Alistair Sim stars in this early British mystery chiller, a remake of Warner's lost film The Terror.
The Missing Link Proudly Presents
The Terror (1938)

Linden Travers as MaryThe Terror (1938/BIP./Associated British) 73mins. BW. UK.
Credits: Dir: Richard Bird; Prod: Walter C. Mycroft; Sc: William Freshman; Ph: Walter Harvey; Ed: Lionel Tomlinson; Sets: Cedric Dawe. From the play by Edgar Wallace.
Cast: Wilfred Lawson, Bernard Lee, Arthur Wontner, Linden Travers, Henry Oscar, Iris Hoey, Stanley Lathbury, Lesley Wareing, Alistair Sim, John Turnbull, Richard Murdoch, Edward Lexy, John H. Vyvyan, Jack Lambert, Kathleen Harrison, Irene Handl.

For those who appreciate the majority of films Britain churned out during the Thirties, this production will certainly stand out. All the ingredients are here including a lavish atmosphere, suspense, a sense of humour, and a cast of players recognisable only to those afficianados who delight at the chance to name these character actors as they step onto the screen.
THE TERROR is a prime "whodunnit" with plenty of convenient red-herrings to divert the average plot, until that all important final reel.

A hooded figure learns that a large shipment of gold is to travel from Paris to New York via Southampton and recruits the services of Soapy Marks, (Alistair Sim), and Joe Conner, (Henry Oscar), to hold up the bullion truck in a gas bomb attack. However, the Terror keeps the gold, and using the alias of Mad Mike O'Shea, tips off the police causing Soapy and Joe to be imprisoned for ten years.
After their release Soapy and Joe vow to have revenge Sim & Oscar and make their way to The Monks Hall Priory,Henry Oscar & Alistair Sim a guest house owned by Colonel Redney, (Arthur Wontner). Amongst the odd assortment of guests is a drunk named Mr. Fayne, (Bernard Lee), Drunken Lee retired tea merchant Mr. Goodman, (Wilfred Lawson), self confessed psychic Mrs. Elvery, (Iris Hoey), and Colonel Redney's winsome daughter Mary who has just returned home from Switzerland. All of them experience the eerie organ music being played during the night, the mad cackle that resounds throughout the house and the appearance of a ghostly figure in a monk's cowl.
Mr. Goodman explains that the spirits of the devil-worshipping monks that used to inhabit the priory, haunt the bricked up, underground chapel beneath the house Lawson explains. When Joe Conner steals into the house, he discovers the secret panel that leads to the chapel, but the residents later discover his murdered body. Everyone seems suspect including Colonel Redney himself who confesses to the police that Mr. Goodman is actually O'Shea and that he owes him the princely sum of 10,000.
Soapy Marks enters the house disguised as a kindly parson to try and identify O'Shea and kill him.
Eventually Mr. Goodman reveals himself to be The Terror when he kidnaps Mary, (Linden Travers), and takes her to his underground lair promising "to take you from the world of men, to a place where there is nothing but peace...eternal peace!"
Menaced! Bernard Lee & Linden TraversPlaced next to the bound and gagged Mr. Fayne who the Terror has discovered is actually Inspector Bradley of Scotland Yard, Mary endures insane Me Mad? O'Shea's manic organ recital. Living Tomb
Suddenly Soapy Marks appears dressed as a monk from a priest hole and attacks O'Shea, but in the ensuing fisticuffs accompanied by some rousing music, Soapy is knocked unconscious. This leaves O'Shea at the mercy of the Inspector who Mary has freed, and thumps him so hard that O'Shea falls under a tomb that collapses on top of him. Out pours all the missing gold, so naturally, with the murderer now dead, Mary and the Inspector embrace.

This straight remake of Warner Brothers' unfortunately lost The Terror of 1928 demonstrates Richard Bird's flair for the already familiar "haunted house" theme. The title role is ably filled by Wilfred Lawson (1900-1966) who revelled in the many eccentric characters he portrayed.
Of course, any film featuring the superb Alistair Sim is immediately watchable, even in these early days before he found international fame as Scrooge (1951).
In smaller, unbilled roles, Kathleen Harrison and a youthful Irene Handl appear as maids during one brief scene.Alistair Sim in The Terror

As with many other films of this ilk, and also the many classic mainstream entries, very few of them ever appear on television anymore. I would have thought that the increased number of channels, including satellite and cable, would have made many of these items more available. Unfortunately, the powers that be have probably never heard of half the films we mention, and unimaginatively schedule re-runs of low brow soap operas in several different languages, or awful films which we have all seen before only because there was nothing else on at the time.
Please excuse my diversion onto a soap-box, but maybe, just maybe someone holding the dubious title of "Programmer" might read this.

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