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Icons of Horror: Boris Karloff [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Region 1 encoding. (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details) Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Marian Marsh, Evelyn Keyes, Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom
  • Directors: Lew Landers, Nick Grinde, Roy William Neill
  • Writers: Arthur Strawn, Edwin Blum, George Wallace Sayre, Hal Fimberg, Henry Myers
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Oct. 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HEVZ7G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,273 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 30 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This an interesting set of films from Boris Karloff, well chosen to show off the various aspects of his career.

In the Black Room (1935) we are presented with a gripping tale of family curses and sibling rivalry. Karloff gets to play twins, one good and the other evil, and shows their struggle for the family inheritance. The film is a lot of fun, especially Karloff who really gets to ham it up as both the good and evil brother. It's an old favourite of mine, and I bought the set for this film alone.

In The Man They Could Not Hang (1939) we see Karloff in full mad professor mode. At first he's a kindly doctor who invents a method of reviving the dead. Through an unfortunate series of circumstances there is a death and he is convicted of murder. Brought back to life by his own technique, he starts to wreak vengeance on those who wronged him with an inventive house of horrors. Another entertaining slice of horror, even if the ending feels a bit rushed.

Before I Hang (1940) is pretty much along the same lines as the previous film. Entertaining, but not groundbreaking.

The Boogie Man (1942) is, for me, the weakest of the set. Karloff parodies many of his earlier flms in this comedy, but for me the humour was unfunny and the plot thin, and it just does not work.

There are two discs, with two films per disc. Each comes in a slimeline case and both are collected into a sturdy card slipcase. There are no extras, the sound is mono. The picture and sound are reasonably clean and sharp. This is an American set, so you will need a region 1 player.

A decent price for three great films from the Master of Horror, and one not so good.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on 4 April 2007
Format: DVD
No sooner had I finished writing a review of THE BORIS KARLOFF COLLECTION saying that someone should release THE BLACK ROOM on DVD when lo and behold here it is. The fact that it's being issued by Sony means that it will use the best prints available which is great considering how often Boris is badly served by substandard prints of his non-Universal films. Sony has already issued a couple of the Columbia Karloff "Mad Doctor" films on DVD (THE DEVIL COMMANDS, THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES) and while they were devoid of any real extras, the visual quality of the films was an improvement over the old VHS copies. This will complete the set and give us THE BLACK ROOM in the bargain which is the finest of the films he did for Columbia. Directed by Roy William Neill (known for the modern day Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce) THE BLACK ROOM gives Boris one of his best acting opportunities in a double role as twin brothers one good the other evil (a triple role when you consider he also plays one brother impersonating the other). The other films are THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG, BEFORE I HANG, and a comedy THE BOOGIE MEN WILL GET YOU.

Although I haven't viewed the set yet I assume that Sony will do the same for these titles as they did for the others with hopefully a few extras thrown in although it's a shame that they didn't include the previous two on a third DVD to have all the films in one package. So Karloff fans rejoice even more so than for THE BORIS KARLOFF COLLECTION as overall the quality of these films are better. Thanks to these, THE VAL LEWTON COLLECTION, and the U.K. films THE GHOUL and THE MAN WHO CHANGED HIS MIND, virtually all of Karloff's 30s and 40s films are now on DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 4 July 2012
Format: DVD
Reuniting Boris Karloff and Nick Grinde Grinde almost exactly a year after they did the same thing with The Man They Could Not Hang, Before I Hang sees Karloff is a kindly humanitarian doctor who is sentenced for death for the mercy killing of an elderly patient. Allowed to continue his experiments in prison with Doctor Edward Van Sloan (Van Helsing to Lugosi's Dracula), he uses himself as a guinea pig for his serum to halt the effects of ageing just before he's about to go to the chair only to find his sentence commuted to life imprisonment. Which is when the effects of the serum start to kick in. On the plus side, it rejuvenates him and makes him 20 years younger. On the minus side, he used murderer's blood, and you can guess the side effects...

While not as stylish or gothic as The Man They Could Not Hang, it's a slick and very watchable programmer with a nice performance from Karloff and a decent supporting cast, though some, like Evelyn Keyes and Bruce Bennett, have little to do. Once again, Sony's DVD-R offers a pleasingly clean and crisp transfer but you'd probably be better off tracking it down as part of their now-deleted four film Icons of Horror: Boris Karloff [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] set that also includes The Man They Could Not Hang, The Black Room and the spoof Boogie Man Will Get You.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD
Sony's useful `Icons' series comes up trumps again with another nice collection of minor genre items from the studios back-catalogue, offering four of Boris Karloff's films for the studio. While only is really prime Karloff, together they make for a very satisfying set.

Offering Boris Karloff one of his juiciest roles - or rather two of them - 1935's The Black Room is a surprisingly lavishly staged gothic tale of two twins, one good, one, naturally, evil, and the prophecy that their aristocratic family line will die out with the younger killing the elder in the black room. Despite their father initially trying to avoid tragedy by sealing off the room and the boys spending ten years apart, the evil elder twin decides the best way to ensure his good younger twin doesn't kill him is to do away with him first, conveniently assuming his identity to both hide his crime and get something of a fresh start with the angry locals. But while his brother may be dead, discovery and poetic justice are just around the corner...

Karloff is clearly enjoying himself in the leads, the good brother a rather ineffectual milksop with a slight lisp, the evil one revelling in his own arrogance, and for once he's given the kind of elaborate stage to strut upon that he enjoyed over at Universal. Unlike most of Columbia's Boris Karloff pictures they really spent some money on this one, with big sets and generous crowd scenes. It's also exceptionally well directed by Roy William Neill, best remembered today for his Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, highlighting the detailed production design with some very impressive cinematography that makes much use of mirrors and reflective surfaces like the polished onyx of the titular chamber.
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