) is a British Horror film
starring Boris Karloff
, Cedric Hardwicke
, Ernest Thesiger
, and Ralph Richardson
, making his film debut.
borrowed just the vaguest outline from the 1928 source novel by Frank King (and subsequent play by King and Leonard J. Hines). King's novel is sub-par Edgar Wallace
in which a master criminal popularly referred to as 'The Ghoul' has been responsible for a London crime wave. Betty inherits an estate on the Yorkshire moors
from a mysterious benefactor, Edward Morlant, a dabbler in mysticism
who years before had been her mother's paramour. But the will requires Betty to take up residence in the old house, where Morlant's corpse
soon appears, walking and talking. Morlant tells her that he is an immortal adept
and demands the return of his secret diary. The usual suspects and interlopers converge on the house, and upon Morlant's next appearance his resurrected self is killed anew, unquestionably stabbed through the heart. Morlant is soon perambulating again, as people begin turning up dead. All supernatural
trappings are dispelled as 'The Ghoul' is penultimately unmasked as Edward Morlant's twin brother, James, a criminal mastermind whose fictive guises included not only his brother, but a bogus police sergeant and his brother's solicitor, Broughton. In a final act of madness, James torches the mansion.
The film screenplay uses the merest skeleton of the story and characters and blends it with the Egyptian... Read More