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The Black Room (1935)

Unrated | | Crime, Horror | 15 July 1935 (USA)
Ignoring an ancient prophecy, evil brother Gregor seeks to maintain his feudal power on his his Tyrolean estate by murdering and impersonating his benevolent younger twin.

Director:

Roy William Neill (as R. William Neill)

Writers:

Arthur Strawn (screenplay), Henry Myers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Baron Gregor de Berghman / Anton de Berghman
Marian Marsh ... Thea Hassel
Robert Allen ... Lt. Albert Lussan
Thurston Hall ... Col. Paul Hassel
Katherine DeMille ... Mashka (as Katherine de Mille)
John Buckler John Buckler ... Beran
Henry Kolker ... Baron Frederick de Berghman
Colin Tapley ... Lt. Paul Hassel
Torben Meyer ... Peter
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Storyline

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 <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Master of the House of Horror! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 July 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crna soba See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Shooting began May 6, 1935, finished June 7, released July 15, 1935. Boris Karloff completed his scenes for "The Raven" one month earlier, on April 5. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in the early 1800s, yet a statue of St. Therese of Lisieux (Therese Martin) is prominently displayed in the castle three times (at 17:26, 40:09, and 47:08). Therese Martin was not born until 1873. Furthermore, no statue of St. Therese was made or displayed until after she was canonized, in 1925. See more »

Quotes

Col. Paul Hassel: [Playing chess] Your attack is weak as your brother Gregor's was brilliant. Chess, by the way, was the only virtue I ever discovered in him.
Baron Gregor de Bergmann: I received a letter today from him from Warsaw. Most of it was devoted to begging me to send his love to you, Colonel.
Col. Paul Hassel: His love to me? Well, if I have to accept it, I'd rather have it by post than any way I can think of.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great film
18 March 2015 | by PanamintSee all my reviews

Well-written and acted, this is a gem of a movie. Discover it and you will realize once again that Karloff truly was a great actor (in a dual role here as a cruel Baron and his kindly twin). The twin angle is played for tension and creepiness and really works in the hands of a great but under recognized director, Roy William Neill. Check out more of Neill's work- most often in the b-movie category but always superbly crafted. Neill's films are always a cut above the average and I believe that his gifts are nowadays finally being noticed and receiving well-deserved recognition.

Marion Marsh hits just the right note in a fine youthful performance as the stunningly beautiful daughter of a local official, committed by family to potential lifetime unhappiness and depravity at the hands of the despicable Baron. Ms. Marsh was one of the most beautiful women ever in the long history of film, but is unaffected by her looks and is almost always natural and effective in her roles. Probably the best word to describe her is simply that she is likable- a good trait for a movie star but too often lacking in many of them.

This film moves along energetically in juggernaut fashion and is marvelously entertaining, totally without any padding or slowness. Its a winner.


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