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London After Midnight (1927)

Passed | | Horror | 3 December 1927 (USA)
The abandoned home of a wealthy man who supposedly committed suicide five years earlier is taken over by ghoulish figures - could they be vampires?

Director:

Tod Browning

Writers:

Tod Browning (story "The Hypnotist"), Waldemar Young (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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More Like This 

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Andy MacLennan ... Bat Girl's Assistant
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Storyline

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 ... Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HOW GOOD A SLUETH ARE YOU? Try your wits on this baffling mystery! (Print Ad- Sunday Morning Star, ((Wilmington, Del.)) 13 May 1928) See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Passed

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

3 December 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hypnotist See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$152,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Quotes

Professor Edward C. Burke: Someone was after your nephew! Or maybe... me!
Professor Edward C. Burke: I want to know where you've been all night, Williams!
Williams, Balfour's Butler: I was in bed. The shot awakened me. I put this on and rushed up, sir.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although live-action prints of "London After Midnight" are long lost, a reconstruction of the film made entirely from still photographs has been prepared by Rick Shmidlin for Turner Classic Movies. This reconstruction runs about 40 minutes and premiered on October 31st, 2002. See more »

Connections

Edited into Goofy Movies Number Six (1934) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
London After Midnight: The 2002 Reconstruction (1927) **1/2
8 July 2005 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I enjoyed the reconstruction, for what it was. Of course, its sound remake - MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) - is a very good indication of what London AFTER MIDNIGHT (1927) must have looked like.

The plot is unbelievably contrived but let's not forget that the films adhere more to the style of 'old dark house' thrillers, then in vogue, than the typical 'vampire' film (that said, Chaney's vampire make-up is terrific and I'd love to see it in action!). It's interesting, however, to note how Browning was able to adapt himself with the times: in "London" the emphasis seems to be on grotesquerie (witness also Edna Tichenor's death-like pallor), since the archetype of the sub-genre during the Silent era was obviously NOSFERATU (1922); when MARK came along, Browning went for a more streamlined look - a suave Lugosi abetted by a sexy Carol Borland - spearheaded by his own landmark take on the Stoker classic! I also prefer the remake's change-of-setting (Hungary instead of London) and the blood-draining device to dispose of the victim (rather than the conventional 'suicide' of the original), thus giving credence - initially at least - to the vampires' presence in the film in the first place!


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