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THE BLACK ABBOTT
(1934/Real Art/Ambassador) 56mins. BW. UK.
Credits:
Dir: George A. Cooper; Prod: Julius Hagen; Sc: Terence Egan; Ph: Ernest Palmer; Ed: Lister Laurance; Art: James A. Carter. From "The Grange Mystery" by Philip Godfrey.
Cast: John Stuart, Judy Kelly, Richard Cooper, Edgar Norfolk, Ben Welden.
The legend of a ghost conveniently helps some crooks kidnap a rich man.
The actors and the script are presented like a badly produced stageplay, which should please those with a taste for terrible films. Watch for the excruciatingly awful comic relief.

THE BLACK BOX (1915/Universal) 30 reels. BW. Silent. Serial. 15 episodes. US.
Credits: Dir., Prod. & Sc: Otis Turner. Based on the novel by E. Phillips Oppenheim.
Cast:
Herbert Rawlinson, Anna Little, Frank Lloyd, William Worthington, Mark Fenton, Laura Oakley.
An early science fiction serial featuring thought transference, an invisibility cloak, a television and an ape man. Several million, inch-square black cubes were given away to theatre patrons to promote Universal's earliest serial.

THE BLACK CAT (1934/Universal) 65mins. BW. US. Aka: THE HOUSE OF DOOM (UK), Re-released as THE VANISHING BODY.
Credits:
Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer; Prod: E.M. Asher & Carl Laemmle Jnr.; Sc: Peter Ruric & Edgar G. Ulmer; Ph: John J. Mescal; Ed: Ray Curtiss; Art: Charles D. Hall; Sfx: John P. Fulton; Mu: Jack P. Pierce; Mus: Liszt, Schumann & Tchaikovsky; Mus.Credits: Dir: Heinz Roemheld. Based loosely on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.
Cast:
Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, David Manners, Jacqeline Wells (Julie Bishop), Lucille Lund, Harry Cording, Egon Brecher, Henry Armetta, Luis Alberni, Herman Bing, John Peter Richmond (John Carradine), Anna Duncan, Andre Cheron, Andy Devine, King Baggot, Albert Conti, George Davis, Alphonse Martell, Tony Marlow, Paul Weigel, Rodney Hidebrant, Peggy Terry, John George (unbilled), Michael Mark.
"Things you never saw before, or ever dreamed of!"
Dr. Vitas Verdegast, (Lugosi), recently released from fifteen years in prison, helps two stranded travellers, (Manners & Wells), to the house of Hjalmar Poelzig, (Karloff). There Verdegast plans to avenge his honour against the Satanist Poelzig who has hypnotised

his daughter, stole his now deceased wife and built a home over the ruins of a fort where 10,000 soldiers died in a terrible defeat caused by Poelzig's treachery. The innocent travellers are caught in the middle of the ensuing chaos. Verdegast plays a game of chess for the innocent woman's life as part of a satanic ritual, but although he loses, Verdegast overpowers Poelzig and gleefully peels his skin away bit by bit with a knife.
A bizarre premise is filmed with some style and although rather dull in places, Karloff and Lugosi's demented portrayals raise it above the usual barnstorming melodrama. Inspired less by Poe and more by the sensational story of Aleister Crowley who brought a libel suit against Nina Hamnett for her 1933 book "Laughing Torso".
The many and varied references to a pervasive sense of evil and sadism slowly grows, even though nothing much is happening on screen. The squeamish British censor removed all scenes to do with satanism, changed the theme to sun worship and released it as THE HOUSE OF DOOM.
John Carradine can be spotted briefly as a organ playing devil worshipper.
Clips from this film later appeared in the film HEAD (1968).


THE BLACK CAT
(1941/Universal) 70mins. BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: Albert S. Rogell; Prod: Burt Kelly; Sc: Robert Lees, Fred Rinaldo, Eric Taylor & Robert Neville; Ph: Stanley Cortez; Ed: Ted Kent; Art: Jack Otterson & Ralph M. DeLacy; Sets: Russell A. Gausman; Sfx: John P. Fulton; Technician: Hal Bumbaugh; Mus: Hans J. Salter.
Cast:
Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford, Alan Ladd, Gale Sondergaard, Bela Lugosi, Gladys Cooper, Anne Gwynne, Cecillia Loftus, Clare Dodd, John Eldredge.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Her hats are full of bats, for spending all her dough on cats." - Crawford.
In a gloomy old house, eccentric, but wealthy Henrietta Winslow maintains a crematorium for her beloved cats. Her caretaker, Eduardo, (Lugosi), is the chief suspect for the murders that surround the house, but after an emotional plea that he is innocent, Eduardo is murdered by a strange relative of the old woman. When the old woman dies, an antique dealer, (Herbert), and an estate agent, (Crawford), investigate her death.
A slow and uninspiring mystery despite the atmospheric camerawork, that wastes its good cast. Unfortunately, by this time, Bela Lugosi was reduced to playing minor "red-herring" roles.
Marlene Dietrich visited the set often to see her current paramour Broderick Crawford. When Dodd had finished work for the day Dietrich stood in for her during several shots with her back to the camera.

THE BLACK CROOK (1915/Kalem) 6 reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits:
Sc: Phil Lang. From a story by Charles Barras.
Cast:
E.P. Sullivan.
A criminal makes a pact with the Devil.

THE BLACK DOLL (1938/Universal) 66mins BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: Otis Garrett; Prod: Irving Starr; Sc: Harold Buckley; Ph: Stanley Cortez & Ira Morgan; Ed: Maurice Wright; Art: Ralph Berger; Sets: Emile Kurl; Mus: Charles Previn. From a story by William Edward Hayes.
Cast:
Donald Woods, Nan Grey, Edgar Kennedy, C. Henry Gordon, Doris Lloyd, John Wray, Addison Richards, Holmes Herbert, William Lundigan, Fred Malatesta, Inez Palange, Syd Saylor, Arthur Hoyt, John Harmon.
Nelson Rood, (Gordon), knows that the household members of his quiet country estate have reason to hate him due to his ruthless business activities that made him his fortune while plundering an ore-rich mine in Mexico. However, one of them is a killer who leaves a black doll as a sign of oncoming doom.
This mystery thriller contains only minor horror elements and was the second entry in Universal's "Crime Club" series. The others include THE WESTLAND CASE, The Lady in the Morgue, DANGER ON THE AIR and THE LAST WARNING.

