The Black Castle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Black Castle
Theblackcastle.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by William Alland
Screenplay by Jerry Sackheim
Story by Jerry Sackheim
Starring Richard Greene
Boris Karloff
Stephen McNally
Rita Corday
Lon Chaney, Jr.
Cinematography Irving Glassberg
Edited by Russel F. Schoengarth
Production
company
Universal Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • November 20, 1952 (1952-11-20) (Los Angeles)
  • December 25, 1952 (1952-12-25) (New York City)
Running time
82 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Black Castle is a 1952 American film noir thriller horror film directed by Nathan H. Juran starring Richard Greene, Boris Karloff, Stephen McNally, Rita Corday and Lon Chaney, Jr.. It was produced by William Alland, who would have better success two years later with Creature from the Black Lagoon. The film was made in the United States but premiered in Sweden.[1]

Plot

Sir Ronald Burton (Greene), a British gentleman, investigates the disappearance of two of his friends at the Austrian estate of the sinister Count von Bruno (McNally). Bruno secretly seeks revenge against the leaders of a British force that set the natives against him in colonial Africa: Burton's missing friends are among Bruno's victims, and Burton is now also in the trap. Burton plans to escape with Bruno's abused Countess, but the Count's henchmen bar the way.

Cast

Production

The film was going to be directed by Joseph Pevney with Nathan Juran doing the art direction. Pevney was unhappy with the script and when Universal refused to make the changes he wanted, left the picture. Universal decided to promote Juran to director two weeks before filming commenced. The shoot time was twenty days.[2]

Juran says he was helped greatly by the cast, particularly Boris Karloff ("he put so much into the character that wasn't in the script"), and his assistant director, Bill Hammond. Universal was impressed with Juan's work and offered him a one year contract as director.[3]

Release

Universal released The Black Castle as a "special pre-release show" on Halloween night on October 31, 1952 before placing them in general release from the first week of November.[4] The Black Castle was then released in major cities including Philadelphia and Los Angeles which were among the first cities to release the film.[4] The film circulated between January and April 1953 but was only released in midwestern, southeastern, and southern towns with populations between 5000 and 50,000 until August 1953.[4]

Reception

In contemporary reviews, Harrison's Reports declared it "a good program horror melodrama, the kind that gives one the chills", and noted that "The three principals do good work, and so does Boris Karloff".[4] The Hollywood Reporter found the film "stacks up as excellent program fare".[5] Time commented that the film "tries hard to chill the moviegoer's spine. Most of the time, however, this boy-meets-ghoul melodrama is only tepid theatrics."[5] A statement Motion Picture Exhibitor echoed, stating "it is just a programmer, with the names not too potent for the marquee."[5]

In a retrospective review, Fangoria commented in 1996 that Black Castle "features all the necessary equipage for this type of full-bodied Gothic", noting it had an "admirable atmosphere, an agreeably adventuresome flavor and some genuinely fine art direction and photography" before declaring it "The last of the old-fashioned Universal horror costumers, The Black Castle dishes up action and chills with ghoulish gusto"[4]

Home media release

This film, along with Night Key, Tower of London, The Climax and The Strange Door, was released on DVD in 2006 by Universal Studios as part of The Boris Karloff Collection.

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 359-360
  2. ^ "Interview with Nathan Juran". Directors Guild of America. 
  3. ^ Swires, Steve (April 1989). "Nathan Juran: The Fantasy Voyages of Jerry the Giant Killer Part One". Starlog Magazine. No. 141. p. 59. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Weaver, Schecter & Kiss 2017, p. 75.
  5. ^ a b c Weaver, Schecter & Kiss 2017, p. 79.

Sources

  • Weaver, Tom; Schecter, David; Kiss, Robert J. Universal Terrors, 1951–1955: Eight Classic Horror and Science Fiction Films. McFarland. ISBN 1476627762. 

External links

  • The Black Castle on IMDb
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Black_Castle&oldid=855706220"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Castle
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "The Black Castle"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA