The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood





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Charles Dickens' unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, has been a source of speculation and controversy ever since its posthumous publication. Even so, the ending concocted by scenarists John Balderston and Gladys Unger for the 1935 film version of Edwin Drood met with near-unanimous approval from Dickens buffs, who felt that Balderston and Unger had remained faithful to the author's original intention. Claude Rains stars as John Jasper, the seemingly respectable choirmaster of Cloisterham Cathedral. What no one suspects is that Jasper is an opium addict, given to fits of paranoia and jealousy. Pushing him over the edge is the fact that his beautiful ward, Rosa Bud (Heather Angel), has fallen in love with handsome Edwin Drood (David Manners). That Drood is murdered by Jasper is made abundantly clear: it is the mystery of how he was murdered and how Jasper disposed of the body that holds the viewer's interest. The film's relatively short running time required the screenwriters to drop several of Dickens' more colorful supporting characters: of those retained, Francis L. Sullivan is a standout as Mr. Crisparkle. The Mystery of Edwin Drood was transformed into a Broadway musical in 1980s (which offered several alternate endings), then was refilmed in 1993.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Dickens, Leopold Atlas, John L. Balderston, Gladys Unger, Bradley King (I)
On DVD: Aug 6, 1996


Claude Rains
as John Jasper
Douglass Montgomery
as Neville Landless
Heather Angel
as Rosa Bud
David Manners
as Edwin Drood
Valerie Hobson
as Helena Landless
Francis L. Sullivan
as Rev. Mr. Septimus Cr...
Walter Kingsford
as Hiram Grewigious
E.E. Clive
as Thomas Sapsea
Louise Carter
as Mrs. Crisparkle
Ethel Griffies
as Miss Twinkleton
Zeffie Tilbury
as Opium Den Hag
J.M. Kerrigan
as Chief Verger Tope
Elsa Buchanan
as Mrs. Tisher
D'Arcy Corrigan
as Opium Addict
Anne O'Neal
as Crisparkle Maid
Will Geer
as Villager
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All Critics (1)

Claude Rains gives another one of his great performances, brilliantly playing a vile character suspected of murder.

Full Review… | March 4, 2015
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