The Old Dark House

Greetings All ,
I would like to talk a few moments if I could to talk about the movie "The Old Dark House". This is a film directed in 1932 by James Whale . I really love this film for Halloween because I believe it is one of the quintessential films that should be seen around that time. It starts off with three travellers going through the Welsh countryside only to have their automobile overcome by mother nature and ending up at, you guessed it, "The Old Dark House". What they find when they are finally let in is a butler named Morgan (played by Boris Karloff), who has some mental issues to say the least. As their visit continues they are introduced to the family Femm, those being Horace Femm, his sister Rebecca and their somewhat incarcerated brother Saul not to mention Sir Roderick Femm (played by Elspeth Dudgeon playing a role you will have to figure out for yourself) the rest played very nicely by (Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore and Brember Wills). As our night continues we find the level of disfunctionality among the family Femm to be a bit more then our guests are willing to deal with.

Luckily we still have two more guests to arrive because of the storm still hammering the Welsh country roads, we welcome Sir William Porterhouse and the lovely Glayds DuCane Perkins (played by Charles Laughton and Lilian Bond). With the addition of our other two players and the release of Saul we find ouselves in a bit of mayhem that will induce anyone who loves Halloween or romance to totally enjoy this film. Just to reiterate, we haved a brother who is a coward, a sister full of religious piety, a criminally insane brother, a matriarch who tries to micromanage the entire family and a butler consumed by carnal desire and five guests trying to stay in this wacky hotel. So all I can I can say is relax have some gin and enjoy one of the true classics of horror interspersed with a bit of humor and take a drive to "The Old Dark House".
Just For Fun:
This was Charles Laughton's first American film.

The father is played by Elspeth Dudgeon, a female.

Originally, Russel Hopton was set to play the part of Rodger Penderal and Walter Byron was to play the part of Phillip Waverton.


  1. hey bob,
    why haven't i ever heard of this movie before? it sounds sensational! my only question is - is it available to rent?

  2. It is totally available to rent on netflix, and if your lucky enough it is some times on TCM in the wee hours of the morning!Good Luck!

  3. I loved this film when I first saw it on TCM last year. It has witty dialogue and a great cast. I remember that Gloria Stuart, who is still alive at 99 years of age, was in this film. I definitely want to see it again.
    Excellent blog!

  4. Gee Bob, that sounds like my family, except we don't have a butler! LOL. I watch this movie every time TCM shows it, I just love it. Great article!

  5. Oooh, my skin is crawling! How wonderfully creepy. Once again, Bob, you have done a beautiful job of evoking the mood of the film. I'm going to put it in my Netflix queue right now!
    Becks, before I come to visit, you must hire a butler who is consumed by carnal desire!

  6. Bob,i have not seen this film..when i do..i will keep all the lights on..

  7. Bob, you've done a great job and opened my eyes to what sounds like a must-see! Thanks!

  8. Sounds so creepy. This sounds great to watch on a gloomy rainy night.