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Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Black Castle (1952)

WARNING: While The Black Castle contains performances from Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr, they are not the stars of this thriller and are relegated to minor roles.  This is especially true of Chaney who is virtually mute and does a lot of staring for a couple of brief scenes.  Of course, their work in this film is very good but there is oh so little of it!

That being said, the stars of this thriller are Richard Greene [The Adventures of Robin Hood] and Rita Corday [The Body Snatcher].  Greene plays Sir Ronald Burton who goes undercover as Richard Beckett in order to investigate the disappearance of two of his friends.  He stays at the castle of the sadistic Count von Bruno whose wife Beckett eventually falls in love with.  Both of them give very good performances with Greene being the stronger presence on screen.  The rest of the plot develops as expected with no real surprises along the way.

Why IMDB gives this one a 6.4 rating is baffling.  Perhaps I missed something.  Yes, it’s a well made movie.  However, the problem is that it’s not terribly interesting.   I was lured into watching it because of Karloff but, as I said, there’s precious too little of him in the film.  The Black Castle is part of the Boris Karloff DVD Collection which is odd since he has such a minor role in the movie.  Karloff did so many wonderful films, it’s interesting that this one would be included in the collection.

So, if you like thrillers with no gore or horror elements.  And if you don’t like big plot twists then The Black Castle might be your kind of film.  I personally don’t feel the need to see it ever again.

RATING: Good.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.


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