BLACK DRAGONS (1942/PRC./Monogram) 61mins. BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: William Nigh; Prod: Sam Katzman & Jack Dietz; A.Prod: Barney Sarecky; Sc: Harvey Gates; Ph: Art Reed; Ed: Carl Pierson; Art: Dave Milton; Mus: Lange & Porter.
Cast: Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, Clayton Moore, George Pembroke, Robert Frazer, Stanford Jolley, Robert Fiske, Kenneth Harlan, Max Hoffman Jnr., Irving Mitchell, Edward Piel Snr., Joseph Eggenton, Bernard Gorcey, Frank Helton.
"A challenge from the man of 1000 horrors! I defy moviegoers not to gasp when they see Black Dragons: Never have I worked in a story so startling, or so blood-chillingly shocking. See if you dare...!" - Lugosi

 

 

 

 

Nazi Dr. Melcher, (Lugosi), is a plastic surgeon who operates on Japanese spies transforming them into American industrialists. After his arrest, Melcher escapes to America where he kills off the phoney industrialists.
Most of the plastic surgery elements are shown only in flashback during the last reel, leaving most of the film as a confusion of skulking figures and screams.
Inspired by an actual murderous Japanese society named "Black Dragon" that received notoriety after several newspaper articles appeared at the time.

BLACK FRIDAY (1940/Universal) 70mins. BW. US.
Originally titled FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH.
Credits:
Dir: Arthur Lubin; Prod: Burt Kelly; Sc: Curt Siodmak & Eric Taylor; Ph: Woody Bredell (Elwood Bredell); Ed: Philip Cahn; Art: Jack Otterson & Harold McArthur; Sets: Russell A. Gausman; Sfx: John P. Fulton; Mu: Jack P. Pierce; Technician: Charles Carroll; Mus: Hans Salter.
Cast: Boris Karloff, Stanley Ridges, Anne Nagel, Anne Gwynne, Virginia Brissac, James Craig, Paul Fix, Bela Lugosi, Edmund MacDonald, Murray Alper, Ray Bailey, Jack Mulhall, Joe King, John Kelly, Jerry Marlowe, Edward McWade, Eddie Dunn, Emmett Vogan, Edward Earle, Kernan Kripps, Edwin Stanley, Frank Sheridan, Harry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hayden, Dave Oliver, Harry Tenbrook, Ray Bailey, Ellen Lowe, Franco Corsaro.
Gangster, Red Cannon, is injured and a college professor, George Kingsley, (Ridges), is accidentally killed during a shoot out. Both men are at the surgical mercy of Dr. Sovac, (Karloff), who saves his friend, the professor by using brain tissue from the gangster. Sovac encourages the professor to believe that he is the gangster so that he can find the whereabouts of some hidden money, however, the professor alternates between the two personalities and becomes an insane schizophrenic who sometimes vengefully kills the other gang members.
An engaging thriller that doesn't contain as many horrific moments as the cast list suggests. Ridges replaced Lugosi in the role of the professor and outperformed them all. Lugosi was regulated to a minor role, and for the sake of publicity he was hypnotised to play his death scene by hypnotist Manley Hall.
This is the last teaming of Karloff and Lugosi for Universal studios.

BLACK MAGIC (1916/Kalem) 25mins. BW. Silent. US.
Credits:
Dir: James W. Horne Sc: George B. Howard.
Cast:
Maria Sais, Ollie Kirby.
A wealthy woman is under the sinister influence of a Hindu fakir.
An episode from the film series "The Social Pirates".

BLACK MAGIC (1944/Monogram) 67mins. BW. US.
Aka: CHARLIE CHAN IN BLACK MAGIC; CHARLIE CHAN IN MEETING AT MIDNIGHT; MEETING AT MIDNIGHT.
Credits: Dir: Phil Rosen.
Cast: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Frances Chan, Jaqueline de Wit, Claudia Dell, Edward Earle, Joseph Crehan.
Charlie Chan investigates a murder at a seance and encounters phoney fortune tellers.
A minor Charlie Chan adventure with spooky undertones.

BLACK MOON (1934/Columbia) 68mins. BW. US.
Credits: Dir: Roy William Neill; Sc: Wells Root; Ph: Joseph August. From the story "Haiti Moon" by Clements Ripley.
Cast:
Jack Holt, Fay Wray, Dorothy Burgess, Arnold Korff, Cora Sue Collins, Clarence Muse, Lumsden Hare, Robert Frazier, Edna Tichenor.
"Jungle Madness! Tropic Love!"
A white woman becomes so obsessed with voodoo rituals, that she almost sacrifices her own daughter.

THE BLACK OPAL (1913/Ramo) 2 reels. BW. Silent. US.
An opal ring carries with it a terrible curse.

 

 

 

 

 


BLACK ORCHIDS
(1916/Universal/Bluebird Photoplays Inc.) 5 reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits: Dir. & Sc: Rex Ingram; Ph: B.C."Duke" Hayward.
Cast:
Cleo Madison, Francis McDonald, Wedgewood Nowell, Howard Crampton, Richard la Reno, John George, Jean Hersholt, Joe Martin (ape).
Frivolous young Marie de Severac, (Madison), is frightened into following a more virtuous path when her father relates a story in which an equally frivolous woman is entombed alive.
Remade by Rex Ingram in 1922 as Trifling Women.

BLACK OXEN (1923/First National) 8 reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits: Dir: Frank Lloyd; Sc: Mary O'Hara; Ph: Norbert Brodin. From the novel by Gertrude Atherton.
Cast: Corinne Griffith, Conway Tearle, Clara Bow, Alan Hale, Kate Lester.
X-rays are used to transform a woman thirty years younger. The film examines the social and psychological effects of age reversal.

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On VHS in the US

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE BLACK PEARL
(1928/Trem-Carr/Rayart) 58mins. (6 reels). BW. Silent. US.
Credits:
Dir: Scott Pembroke; Sc: Arthur Hoerl; Ph: Hap Depew; Ed: J.S. Harrington. From a novel by Mrs. Wilson Woodrow.
Cast: Lila Lee, Ray Hallor, Carl Stockdale, Howard Lorenz, Adele Watson, Thomas Curran, Sybil Grove, Lew Short, George French, Baldy Belmont, Art Reynolds.
A mysterious gem stolen from the eye of an Indian idol exerts a baleful influence upon its owner, Silas Lathrop, (Curran). After receiving several death threats pinned to daggers, Silas decides to gather his relatives to gether for a reading of his will. Unfortunately, Silas and other members of his family are killed until a detective, (Stockdale), disguised as the butler and a young heiress, (Lee), reveal the identity of the killer.
A standard old-dark-house thriller.
Lee also appeared in similar roles for The Ghost Breaker (1922), The Gorilla (1930) and The Unholy Three (1930).

THE BLACK ROOM (1935/Columbia) 70mins. BW. US.
Aka: THE BLACK ROOM MYSTERY.
Credits: Dir: Roy William Niell; Prod: Robert North; Sc: Henry Meyers & Arthur Strawn; Ph: Al Siegler; Ed: Richard Cahoon. Based on a story by Arthur Strawn.
Cast: Boris Karloff, Robert Allen, Marian Marsh, Edward Van Sloan, Thurston Hall, John Buckler, Katherine De Mille, Colin Tapley, Henry Kolker, Torben Meyer, John Bleifer, Frederick Vogeding, Egon Brecher, Lois Lindsey, Herbert Evans, John George, Michael Mark.
"Embraced by the Devil! Monster...his kiss the password to oblivion!"
Noble twins are besotted by an ancient curse that prophesises that the elder will be slain by the younger twin. The mild mannered Gregor, (Karloff), returns to the home where his older tyrannical brother Anton, (Karloff), resides. Anton has summoned him back to the estate in order to kill him and avoid the prophesy, so Gregor is slain and dropped into the bottom of a pit in the "black room". Disguising himself as the dead twin, the evil Anton woos for the affections of a girl, (Marsh), who would marry him into power, but the disguise is discovered in time and Anton fulfils the curse by falling into the pit only to be impaled on the knife that Gregor 's corpse is holding in its hand.
A wonderfully atmospheric and gothic melodrama with superb portrayals by Karloff.

THE BLACK ROOM MYSTERY (1935) see The Black Room

BLACK SHADOWS (1920/Fox) 5 reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits:
Dir: Howard M. Mitchell; Sc: J. Anthony Roach.
Cast:
Estella Evans, Peggy Hyland, Albert Roscoe.
A victim of hypnotism feels compelled to steal.

BLACK WATERS (1929/British & Dominion/Sono Art/World Wide) 90mins (81mins US.) BW. UK.
Credits: Dir: Marshall Neilan; Prod: Herbert Wilcox; Sc: John Willard & Frank Reicher; Ph: David Kesson; Ed: Rose Smith.
From the play "Fog" by John Willard.
Cast:
James Kirkwood, Mary Brian, John Loder, Hallam Cooley, Frank Reicher, Lloyd Hamilton, Robert Ames, Ben Hendricks, Noble Johnson.
"Damn you all! I'm giving a party in Hell, and you're all coming with me now!" - Rev. Kelly.
Charlie, (Loder), and Eunice, (Brian), board a ghostly sailing ship at a deserted San Francisco wharf at midnight, captained by the mysterious and as yet unseen "Tiger Larabee", (Kirkwood). A voice over the radio warns the guests that they should expect to be dead before dawn, then one by one, sever al are reported missing from the ship. Charlie and Eunice, a giant mute named Jeelo, (Johnson), and Reverend Elph Kelly, (Kirkwood), stay together until Kelly reveals himself to be the insane captain Larabee and that he has planted a bomb on board inviting everyone to join him at a party in Hell. Injured and dying, Jeelo kills Larabee as Charlie tosses the bomb overboard.
Despite the excellent camerawork, the talkative script and Hamilton's awful comic relief reduce the film to a just bearable thriller.
Unable to obtain suitable sound recording equipment in Britain, Herbert Wilcox produced this all-talking film in America.

BLADE AF SATANS BOG (1919/Nordisk Films Kompagni) 80mins. BW. Silent. Denmark.
Aka: LEAVES FROM SATAN'S BOOK.
Credits:
Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer; Sc: Carl Dreyer & Edgar Hoyer; Ph: George Schneevoigt; Art: Carl Dreyer, Axel Bruun & Jens. G. Lind. From the story "The Sorrows of Satan" by Marie Corelli.
Cast:
Helge Nissen, Halvard Hoff, Jacob Texiere, Erling Hansson, Hermansen, Weigel, Glyche, Wilhelm Jensen, Hallander Helleman, Ebon Strandin, Johannes Meyer, Nalle Halden, Hugo Bruun, Tenna Kraft, Emma Wiehe, Jeanne Tramcourt, Elith Pio, Viggo Wiehe, Emil Helsengreen, Sven Sacholander, Viggo Lindstrem, Vilhelm Petersen, Carlo Wieth, Clara Pontoppidan, Carl Hillebrandt, Karina Bell, Christian Nielsen.
Satan appears during four different time periods to claim a soul. As a Pharisee he tempts Judas to betray Christ; as a Grand Inquisitor in 16th Spain; as a fervent revolutionary in Paris of 1793; and as a defrocked Red monk during the Russo-Finnish war of 1918, where he is foiled by a courageous Finnish girl who chooses to die rather than betray her country, and frees Satan of a thousand years of damnation.
A short story compilation with a vague propaganda message.

