The Black Castle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Black Castle Reviews

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½ June 29, 2017
Slightly worse than The Strange Door.
½ January 4, 2015
Tepid gothic revenge melodrama--a Most Dangerous Game rerun. It's shot in b/w and set in the 18th century. The screenplay's author isJerry Sackheim.
½ March 16, 2014
Overall, creepy, atmospheric and entertaining, not masterpiece-status but very enjoyable stuff and not one to be avoided. 
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2010
This is a good fifties movie in more the style of the old gothic universal monster movies. Plus it has the actors from those movies too.
December 14, 2009
A fun and occasionally thrilling adventure tale about a man who sets off to find justice and ends up wreaking revenge on the man who killed his friends in a scuffle in Africa. It's nearly as fun as it sounds, and the prime attraction- a dungeon filled with crocodiles hidden beneath the Count's castle- is an absolute hoot. I checked this out because Boris Karloff was in it, but it was Richard Greene who stole the show. Holding his own with horror legends Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr., Greene has the charisma and wit that leads of this kind of movie typically lack. This is a fun movie, a delightful hybrid of horror and adventure.
½ September 27, 2009
Respectable production values and a good cast are plusses. The story didn?t always hold my interest though, but it did have a good atmosphere.
½ August 27, 2009
Starring: Richard Green, Stephen McNally, Rita Corday, Boris Karloff, Tudor Owen, John Hoyt, Michael Pate, Lon Chaney Jr, and Henry Corden
Director: Nathan Juran

In the early 18th century, an English spy (Green) travels to Austria's Black Forest to determine the fates of two of his best friends and fellow operatives. They were last heard from as guests of an eccentric count (McNally) whom they had opposed in Africa. While trying to ferret out the count's secrets, our hero decides to rescue his innocent young wife from his clutches (Corday).


"The Black Castle" is an excellent and suspense-filled period drama that, although it's being told in flashback and you know that the hero and his love interest won't come to the dire end that they seem destined for, remains unpredictable until the very end. It's a film that builds steadily toward its final twist, a twist that few will see coming but that is nonetheless set up by everything that went before. It doesn't say anything good about modern screenwriters when, in a time where twist endings on suspense and horror films are all the rage, that a B-movie writer can do something far, far better than they come up with on their best days, in a time when they weren't common.

Aside from a well-done script, the film is further augmented by excellent sets and excellent cinematography and some fine performances by the entire cast. Of particular note is Stephen McNally, who, although he plays the ultimate Snidley Whiplash-type character who is dwells in the ultimate melodramatic gothic villian's lair--an isolated castle with secret corridors, torture chambers, burial vaults and a pit full of crocodiles, still manages to bring a little depth to the character. He injects just enough charm into this thoroughly evil character that I couldn't help but root for him ever-so-slightly in his effort to outwit the one-dimensional, more-righteous-than-righteous British agent.

Also of note are the performances by the two horror cinema great Boris Karloff. His role is small, but, like McNally he manages to bring infuse some depth into a character who might otherwise come across as just a sniveling slimeball. (Lon Chaney Jr is also seen, once again playing one of those menacing simpletons that he seemed to have been relegated to at this stage in his career... he does what he can with a fairly empty part.)

"The Black Castle" is a film that should appeal to lovers of classic movies, especially if they like their gothic romances with a side of twisted vengence. Although made in the mid-1950s, the film feels more like something from the 1930s or 1940s.
½ June 20, 2009
The best thing about The Black Castle is the stunning cinematography. Each scene has an engaging sort of depth that just draws the viewer in. Aside from that it's just a fun little horror/melodrama complete with crocodile pit, torture chamber and eye patch wearing villain.
½ July 8, 2008
The kind of vintage horror film that packs the cliches in so tight it verges on parody. Karloff has very little to do but does it well. Chaney has even less to do and you can't help feeling a bit sorry for him and what he had come to by this point.
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