The Old Dark House
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From the director of Frankenstein, a group of stranded travelers stumble upon a strange old house, and find themselves at the mercy of the highly eccentric, and potentially dangerous, Femm family. This well-performed, atmospheric thriller features the first starring horror role for Boris Karloff, as the hulking, disfigured butler. Based on the novel Benighted (1927) by J. B. Priestley. The Cohen Film Collection is proud to present this stunning new 4K restoration.
- feature length audio commentary by actor Gloria Stuart
- feature length audio commentary by James Whale biographer James Curtis
- interview with director Curtis Harrington on the rediscovery of this once thought-lost film
- new interview with Sara Karloff
- re-release trailer
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I can't wait to retire my old videotape version and watch this grand old shocker in glorious high definition.
a creepy suspense thriller that James whale Directed with Boris Karloff after Frankenstein was released in cinemas 1931
it was only reissued on dvd by Kino Lorber over 10 years ago which is long since been out print now
it has now been finally reissued under the label Cohen media collection
i didn't bother with the dvd, i bought the blu-ray instead which the film has been given a new 4k restoration 1:37:1 transfer
and i tell you the picture quality does look amazing 9/10 picture quality No Grain no Dirt
excellent color restoration the best the film has ever looked
the film's run time is 72min which is the same run time as Frankenstein anyway
the sound quality is very Good aswell with new 2.0 master stereo mix
EXTRAS well the old extras from the Kino lorber dvd have been carried over
which is a feature length audio commentary with Actress Gloria stuart, worth listening to for sure
also a commentary tracking with James whale biographer James curtis
plus 2 new interviews, 1st is with Sara karloff, Boris karloff's Daughter- 15mins
and 2nd is with Curtis Harrington who was able to get the film reissued on dvd & blu-ray again
i guess to convince Sony columbia to reissue the film again only- 7mins
plus the original Trailer now in new HD quality
the dvd version i assume is only Digital remaster quality why would you want that, the blu-ray reissue is 10times better quality
it's worth the money to buy the blu-ray version, not the dvd
5 stars i give for this new reissue based on excellent HD transfer & sound quality plus some new extras
Travelers seeking shelter from, yep, a dark and stormy night ( got to work that clichéd opening into this review!) end up being invited to stay in the Femm mansion where things appear to be ever so slightly out of the ordinary (OK, downright weird). Their host (played by the forever droll Ernest Thesiger) claims to be on the run from the police (why would someone tell complete strangers this?) and his sister the malevolent Rebecca (Eva Moore).
The script by Benn Levy (who had worked with Whale on "Waterloo Bridge" and also worked on Alfred Hitchcock's "Blackmail" before setting sail from England to the U.S. to work on this and other Universal pictures) is witty, droll, creepy and laugh out loud funny (all intentional). I can't say how accurate the film is to J.B. Priestley's book Benighted but "The Old Dark House" still wears its black humor on its sleeve and it still works.
The nice high definition transfer of the film may sound a bit tinny in terms of sound but keep in mind that's due to the source. The dialog is clear throughout.
The special features include an interesting interview with Boris' daughter Sara Karloff, a commentary track filled with quite a bit of trivia by Whale biographer James Curtis and a commentary by star Gloria Stewart (she's pretty sharp here although there are occasional mix ups which isn't a surprise given how long ago the film was shot). We also get a featurette that focuses on Harrington saving the film from obscurity.
Kudos to Cohen films for bringing this to high definition AND with a solid series of special features.
If you appreciate older films like "The Old Dark House", are a fan of Whale's mixture of camp humor and horror, this will be the film for you. It's not as well known nor appreciated as much as "Frankenstein", "The Bride of Frankenstein", "Show Boat" or "The Invisible Man" but it has its charms.
This is first rate quality. Once you get past the 3 or 4 annoying adverts for other Cohen movies, that is. (This is a bad design decision by Cohen!)
The film compared to the old Kino DVD is quite an improvement. It has both commentaries, as well as the Curtis Harrington short documentary on how the film was found, previously 'lost'.
Despite Boris Karloff on the cover, he doesn't speak a word of dialogue and only really figures in the plot towards the end portion. This film belong to Ernest Thesiger and Eva Moore mainly, as well as Melvin Douglas, Charles Laughton and Gloria Stuart.
Beautifully shot with bits of comedy between the drama and bits of shock. Excellent in all aspects.
Most recent customer reviews
Five Star release.Read more
I had a DVD release of this I purchased BEFORE this 4K-restoration.Read more