“On a lonely, pine-clad hill overlooking the Hudson, stood the grotesque mansion of an eccentric millionaire…”
And so the scene is set for a hugely entertaining haunted-house mystery in which the relatives of a deceased recluse gather for the reading of his will. Which of the assembled is as they first appear? Who is innocent and who should not be trusted? Which one of them will fall victim to the murderous ‘lunatic’ roaming the grounds and who will be prey to the grotesque monsters lurking in the mansions’ shadows and secret passages.
Think Agatha Christie meets Scooby Doo with a generous dash of German Expressionism and you get the idea of the flavour of this riotous and influential horror classic.
Dir. Paul Leni | US | 1927 | N/C PG | English intertitles | 1h 48m
With: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley
Performing live: Guenter Buchwald & Frank Bockius
Screening material courtesy of Photoplay Productions
If you like this try The Birth of Horror cuppa talk.
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