The Old Dark House 1932 Ages 12+
6.00PM Fri 3 May 2019 (1hr 12mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
"In James Whale’s least-seen masterpiece, The Old Dark House 1932, a landslide in a rainstorm forces a handful of urban sophisticates off a country road in Wales. They find shelter in a rambling manse, and heart-stopping comedy-drama with its perverse inmates. A deaf religious fanatic, Rebecca Femm (Eva Moore), owns the title edifice; her desiccated brother Horace (Ernest Thesiger), hiding from police, presents the only civil face to strangers; a lurching, crazily scarred mute, Morgan (Boris Karloff), serves as family handyman, butler, and thug; and in a third-story bedroom the siblings’ 102-year-old father, Sir Roderick Femm (Elspeth Dudgeon, billed as “John”), wastes away, dreaming of bacchanals back in the day.
Mysterious people locked away in upstairs rooms had been a staple of Gothic fiction since before 'Jane Eyre', and silent hits like The Bat and The Cat and the Canary had combined laughs and shocks in mysterious mansions. Whale upped the ante on all of them when he made this movie. It’s a jet-black comedy about rural reactionaries shocking metropolitans out of complacency, flippancy, and existential paralysis. Thoroughly and blessedly unpretentious, utterly rooted in its time and place, it nonetheless takes on the patina of a fable." FilmComment
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 72 MINUTES, UNITED STATES, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: JAMES WHALE / PRODUCER: CARL LAEMMLE JR. / SCRIPT: BENN W. LEVY / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ARTHUR EDESON / EDITOR: CLARENCE KOLSTER / CAST: BORIS KARLOFF, MELVYN DOUGLAS, CHARLES LAUGHTON, LILIAN BOND / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: PARK CIRCUS / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP