Silent House (1929)

Dr Kelp
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Joined: November 27th, 2016, 2:34 am

August 4th, 2018, 5:27 am #1

This movie just manages to cross over into horror territory. It has some simlarities to Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu. A man and his partner in the far east steals the sacred jewels from a religious statue. The partner is killed and Chang Fu swears to seek revenge on the man who took them. He also kidnapps the partner's daughter and uses hypnotism to keep her with him. Several years later the man is mysteriously killed and his son and only heir inherits the house but the man died before he could reveal where he hid the jewels. We have the usual trapping an old dark house mystery,  secret panels, strangling hands, even a torture chamber with a floor that slides away revealing a pit of snakes. Unfortunately the print I have is missing any music score, and has French intertitles with English subtitles. I liked the fact you weren't sure which servants were good or evil and the ending may or may not be supernatural. 
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will
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Joined: November 17th, 2009, 2:23 am

August 4th, 2018, 8:18 am #2

It sounds to me it more than just manages to cross over.
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Joined: December 22nd, 2009, 7:25 pm

August 4th, 2018, 11:13 am #3

Hmmm, looks like BFI has this up for viewing as well. But we can't access their films on this side of the pond, can we?
..."Do you care if I smoke?" ... " I don't care if you burn."
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will
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Joined: November 17th, 2009, 2:23 am

August 4th, 2018, 11:49 am #4

No. It is on YouTube also, but it is the version described, no music and French subtitles.
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squidguin
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Joined: August 20th, 2005, 1:02 am

August 11th, 2018, 1:39 pm #5

I think this must be a film version of a play of the same title that was a hit in London in the late 20s.   I'm not entirely sure if the novel by John G. Brandon came first, but I believe it is a novelization of the play. The first half of the book concerns the jewel theft in Asia and contains some of the most jaw-dropping racism I've ever encountered; the second half picks up the action in the house and reads like a description of what audiences saw on stage.  If memory serves, I read that the young Orson Welles was very impressed with the play.

I tried to find the movie on Youtube without any luck.  How is it listed?
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will
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Joined: November 17th, 2009, 2:23 am

August 11th, 2018, 2:20 pm #6

Looks like it disappeared. I know it was the right movie because I checked the credits. I didn't watch too much of it. I figured I would get back to it when I was more in the mood. It has a real slow start.
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squidguin
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Joined: August 20th, 2005, 1:02 am

August 11th, 2018, 6:07 pm #7

Thanks for checking!
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