London After Midnight (1927)
Horror Movies & Sci-Fi Movies Database
When Roger Balfour is found shot dead in his London home, his death is declared a suicide by Inspector Burke of Scotland yard, even though the executor of Balfour's estate, Sir James Hamlin, insists his friend never would have taken his own life. Five years later, the abandoned Balfour house comes to life again with the arrival of two sinister-looking tenants: a fiendish-looking man with pointed teeth, bulging eyes and a tall beaver hat, and a pale young woman in a long gown. The presence of the strangers prompts Sir James, who lives next door, to call in Inspector Burke again. Also living in the Hamlin household are the other people who were also present in Balfour's house the night he died: Sir James' nephew, Arthur Hibbs; the late Balfour's now-grown daughter, Lucille; and Williams, the butler. Burke expresses skepticism about Sir James' suspicions that the new neighbors might have been involved in Balfour's death, until strange things start happening: Balfour's body disappears from its tomb. The new maid, Smithson, tells a terrifying tale of being menaced in Lucille's bedroom by the stranger in the beaver hat. And a man spotted inside the Balfour house by Burke and Sir James looks distinctly like the late Roger Balfour. A skittish Arthur becomes convinced the neighbors are vampires. Burke takes Lucille aside, and tells her he doesn't believe her father committed suicide. He asks her to trust him. Burke also has a private talk with Arthur. Burke uses hypnosis to put Arthur into a trance, but learns nothing new about Balfour's death. That night, someone fires a shot into Arthur's room, but Arthur isn't there; instead, it's Burke who's slightly wounded. Lucille is abducted by the beaver-hatted man and the butler and brought to her former home. Sir James, acting at Burke's instruction, also shows up at the Balfour house; he's met out front by the beaver-hatted man, who puts him into a hypnotic trance. Arthur breaks into the Balfour house in an attempt to rescue Lucille; he's caught by Burke and a couple of detectives and locked away. It turns out the man with the beaver hat and pointed teeth was really a disguised Inspector Burke, who was aided at times by a double; Smithson, the maid, is an assistant detective; the mysterious young woman, a stage performer working for the police. Under Burke's hypnosis, Sir James re-creates his actions the night Roger Balfour died, with Lucille and the butler, Williams, playing themselves, and Burke's double playing the part of Balfour. It turns out Sir James shot and killed Balfour and made the death appear a suicide after Balfour rejected Sir James as a future husband for young Lucille. Sir James is brought out of his trance and arrested by Burke. The mystery of Balfour's death solved, Lucille and Arthur, who have come to realize how much they love each other, are now free to marry.
LON CHANEY in a great Scotland Yard Mystery
Title: London After Midnight
Release Date: December 03, 1927
Runtime: 69 mins
All Genres: Drama, Horror
Colors: Black and White
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Buried.com Rating: 8.1 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With L
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Lon Chaney ...Professor Edward C. Burke
Marceline Day ...Lucille Balfour
Henry B. Walthall ...Sir.James Hamlin
Percy Williams ...Williams, Balfour's Butler
Conrad Nagel ...Arthur Hibbs
Polly Moran ...Miss Smithson, the New Maid
Edna Tichenor ...Luna, Bat Girl
Claude King ...Roger Balfour
Andy MacLennan ...Bat Girl's Assistant
Allan Cavan ...Real Estate Broker
Jules Cowles ...Gallagher
More Movie Taglines:
- LON CHANEY in a great Scotland Yard Mystery
- The Man of a Thousand Faces in a Great Detective Thriller!
- Miss Smithson, the New Maid: Honest, Sir James... they're dead people from the grave! Vampires is what they are! Sir.James Hamlin: Professor Burke is to be our house-guest, Williams. Have rooms prepared for him. Professor Edward C. Burke: It's unnerving, Mr. Hibbs! The new maid swears to your Uncle that she saw living dead people in the Balfour house! Sir.James Hamlin: Burke, I've called you in again because I believe these strange people leasing Balfour's house link up with his death. Professor Edward C. Burke: We found his note... and his own pistol beside him! That's suicide, isn't it? Sir.James Hamlin: Then what can it all mean? Mysterious people! Lights! Weird noises! And come... see this!
Professor Edward C. Burke: Lucille, I am going to reveal to you that your father did not die by suicide! Lucille Balfour: You can't mean that someone killed my father! Professor Edward C. Burke: am going to ask you to put yourself in my hands... to do whatever I say... no matter how trying it may be. Professor Edward C. Burke: I want you to promise to keep this a secret... from everyone. Lucille Balfour: Mr. Burke, you make me feel that I should trust you... that you are my friend. Arthur Hibbs: What was he saying to you? Lucille Balfour: I can't tell you! Please don't ask me! Arthur Hibbs: I don't trust him! Why wouldn't he let Uncle send for the police last night? Arthur Hibbs: And now he is getting you under his spell! Lucille Balfour: Oh, Arthur... he says that someone killed my father!
Professor Edward C. Burke: Watch my eye and think... think hard. You were in this room that night, remember? Professor Edward C. Burke: Someone was after your nephew! Or maybe... me!
Luna, Bat Girl: Remember... Lucille... you... are... doing... this... for... your... father.
Luna, Bat Girl: Aw, stop kicking! We got more for doing this than we'd earn in a month at the theatre!
- Lon Chaney wore a set of false animal teeth that hurt him so much that he could only wear them for a few minutes at a time. The teeth Chaney wore were not animal teeth, but were made of gutta-percha, a hard rubber-like material. What gave him the most discomfort were the wire loops around his eyes.
It is believed that this film existed until 1967. Inventory records indicated that the only remaining print was being stored in MGM's vault #7 which was destroyed by fire in 1967. By that time, all other elements had been destroyed or were missing.
Is on AFI's "Lost Films" list.
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Rating: 8.1 out of 10.0 - 56 votes cast total