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The Unholy Night (1929)

Passed | | Mystery, Thriller | 14 September 1929 (USA)
On a dark foggy London night, someone tries to strangle Lord Montague, but he escapes. Only to discover the four other men who did get killed were old regimental comrades in Gallipoli. When... See full summary »

Director:

Lionel Barrymore

Writers:

Ben Hecht (story), Edwin Justus Mayer (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest Torrence ... Dr. Ballou
Roland Young ... Lord Montague
Dorothy Sebastian ... Lady Efra Cavendar
Natalie Moorhead ... Lady Violet Montague
Sydney Jarvis Sydney Jarvis ... The Butler
Polly Moran ... Polly - the Maid
George Cooper ... Frey - Lord Montague's Orderly
Sôjin Kamiyama ... The Mystic (as Sojin)
Claude Fleming Claude Fleming ... Sir James Rumsey
Clarence Geldart ... Inspector Lewis (as Clarence Geldert)
John Miljan ... Major Mallory
Richard Tucker ... Col. Davidson
John Loder ... Capt. Dorchester
Philip Strange Philip Strange ... Lieut. Williams
John Roche ... Lieut. Savor
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Storyline

On a dark foggy London night, someone tries to strangle Lord Montague, but he escapes. Only to discover the four other men who did get killed were old regimental comrades in Gallipoli. When Scotland Yard gets Monty to gather the other nine surviving officers at his home, one of them is murdered, and no one else has entered the house. Now, they must determine who the murderer is. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Between darkness and dawn...strange figures, stranger events fill this enthralling thriller to overflowing! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El espectro verde See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Phoenix Saturday 2 March 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), followed by Minneapolis Saturday 23 March 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9); in New York City it first aired Monday 18 November 1957 on the Late, Late Show on WCBS (Channel 2); it afterwards was taken out of the vault in Norfalk VA 12 December 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Honolulu 28 December 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Hartford CT 7 January 1958 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Salt Lake City 3 April 1958 KTVT (Channel 4) and in Green Bay WI 25 August 1958 on WFRV (Channel 5). Because of its age and obscurity, local television broadcasts were sparse and usually limited to the less predominant locales because of major market sponsor resistance. Today, it's occasionally resurrected on Turner Classic Movies much to the delight of vintage film fans. See more »

Quotes

Lord 'Monte' Montague: You see, our family never have ideas; that's why they're so successful in politics, I suppose.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[preface] The amazing revelations pictured here are compiled from one the most sensational murder cases on police record. The rare psychosis of the crime and the method of its exposure are stranger than fiction.....because they are true! See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was also released in a silent version. See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Le spectre vert (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung a cappella by the men of the regiment three times and at the seance
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Early Talkie Thriller
15 November 2004 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

With death stalking the darkness, members of a doomed regiment spend THE UNHOLY NIGHT in an old mansion seeking a murderer.

Fine atmospherics and good performances propel this creaky creeper from the very early days of talking pictures. The opening sequence ably depicts the oppressive emotional weight of an extreme London fog. The remainder of the film becomes an Old Dark House picture, with the cast claustrophobically caught in the clutches of a clever killer.

Owlish Roland Young does very well as the gentle nobleman whose grand home becomes a house of horrors. Appreciated for his comedic abilities, Young shows he's equally adept at more serious drama. Ernest Torrence--a very enjoyable character actor of the era whose career was cut short by an early death--plays the friendly doctor trying to deal with the brutal deaths. Lovely Natalie Moorhead portrays Young's sister, a woman fascinated by the supernatural. Dorothy Sebastian appears as a beautiful & mysterious lady from the East with a strange story to tell.

Blustery Major Lionel Belmore, and John Miljan as a badly scarred Major, are two of the 'Doomed Regiment.' Polly Moran has a few good moments as a frightened maid. Exotic Sojin is most effective as a Chinese mystic.

Movie mavens will easily recognize an unbilled Boris Karloff appearing as a sinister Turkish lawyer.

Director Lionel Barrymore makes good use of the new sound technology with a few well placed screams and some hearty singing from the officers of the regiment.


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