BLAKE OF SCOTLAND YARD (1927/Universal) 15 Chapter Serial. BW. Silent. US.
Prequel to: The Ace of Scotland Yard.
Credits:
Dir: Robert S. Hill. From a story by Rock Hawkey (Robert S. Hill).
Cast:
Gloria Grey, Grace Cunard.
"The Spider" has control of an electrical death ray, but Sir James Blake, a retired C.I.D. inspector of Scotland Yard, attempts to thwart the villain's deadly plans.
This successful cliff-hanger cost $97,000 to make and eventually grossed over $3,500,000 world-wide.


On DVD in the US

BLAKE OF SCOTLAND YARD
(1937/Victory Pictures Corp) 15 Chapter Serial. BW. US.
Credits: Dir: Robert S. Hill; Prod: Sam Katzman; Sc: Basil Dickey & William Buchanan; Ph: Bill Hyer; Ed: Holbrook N. Todd & Fred Bain; Sets: Fred Preble; Electrical Fx: Kenneth Strickfaden. From a story by Rock Hawkey (Robert S. Hill).
Cast:
Ralph Byrd, Herbert Rawlinson, Joan Barclay, Lloyd Hughes, Dickie Jones, Nick Stuart, Lucille Lund, Gail Newbury, Sam Flint, Jimmy Aubrey, George de Normand, Ted Lorch, John Elliott, William Ferrell, Frank Wayne, Robert Terry, Dick Curtis, Henry Hall, Herman Brix.
The mysterious "Scorpion", a hunchbacked villain with claws, battles with the former inspector of Scotland Yard, Sir James Blake, (Rawlinson), for possession of an electrical death ray.
Also released as a six-reel feature through Ace Pictures Corporation.
In 1940, Robert S. Hill retired from active directing due to of a head injury that occurred when a bullet ricocheted during the filming of a scene.

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A BLIND BARGAIN
(1922/Goldwyn) 60mins. 5000 feet. BW. (with a colour sequence). Silent. Aka: THE OCTAVE OF CLAUDIUS.
Credits:
Dir: Wallace Worsley; Prod: Sam Goldwyn; Sc: J.G. Hawks; Ph: Norbert Brodine. Based on "The Octave of Claudius" by Barry Pain.
Cast: Lon Chaney, Jacqueline Logan, Raymond McKee, Virginia True Boardman, Fontaine LaRue, Aggie Herring, Virginia Madison.
"Robert dearly loved Angela, but alas! Too soon they have to part, for shortly he must leave her to fulfil a blind bargain with a mad genius of surgery!"
An insane scientist named Dr. Lamb, (Chaney) , experiments to prolong life by giving his assistant monkey glands in an operation to turn him into a ape-man, (Chaney). A young doctor, (McKee), offers his services to the scientist in exchange for a life saving operation on the doctor's mother, but the ape creature warns the doctor of Lamb's intentions. Together they escape releasing one of Lamb's other experimental monstrosities from its cage, that kills the scientist.
The father of all "gorilla-running-amok" films, with Chaney playing two roles in one of the few true horror films he ever made despite his reputation as a "horror"actor.

BLITHE SPIRIT (1945/Two Cities/Cineguild) 96mins. UK.
Credits:
Dir: David Lean; Prod: Anthony Havelock Allan; Sc: David Lean, Anthony Havelock Allan & Ronald Neame; Ph: Ronald Neame; Ed: Jack Harris; Art: C.P. Norman; Mus: Richard A. Dinsell. From a play by Noel Coward.
Cast:
Rex Harrison, Kay Hammond, Constance Cummings, Margaret Rutherford, Hugh Wakefield, Joyce Carey, Jaqueline Clark.
A novelist's, (Harrison), second marriage is threatened when the mischievous ghost of his first wife, (Hammond), materialises during a seance performed by Madame Arcati, (Rutherford). The ghost creates havoc and is responsible for the death of his present wife, (Cummings).
A timeless comedy with outstanding performances from the lead players under superb direction. Coward's original West End play was an instant success.
The Special Effects won an Academy Award.

BLONDE GORILLA (1945) see White Pongo

THE BLOOD SEEDLING (1915/Selig Polyscope Co.) 3 reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits:
Prod: William G. Selig.
Cast: Thomas Santschi, Leo Pierson, Thomas Bates.
A murderer is exposed at a seance.

BLOOD VENGEANCE (1911/Ambrosio) BW. Silent. US.
Based on the play "D'Annuncio".
A ghost has her daughter kill her murderess with a bag of asps.

THE BLOODSTONE (1908/Lubin) BW. Silent. US.
A cursed ring spreads violence and death in its wake.

BLOODY INN (1941) see Posada Sangrienta

BLUE BEARD (1901) see Barbe-Bleue

BLUEBEARD (1944/PRC.) 73mins. BW.
Credits:
Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer; Prod: Leon Fromkess; Sc: Pierre Gendron; Ph: Jockey Feindel; Ed: Carl Pierson; Art: Paul Palmentola; Mus: Leo Erdody. From story by Arnold Philips & Werner M. Furst.
Cast:
John Carradine, Jean Parker, Nils Asther, Ludwig Stossel, Teala Loring, Iris Adrian, Henry Kolker, George Pembroke, Emmett Lynn.
In 1885, puppeteer Gaston Morell, (Carradine), is terrorising Paris with the "bluebeard" murders. He hires models, murders them and then dumps their bodies into the Seine. One woman, (Parker), who he falls in love with, discovers that he is the Paris Strangler.
Despite the low budget, the sets and photography are atmospheric enough to sustain interest, and is actually this studio's finest film.

