viernes, 30 de enero de 2009

The Old Dark House

The Old Dark House (Kino DVD, 1999)
Directed by James Whale
USA, 1932
In English

Did you know that that little old lady from Titanic (Gloria Stuart) was something of a hottie back in her silver screen heyday? Well, neither did I until saw her in this cheesy 1932 "haunted house" thriller/romantic comedy from Frankenstein director James Whale. In The Old Dark House, Stuart plays one of five unfortunate travelers who wash up in a dilapidated Welsh manor as houseguests for the night after rains make the roads impassable. The old dark house itself is populated by five creepy family members including a mad butler (Boris Karloff, mostly wasted here), a homicidal pyromaniac, etc. Like the 1927 silent film The Cat and the Canary, with which this is often compared, Whale's successes here owe a great deal to his cameraman's spectacularly shadowy cinematography (Arthur Edeson, take a bow) and to his cast's ability to dexterously juggle comedy and suspense. In addition to the lovely Stuart, who spends much of the movie in a slinky white evening dress trying to escape the unwanted attentions of Karloff's drunken and menacing butler, I particularly enjoyed watching Ernest Thesiger and Eva Moore as the oddball elderly brother and sister act who deliver many of the script's most memorable lines with obvious thespian relish. Grade: "E" for entertaining! (

Thesiger and Stuart share a quiet moment

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