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The Strange Door [DVD]

Charles Laughton , Boris Karloff , Joseph Pevney    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 12.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff, Sally Forrest
  • Directors: Joseph Pevney
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Feb 2011
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047WU37C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,303 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Noble-born brawler and debaucher, Denis de Beaulieu (Richard Stapley), is selected by the scheming Sire Alain de Maletroit (Charles Laughton) to be forced into marrying his only niece Blanche de Maletroit (Sally Forrest). Whilst carousing at an inn, Denis is tricked into a fight with one of Maletroit s men and ends up shooting him dead. Whilst fleeing from the chasing mob, Denis takes refuge by entering a strange door at the Maletroit manor, but soon finds himself in the midst of a nightmare from which he cannot escape. Forced to marry a woman he does not love, due to Sire de Maletroit s determination to wreak revenge on his family line, his every move is watched by the creeping manservant Voltan (Boris Karloff). Desperate to escape, the young couple decides to leave the house through the only exit known to them...the torture chamber.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Reunited for the first time since 1932's The Old Dark House, Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff star in the second-echelon Universal melodrama The Strange Door. Based on a Robert Louis Stevenson story, the film casts Laughton as unhinged French aristocrat Alan De Maletroit. Angered when his sweetheart jilts him in favor of his brother Edmond (Paul Cavanuagh), De Maletroit tosses Edmond in his castle dungeon, then years later forces Edmond's daughter Blanche (Sally Forrest) into a marriage of convenience with the seemingly worthless Dennis de Beaulieu (Richard Stapley). Imprisoned within the walls of the castle by the overbearing De Maletroit, Blanche and Dennis fall genuinely in love, then conspire with De Maletroit's long-suffering servant Voltan (Boris Karloff) to escape. But the villain's torture chamber is just large enough for the three would-be escapees ... While Strange Door permits Charles Laughton plenty of room to dole out ham in thick, juicy slices, poor Boris Karloff has nearly nothing to do, much to the disappointment of his fans. ...The Strange Door ( Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Door )

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's something afoot in the Maletroit home. 14 Mar 2011
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The Strange Door (1951) is released by Universal Pictures, it's directed by Joseph Pevney and stars Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff, and Sally Forrest. Based on the short story, The Sire de Maletroit's Door by Robert Louis Stevenson, it comes with much horror credentials. However, and in spite of it constantly being tagged a horror film, The Strange Door is more a Gothic thriller tinged with madness and all round nastiness.

The story is a solid one as Laughton's Sire Alain de Maletroit plots revenge against his younger brother, Edmund {Paul Cavanagh}, revenge that comes in the form of imprisonment down in the family dungeon for 20 years. Not content with that, Maletroit, after telling her that her father is dead, makes Edmund's daughter, Blanche's {Forrest}, life a misery. Culminating in a forced marriage to scallywag Denis de Beaulieu {Richard Stapley/Whyler)} who has been duped and trapped in the Maletroit castle. But Maletroit hadn't planned for Blanche & Denis to hit it off, and also lurking in the shadows is servant Voltan {Karloff} who is loyal to the imprisoned Edmund.

This is very much an acting piece, both Laughton & Karloff could overact with the best of them, but the results were never less than entertaining. Such is the case here as Pevney creates a moody Gothic atmosphere in the shadowy Maletroit home, and then, lets his actors run with Stevenson's genesis source. There's much dastardly talking and the odd perky moment dotted along the way, but really it's only the lead actors that keep the piece from stagnating. Particularly at the midpoint when the good old romantic thread starts to be pulled.

Still it's a recommended film for sure, for its sets {Universal rarely fails to deliver here}, mood and its two scene stealing lead actors. Just don't go in expecting an outright horror film is all. 6.5/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Based on a Robert Louis Stevenson tale, The Strange Door may be sold these days as a Boris Karloff horror film, but this gothic melodrama is top-billed Charles Laughton's show all the way. In his secluded dominion where villainy binds men together and where the odd mad wail can be heard coming from the dungeons, his vengeful aristocrat plans his lingering revenge on the brother he has usurped, with his latest torment revolving around finding a worthless man whose sins would make the Devil blush to marry his niece (Sally Forest) off to in the sure and certain knowledge that she'll live unhappily ever after. After convincing him that he's killed one of his lackeys in a tavern brawl and having a lynch mob pursue him to his strange door of the title - it lets people in but not out - he's convinced that he's found the perfect reluctant groom in ne'er do well Richard Stapley. Not that it'll be easy: "He did not impress me as a bloodless ninny. You may find him difficult." "I hope so. It would quite spoil the game if there were not a struggle in him."

True to his word, Laughton delights in his unwilling guest's impertinence and things get off to a perfect start when Stapley and Forest dislike each other at first sight, Laughton clearly oblivious to the fact that in movie parlance that's invariably a precursor to true love by the final reel. And so it proves, with Stapley discovering a sense of decency he thought he never had while Laughton revels in new depths - though, as he begs those on the side of the angels as he sets in motion a slow and tortuous device of death to understand, "Don't think badly of me. Family affection was never my strong point.
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4.0 out of 5 stars On the Mark 6 Mar 2013
By Graham
Format:DVD
Entertaining. I love these kind of films. Laughton and Karloff are great actors . Performers of their time. Good clear picture and sound. Must have DVD for fans of this stuff.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
a low budget film to be sure but quite effectively mounted and acted, at least by charles laughton and boris karloff. the supporting cast are rather wooden and dull for my liking, just pretty faces and nothing more.
the sets are better than i expected them to be.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A HOOT 15 May 2013
By LIZDOG
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a hoot a jolly fun film and read about it first on the interenet film buff sites makes it quite interesting
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