THE BODY DISAPPEARS (1941/Warner) 72mins. BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: D. Ross Lederman; Prod: Ben Stoloff; Sc: Scott Darling & Erna Lazarus; Ph: Allen G. Seigler; Mus: Howard Jackson.
Cast:
Edward Everett Horton, Jeffrey Lynn, Jane Wyman, Herbert Anderson, Marguerite Chapman, Craig Stevens, David Bruce, Willie Best.
Unconscious after too much drink at a bachelor party, a man, (Lynn), is placed as a joke in a medical school morgue, but his body is stolen by a doctor, (Horton), who believes he has invented a serum to wake the dead. As the man is already alive the serum makes him invisible.
A poor comedy whose single joke loses its appeal after half an hour.

THE BODY SNATCHER (1943/RKO.) 78mins. BW. US. Released 1945.
Credits: Dir: Robert Wise; Prod: Val Lewton; Ex.Prod: Jack J. Gross; Sc: Philip McDonald & Carlos Keith (Val Lewton); Ph: Robert De Grasse; Ed: J.R. Whittredge; Art: Albert S. D'Agostino & Walter E. Keller; Sets: Darrel Silvera & John Sturtevant; Mu: Frank La Rue; Mus: Roy Webb. From the short story by Robert Louis Stevenson.

 

Cast: Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Sharyn Moffat, Henry Danielle, Edith Atwater, Russell Wade, Rita Corday, Donna Lee, Robert Clarke, Mary Gordon, Bill Williams, Jim Moran, Mary McBride, Carl Kent, Jack Welsh, Larry Wheat, Aina Constant, Eddie Parker.
"Graves raided! Coffins robbed! Corpses carved! Midnight murder! Body Blackmail! Stalking ghouls! Mad thrills of terror and macabre mystery!...and don't blame us if you stay awake all night!"
John Gray, a sinister grave robber, (Karloff), supplies bodies to Dr. MacFarlane, (Danielle), but soon Gray is forced to murder to maintain his supply. He blackmails the doctor into thinking he would also be implicated if the matter got to the police, but when the grave digger dies, the doctor is haunted by his last words. After stealing Gray's corpse for himself, the doctor rides with it in the back of his buggy, but the body seems to come to life and the frightened doctor falls to his death over a cliff. When the body bag is opened, the corpse of an old woman is revealed.
A superior film packed with eerie atmosphere and haunting images adding to Karloff's fine performance. This was the last time Lugosi and Karloff would appear together and by this time Lugosi had been relegated to minor supporting roles.
A section of the final scene featuring the corpse coming to life was cut by the British censors.

THE BOGEY WOMAN (1909/Pathe) 1 reel. BW. Silent. France.
The Bogey Woman transforms children into vegetables.

THE BOGUS GHOST (1916/Kalem) BW. Silent.
A woman believed to have been drowned, masquerades as a spirit for a fake mystic.

LA BOITE A MALICE (1903/Star Film) 165 feet. BW. Silent. France.
Aka: THE MYSTERIOUS BOX; THE SHALLOW BOX TRICK.
Credits:
Georges Méliès.
A girl vanishes from a scientist's magic box.

BOMBA ON PANTHER ISLAND (1949/Monogram) 76mins. BW. US.
Sequel to BOMBA THE JUNGLE BOY (1949).
Credits:
Dir. & Sc: Ford Beebe; Prod: Walter Mirisch; Ph: William Sickner; Mus: Edward J.Kay. Based on Roy Rockwood's series of popular children's books.
Cast: Johnny Sheffield, Allene Roberts, Lita Baron, Charles Irwin, Smoki Whitfield, Harry Lewis.
African superstition leads some people to believe that the soul of a black panther has taken refuge in the body of a woman, (Baron).
This second entry in the jungle-bound Bomba series utilised jungle footage from AFRICA SPEAKS and was influenced by the success of Val Lewton's The Cat People.
Sheffield gained fame as Tarzan's son in the Weismuller Tarzan films.

UN BON LIT (1899/Star Films) 65 feet. BW. Silent. France.
Aka: A GOOD BED; A MIDNIGHT EPISODE.
Credits:
Georges Méliès.
While in bed, illuminated by the moonlight, a man is suddenly awakened by a giant insect crawling across him. Leaping from his bed he attacks and kills the creature only to turn and see two more climbing the bedroom wall. He lights a candle and explodes them with the flame.
A horrific short with outstanding special effects for the time.

BONZOLINO (1924/Ward) Animated. UK.
The dog Bonzo appears as the famous actor "Bon Chaney".

THE BOOGIE MAN WILL GET YOU (1944/Columbia) 66mins. BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: Lew Landers; Prod: Colbert Clark; Sc: Paul Gangelin & Edwin Blum; Ph: Henry Fraulich; Ed: Richard Fantl; Art: Robert Peterson; Mus: Morris W. Stoloff. From a story by Hal Fimberg and Robert B. Hunt.

Cast: Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Jeff Donnell, Maxie Rosenblum, Larry Parks, Don Beddoe, George MacKay, Maude Eburne, Frank Puglia, Eddie Laughton, Frank Sully, James Morton.
"You'll be tickled to death over this gay chiller diller!"
Professor Nathaniel Billings, (Karloff), is trying to sell his run down New England hotel despite the selection of buried corpses in the cellar. Two buyers, (Parks & Donnell) , call in the sheriff, (Lorre), when they discover that Billings has been experimenting to try and create supermen from spare body parts for the war effort. The sheriff sees the potential profits in the scheme and encourages Billings to carry on the good work.
Inspired by the success of Arsenic and Old Lace, Columbia tries to cash in, but unfortunately this film plays as a daft farce. Karloff and Lorre turn in fine performances and make up for some of the failings.
Another one, of afour picture deal Karloff made with Columbia.

LE BOSSU (1944) 110mins.
Credits: Dir: Jean Delannoy.
Cast:
Pierre Blanchar, Paul Bernard.
An aristocrat disguises himself as a hunchback to avenge a murder.

BOTHERED BY A BEARD (1945/Gaumont/British Instructional) 36mins. BW. UK.
Credits:
Dir., Prod., & Sc: E.V.H. Emmett; Ph: Jack Rose; Ed: W.T. Lowe; Art: Jack Drury; Mu: W.T. Partleton; Mus: Bretton Byrd.
Cast: Tod Slaughter, Jerry Verno, John Salew, Franklyn Bennett, Dorothy Bramhall, Anthony Baird, Arthur Denton, Desmond Roberts, Clifford Buckton, Howard Douglas, Van Boden.
"In poor districts, even in big cities, the barber shop of bygone days was often villainously dirty and dangerous, as you will see if you stay inside the theatre and take a look at Britain's fruitiest draw!".

An instructional film detailing the history of shaving, notable for an appearance of Tod Slaughter reprising his role as Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
In a short vignette, Slaughter strops his razor well, parades his infamous throaty chuckle, and "polishes off" his customer, (Anthony Baird), with consummate ease.

LE BOURREAU TURC (1904/Star Film) 150 feet. BW. Silent. France.
Aka: THE TERRIBLE TURKISH EXECUTIONER.
Credits:
Georges Méliès.
Four prisoners are executed by having their heads severed by one swift blow of a sword. Whilst the executioner is pre-occupied, the heads escape from the barrel, replace themselves on their bodies, capture the executioner and cut him in half.

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BOWERY AT MIDNIGHT
(1942/Astor/Banner/Monogram) 63mins. BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: Wallace Fox; Prod: Sam Katzman & Jack Dietz; A.Prod: Barney A. Sarecky; Sc: Gerald Schnitzer; Ph: Mack Stengler; Ed: Carl Pierson; Art: David Milton; Mus: Edward Kay. From a story by Sam Robins.
Cast: Bela Lugosi, John Archer, Dave O'Brien, Wanda MacKay, Tom Neal, Vince Barnett, J. Farrell MacDonald, Wheeler Oakman, John Berkes, Ray Miller, Lew Kelly, Lucille Vance, Anna Hope, George Eldredge.
"Mr. Dracula's most nerve-wrecking, terrifying role!"
Professor Brenner, (Lugosi), a slum missionary, is really the sinister Karl Wagner who commits crimes by night. When his minions at the mission threaten his leadership he kills them and buries the bodies in the cellar, but a drug addicted doctor manages to revive the dead down and outs who have their revenge by killing the professor.
A cheap B-film along the lines of Dark Eyes of London that is not nearly as bad as others from this studio, but it still marks the continuing decline of Lugosi's career.

BOYS OF THE CITY (1940) 65mins. BW. US. Aka: THE GHOST CREEPS.
Credits:
Dir: Joseph H. Lewis.
Cast: Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan, Vince Barnett, Dave Gorcey, Minerva Urecal, "Sunshine"Sammy Morrison, Donald Haines, Hally Chester, Frankie Burke, Dave O'Brien, Dennis Moore.
"Sentenced to a vacation in the country! Pint-sized gangsters sent up the river...for a vacation in the country...in a haunted house!"
The East Side Kids are sent to the country and expose some phoney ghosts at a seemingly haunted house.
The second of the East Side Kids series that began life as the Dead End Kids films.

THE BRAIN INSPECTOR (1910) see Le Retapeur de Cervelle

THE BRAIN OF FRANKENSTEIN (1948) see Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

BRAINS REPAIRED (1910) see Le Retapeur de Cervelle

THE BRAINSNATCHER (1936) see The Man Who Changed his Mind

BRAND OF EVIL (1913/Essanay) 3reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits: Dir: H. Webster; Sc: Edward T. Lowe.
Cast:
Thomas Commerford.
When the eye of an idol is stolen, the thief's hand withers away.

THE BRAND OF SATAN (1917/Peerless World) 6 reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits:
Dir: George Archianbaud; Sc: J.F. Looney.
Cast:
Montague Love.
A strangler is afflicted with a split personality.

THE BRIBE (1915/Universal/Victor) BW. Silent. US.
Cast: Charles Ogle, Mary Fuller.
A hypnotist, (Ogle), compels a girl, (Fuller), to steal while under his influence.

THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935/Universal) 80mins. (originally 75mins.). US.
Originally titled: THE RETURN OF FRANKENSTEIN, and FRANKENSTEIN LIVES AGAIN. Sequel to: Frankenstein (1931).
Credits:
Dir: James Whale; Prod: Carl Laemmle Jnr.; Sc: John L. Balderston, William Hurlbut & Robert Florey (uncredited); Ph: John J. Mescall; Ed: Maurice Pivar & Ted Kent; Art: Charles D. Hall; Sfx: John P. Fulton & David Horsley; Laboratory Equipment: Kenneth Strickfaden; Mu: Jack Pierce; Mus: Franz Waxman; Mus.Dir: Mischa Bakaleinkoff. Based on "Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus" by Mary Wollsencraft Shelley.

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Cast: Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, Ernest Thesiger, Elsa Lanchester, Dwight Frye, Valerie Hobson, O.P. Heggie, Una O'Conner, Ann Darling, Neil Fitzgerald, Douglas Walton, John Carradine, Gunnis Davis, Walter Brennan, E.E. Clive, Gavin Gordon, Reginald Barlow, Mary Gordon, Ted Billings, Lucien Prival, Maurice Black, Billy Barty, Norman Ainsley, Joan Woodbury, Arthur S. Byron, Josephine McKim, Kansas DeForrest, Peter Shaw, Helen Parrish, Robert Adair, John Curtis, Frank Terry, Rollo Lloyd, Mary Stewart, Brenda Fowler, Sarah Schwartz, D'Arcy Corrigan, Elspeth Dudgeon, Josephine McKim, Monte Montague, Frank Benson, Ed Piel Snr., John George, Anders Van Haden.
"The monster demands a mate!"
Henry Frankenstein, (Clive), survives the windmill fire and vows to give up his inhuman experiments, but the monster, (Karloff), has also survived. Henry is approached by the sinister Dr. Pretorius, (Thesiger), who wants to join forces to create another human, and he shows Henry his bizarre experiment results of miniature humans kept in glass jars. Disgusted with the idea, Henry refuses to help the doctor. Meanwhile the monster is causing chaos in the woodlands, and visits a blind hermit, (Heggie), who thanks God for his unexpected mute friend. Two hunters arrive and force the monster to flee, but he is caught and thrown into some dungeons. When he escapes he meets Pretorius who convinces the monster that he needs a mate, so the monster forces Henry to help by kidnapping his fiance Elizabeth. When the new creation, (Lanchester), comes to life she screams her abhorrence at the sight of her mate. The broken hearted monster decides to end the lives of all those involved, but as a last gesture of pity, he lets Frankenstein live and then blows up the castle with the words "We belong dead!"
A classic of the gothic horror cinema with exactly the right amount of atmosphere and dark humour. The original print of 75 minutes excluded the Mary Shelley, (Lanchester), prologue and the burgermeister's death, but another 15 minutes were excluded from the final print and never replaced including an extended prologue and a subplot involving Frye and his aunt and uncle, (Tempe Piggott & Gunnis Davis). There was also a courtroom session, and a shot during the scene Dr. Pretorius shows his creations to Frankenstein of a miniature infant that looks like Karloff, (Billy Barty). Pretorius says "I think this baby will grow into something worth watching ". All that remains now is a brief shot of the baby waving.
Other cuts included a scene in which Dr. Pretorious explains the hold he has over his assistant Karl, (Frye). Apparantly while bodysnatching, Karl dug up a victim of catalepsy who Pretorious began to dissect while she was alive until her screams alerted him.
The ending that Universal opted for was not the original. Frankenstein was destined to be blown up with the castle which is evident by his presence at the laboratory door when the monster pulls the lever. Universal did not want the extra expense of re-shooting the scene.
Lanchester's make up was based on Queen Nefertiti.
Shooting began Jan.2nd.'35 and was budgeted at $295,750, this is one of the first films to have a full music score written specifically for a motion picture.
One glaring plot flaw begs the question as to why two scientific geniuses would build a laboratory with a huge lever that can blow everything to pieces? However, the film remains one of the greatest horror films of all time and certainly the most influential.
Sequel: Son of Frankenstein.

THE BRIDE OF MYSTERY (1914/Gold Seal) 4 reels. BW. Silent. US.
A doctor seemingly restores a dead girl back to life.

THE BRIDE OF THE HAUNTED CASTLE (1910/Artistic/Pathe) 15mins. BW. Silent. US.
A living skeleton confronts a bride trapped in a castle.

THE BRIDGE OF TIME (1915/Selig Polyscope Co.) 3 reels. BW. Silent. US.
Credits:
Dir: Frank Beal.
A man is possessed by his villainous ancestor's soul.

THE BRIGHTON STRANGLER (1945/RKO.) 67mins. BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: Max Nosseck; Prod: Herman Schlom; Sc: Arnold Philips & Max Nosseck; Ph: J. Roy Hunt; Mus: Leigh Harline.
Cast:
John Loder, June Duprez, Rose Hobart, Miles Mander, Michael St. Angel, Ian Wolfe, Gilbert Emery.
An actor, (Loder), portraying the part of the "Brighton Murderer" on stage re-enacts the homicidal tendencies of the role after he receives a bump on the head during a London air raid, and overhearing a casual comment by a passer-by that happens to be an exact line from the play.
Loder's strong performance shines in this clever, but cheaply made thriller that is similar to the classier A DOUBLE LIFE (1947).
Note the establishing shot that has the Houses of Parliament on the wrong side of the Thames.

BRUCE GENTRY-DAREDEVIL OF THE SKIES (1949/Columbia) BW. Serial. 15 Chapters.
Credits:
Dir: Spencer Bennet & Thomas Carr.
Cast: Tom Neal, Judy Clark, Ralph Hodges, Forrest Taylor.
A scientist's assistant attempts to unmask a sinister villain named The Recorder who can control an electronic flying disc.
A routine action serial.

THE BRUTE (1912/Champion) BW. Silent. US.
The Grim Reaper claims a drunkard's soul.

BRUTE FORCE (1912-13) BW. Silent.
Aka: THE PRIMITIVE MAN; WARS OF THE PRIMAL TRIBES.
Credits: D.W. Griffith.
A saga featuring animated monsters and a caveman.

THE BRUTE MAN (1946/Publishers Releasing Corp./Universal) 58mins. BW. US.
Credits:
Dir: Jean Yarbrough; Prod: Ben Pivar; Sc: George Bricker & M. Coates Webster; Ph: Maury Gertsman; Ed: Phillip Cahn; Art: John B. Goodman & Abraham Grossman; Sets: Russell A. Gausman & Edward R. R obinson; Tech: Joe Lapis; Mu: Jack P. Pierce; Mus: Hans J. Salter & Frank Skinner. From a story by Dwight V. Babcock.
Cast:
Rondo Hatton, Tom Neal, Jane Adams, Donald McBride, Peter Whitney, Fred Coby, Jan Wiley, Janelle Johnson, Beatrice Roberts, Oscar O'Shea, John Gallaudet, Pat McVey, Peggy Converse, Joseph Crehan, John Hamilton, Lorin Raker, Charles Wagenheim, Tristram Coffin, Jack Parker, Jim Nolan, Margaret Hoffman, Alan Foster, Cy Schindell, Warren Jackson, Martin Skelly, Danny Jackson, Rodney Bell, Perc Launders, John Roche, Karen Knight, Norma Gilchrist, Mary Ann Bricker, Jim Clark, Joyce Stuart, Carl Anders, Gabrielle Windsor, Paula Gray, Larry Wyle.
When a handsome university footballer, (Colby), is caught in a laboratory explosion, the disfigurement it causes him to become insane. He embarks on a campaign of murder against those that scream at his ugly features, and calls himself The Creeper, (Hatton). A blind girl, (Adams), befriends him, but she inadvertently leads the police to his whereabouts.
Universal were so ashamed of the film when it was completed that they farmed it out to PRC., their B-picture studio for distribution.
Hatton's own story is much more compelling. As a handsome young man actively fighting in World War One, he was gassed on the Western Front. The resulting disfiguring disease, acromegaly, required numerous operations to restore him to some sort of normality. After years of mental and physical agony, he tried Hollywood as a means to make a living. He played a few bit parts until he was signed by Universal for seven years, billed as a freak of nature and needing no makeup. Hatton made only two films for Universal before he died in Beverly Hills at the age of 51 of a heart attack the year this film was released.

