The Old Dark House (1932)

The Old Dark House (1932)

Director James Whale

Writer J.B. Priestley (from the novel by), Benn W. Levy (screen play)

Genre Comedy, Horror

Year 1932

Actors Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Lilian Bond

IMDB : 7.3 (5,421 votes)


Description Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.


  • ciaranbinyinya 2016-08-03 21:28:48
    Angry video game nerd brought me here
  • Jerry DeThomas 2016-07-27 15:51:31
    surprised that Karlov (as Franken-Jives the butler) got top billing over Melvin Douglas (the guy with the foot-fetish) and Charles Laughton...rather silly 'horror?' movie...but does have it's amusing moments...potato anyone?
  • modern art 2016-07-14 22:32:11
    thank you for your analogy Haggis. frightful....
  • Haggis 2016-07-14 18:05:18
    Frankly, the movie is not good. It begins very well and one expects more from it. But it soon becomes a hodge podge of eccentricities without rhyme or reason. Especially puzzling is why the old dying patriarch wasn't dubbed by a male voice! (From what I understand, a woman played the part of the old man.) Camp references to the earlier Frankenstein movie are obvious; including the three-shot zoom on Karloff, the "It's alive!" cry ("He's alive!" in the film), the mute role of Karloff, his lumbering around like the Frankenstein monster. The fairly explicit reference to homosexuality was fairly audacious for the time, especially since the actor was actually gay. It's curious he would accept such a role at that time, especially since it was his first film role. I've always enjoyed the camp performances of Thesiger but he was just furniture here. He was far better in the Bride of Frankenstein and later in his bit part in the Sim version of Scrooge, where he utters the morbid line, about the dead Scrooge "I always know." It would be interesting to read the Priestly source material, and see what Whale did to it. Though the analogy may seem a stretch to some, in many ways it reminds me of Kazan's "Baby Doll," which similarly has an interesting beginning but then collapses into what seem like improvisatory scenes without rhyme or reason. Viewing the movie, however, one realizes the tremendous advance Hitchcock made on the "dark house" trope.
  • Henry Jones 2016-07-13 03:02:10
    "I have gin, only gin....I like gin." Good enough reason to have gin.
  • Nigel Rees 2016-07-10 19:22:04
    This is all so marvelously Gay.
  • Don Veeser 2016-06-30 02:25:42
    This reminded me.... We have a family reunion coming up next month...  q;>})
  • Ryan Rose 2016-06-27 03:48:17
    much better then the remake
  • James Cummings 2016-06-02 15:17:57
    Good, creepy fun! And a happy ending to boot!! I can just see Jim Parsons from "The Big Bang Theory" playing the host, Horace Femm, in a re-make. Of course you CAN'T call this 1932 film cliché. It no doubt influenced so many movies of this genre for years to come! PS: I think the 102 year old father was played by a woman...
  • Chandler Chamberland 2016-06-01 03:55:27
    this is the one film which Karloff wasted his talents on.
  • Maldini88 2016-06-01 00:40:01
    What were the other two doing whilst Saul and Douglas were brawling? And why didn't they come through the hole Boris made in the door?
  • Greg Wells 2016-05-28 12:20:25
    New slang: "Cackling like a Femm."Come on,y"all.Mfers cackle,don't they?
  • Marcus Kurtz 2016-05-19 05:22:24
    i saw some of this in the rob zombie movie house of 1000 corpses and loves the part that i saw , and iv seen this movie about 5 times i love it
  • TheDark Nite 2016-05-06 18:24:11
    That scene when Saul realizes that the man can't open the door, can't escape is incredible. The look on his face and laugh at 1:00:15 is absolutely priceless! One of my favourite expressions in cinematic history!
  • gleisberry 2016-05-03 02:05:03
    One of my favorite movies of the time. I always wished I had the calm and carefree nature of Penderel. And I had a huge crush with Gladys. She was crazy hot! ;<) Unfortunately, I can no longer watch their scene at the front door without thinking of Rob Zombie's House of a 1,000 corpses! POO!!
  • ArmchairAce 2016-04-26 16:10:28
    The premise of the movie would be considered super cliche today to the point of parody. But watching it at a time when such a premise was still fairly fresh and new. It just doesn't feel cliched at all when I watch it here.
  • Michelle Elks 2016-04-24 19:45:15
    last Halloween (2015) I was looking up this movie. it was storming n raining real bad outside n I wanted to watch something scary! I knew this came out in '32 but the one with the same name that came out in the '60s was the one that ended up being the one I accidently downloaded, but I ended up watching it n it was pretty good too, but not as scary as the 1932 classic! this movie is so good! but a really old black n white movie has to be something you're really into I think to really be able to appreciate it! im in my 30s n I would pick an old movie like this one over something new any day!
  • christina elks 2016-04-24 19:35:53
    this movie is an absolute classic! I've always loved this movie! I didn't realise that Morgan femm was the famous borris Karloff until recently, after seeing it. . . oh about a kajillion times! Gloria Stewart was so beautiful! like a model! when I watched this years ago, I was always scared of Rebecca femm! I was little and whenever I knew it was coming on, I would get scared because of her, especially when she took the girl to change her clothes, she was so creepy when she would cackle in the mirror! but great classic piece! I think that my two favorite classic black n white horror film actors are Bela Lugosi, n Borris Karloff!
  • mugwugthemagnificful 2016-04-22 03:22:58
    43:09  Aha.
  • Nigle Watson 2016-04-21 21:05:58
    great universal horror picture from James Whale. did you all know he was born not too far away from me in Dudley in the Midlands?

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