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Thread: The Old Dark House

  1. #1
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    The Old Dark House

    I'm not sure I've ever sat through this movie from start to finish before, last night I put it on and didn't move from the couch for 71 minutes.

    While I love the cast, the atmosphere and the fact that so many tropes derive from the movie (You'll have to spend the night) it's a really weird story that doesn't really seem to go anywhere.

    I'm used to Karloff taking command of a movie with his performance but he's not given much of anything to do here.

    The only thing I picked up on that amused me was some clever sexual innuendo that James Whale did seem to enjoy.

    Is anybody a big fan of this movie?

  2. #2
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    I like it enough, but agree with the flaws you pointed out. Karloff is wasted IMO.
    There were several films before and after this one that did the spooky old house scenario much better.

  3. #3
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    I like it, but didnít love it as much as I thought I would. Itís been a while, but I remember feeling it was more of a comedy than mystery / suspense for much of it.

  4. #4
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    The more I think about it, it just felt like "Bride of Frankenstein" without having a monster. It's a big room full of quirky characters and while I totally drank that in, I just thought more would be done with the premise. I'm not sorry I watched it or anything, this is all about my expectations.

    It's interesting to read that Americans hated it but it was a big hit in the UK.

  5. #5
    I've never even heard of this movie. But now I want to watch it.

  6. #6
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    Horror Hotel just started. Excellent movie I recommended it. Especially the witch played by Patricia Jessup. I love her voice

  7. #7
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    Horror Hotel scared the poop out of me as a kid. A great creepy movie.

  8. #8
    Big fan of Old Dark House. Own it on DVD and have watched it several times. It is creepy, to say the least, and the cast of characters is bizarre. The ending is definitely not to be missed. It was my goal years ago to watch ever movie critiqued in the excellent book "Classics of the Horror Films" by William K. Everson first released in 1975. The book is a fantastic journey through the classic era of horror films (silent to the mid-to-late 1950s), and I highly recommend it and also watching the movie Old Dark House. The book recommends Old Dark House.

    Interestingly, this was one of Gloria Stuart's last roles from her youth prior to her appearance in the movie Titanic. I was able to obtain Gloria's signature on an Old Dark House picture many years ago.

    The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray on amazon.com
    Last edited by SWCWorld; Oct 12, '18 at 12:01 PM.

  9. #9
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    ^Huge fan of Everson's film books; his "Classics of the Horror Film" enthralled me when I first began being more engaged in classic films and genre fandom.

    ODH is a favorite of mine. I like Whale's work in general, and I really enjoy the film's cast and atmosphere. I don't mind Karloff's limited role, he's still a menacing, ominous presence. And I'm always happy to watch Theisinger. The outre tone of the film appeals to me--I'd rather watch it than, for comparison, The Cat and the Canary.
    Last edited by PNGwynne; Oct 12, '18 at 2:49 PM. Reason: typos
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PNGwynne View Post
    ^Huge fan of Everson's film books; his "Classics of the Horror Film" enthralled me when I first began being more engaged in classic films and genre fandom.

    ODH is a favorite of mine. I like Whale's work in general, and I really enjoys the film's cast and atmosphere. I don't mind Karloff's limited role, he's still a menacing, ominous presence. And I'm always happy to watch Theisiger. The outre tone of the film appeals to me--I'd rather watch it than, for comparison, The Cat and the Canary.
    Yes, Theisinger was wonderfully bizarre in Old Dark House, and lest we forget, he had one of the major starring roles in Bride of Frankenstein. Wonderful actor. Interesting in that you bring up Cat and the Canary; been remade several times. I have both the silent film and the Bob Hope film, and while Hope and Goddard are excellent together (Especially in Ghost Breakers, see my review here: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Breaker...ghost+breakers ) I think the silent film better paced.

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