DIE BUCHSE DER PANDORA (1928/Nero Film) 131mins. (8043 feet.) BW. Silent. Germany.
Aka: PANDORA'S BOX; LULU.
Credits: Dir: G.W. Pabst; Prod: George C.Horsetzky & Seymour Nebenzahl; Sc: G.W. Pabst & Ladislaus Vajda; Ph: Gunther Krampf; Ed: Joseph R. Fliesler; Art: Andrei Andreiev; Costumes: Gottlieb Hesch. Based on the plays "Erdgeist" and "Die Bucchse der Pandora" by Frank Wedekind.
Cast: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Carl Goetz, Alice Roberts, Daisy D'Ora, Krafft Raschig, Michael von Newlinsky, Siegfried Arno, Gustav Diessl.
The promiscuous Lulu, (Brooks), ruins the lives of those around her, murders her lover, and escapes to London where she makes a living as a prostitute. On Christmas Eve, Lulu invites a strange client back to her flat and meets her death at the hands of Jack the Ripper (Diessl).
A hypnotic and bizarre fantasy film that immortalised Louise Brooks in a superb performance of the doomed beauty, with a vulnerable childlike innocence. A compelling melodrama of which many edited prints were in existence until a full length version was restored in 1983.
Remade in 1962 as NO ORCHIDS FOR LULU starring Nadja Tiller.

BUCK ROGERS (1939/Universal) BW. Serial. 12 Chapters. US. 1965
90 minute feature version titled: DESTINATION SATURN.
Aka: BUCK ROGERS CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE (video).
1959 condensed version titled: PLANET OF OUTLAWS.
Credits:
Dir: Ford Beebe & Saul Goodkind; Prod: Barney Sarecky; Sc: Norman S. Hall & Ray Trampe; Ph: Jerry Ash; Electrical Fx: Kenneth Strickfaden. From the 1929 comic strip by Philip F. Nowlan.

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Cast: Buster Crabbe, Jackie Moran, Constance Moore, Henry Brandon, Jack Mulhall, Anthony Warde, C. Montague Shaw, Philson Ahn, Guy Usher, Wheeler Oakman, Carleton Young, Reed Howes.
"Twelve amazing thrill-thronged chapters!"
After 500 years of sleep, Buck Rogers, (Crabbe), awakes in the 25th. century, remembering only that he crashed his spaceship into some ice. He tries to adjust to the future, but finds himself up against Killer Kane and the evil Captain Lasca.
Universal re-hashed their Flash Gordon scripts into an agreeable sci-fi serial.
The edited feature versions make unimaginative use of the serial's footage. Subsequent video releases have three episodes on each tape making up the full series of about 240mins.

BUCK ROGERS CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE (1939) see Buck Rogers

BUCKET OF BLOOD (1934) see Tell Tale Heart

DER BUCKLIGE UN DIE TANZERIN (1919/Helios Film Gesellschaft) BW. Silent. Germany. Aka: THE HUNCHBACK AND THE DANCER.
Credits: Dir: F.W. Murnau; Sc: Carl Mayer; Ph: Karl Freund; Sets: Robert Neppach. Based on Reinhardt's "Sumurum".
Cast: Sacha Gura, John Gottowt, Paul Biensfeld, Anna Von Pahlen, Henri Peters-Arnolds, Bella Polini, Werner Krauss.
Wilton, a repulsive hunchback, (Gottowt), returns from Java a rich man after his discovery of a diamond mine. He meets a dancer named Gina, (Gura), who has just finished a relationship and accepts Wilton's gifts of exotic cosmetics and perfumes. When she later reconciles with her lover, (Biensfeld), she still goes to Wilton to obtain more perfumes, but this time Wilton mixes a subtle poison into the perfume that will kill any man who kisses her. Upon discovering the deception, Gina rushes to Wilton, who consumed with passion kisses her. While attempting to take the antidote, Gina snatches it away and Wilton dies.
The film was apparently titled to capitalise on Hugo's popular story.

THE BUDDHA'S CURSE (1910/Lux) BW. Silent. US.
A magical Indian priest curses a household with sickness.

BULLDOG DRUMMOND'S SECRET POLICE (1939) 56mins.
Credits: Dir: James Hogan.
Cast:
John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny, Leo G. Carroll, Elizabeth Patterson.
Features a mad scientist, torture chambers, an eerie castle and a lengthy dream sequence that includes footage from other films in the series.
Leo G. Carroll stands out in three villainous roles.

LES BULLES DE SAVON ANIMEES (1906) BW. Silent.
Aka: SOAP BUBBLES.

THE BUTCHER'S DREAM (1909/Lux) 1 reel. BW. Silent. US.
A butcher suffers from a nightmare in which he is being butchered by animals.

BY ROCKET TO THE MOON (1928) see Frau im Mond

BY THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (1911/IMP.) BW. Silent. US.
A wicked Queen steals the heart of a prince, and while under the influence of a witch's potion, a girl's soul leaves her body.

 

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