle one. That's what makes this
piece fun. Seventy minutes of the grand old man of the gothics at his best.
I've probably seen it about thirty times now, and it holds up well.
Tags for The Black Room Full Movie
, Colin Tapley
, Henry Kolker
, John Buckler
, Katherine DeMille
, Marian Marsh
, Robert Allen
, Thurston Hall
, Torben Meyer
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