February 27, 2017


House of Darkness – 1948 | 77 mins | Thriller, Crime | B&W


Plot Synopsis

House of Darkness

In this eerie psychological thriller, Laurence Harvey makes an early screen appearance as a mocking psychopath attempting to gain ownership of a gloomy old house. Director Oswald Mitchell creates an atmospheric feel to proceedings but fails to inject the necessary chills; Mitchell died shortly after completing this film, but writer John Gilling went on to write and direct many of Hammerís lesser works.

House of Darkness opens with a brief narrative as composer George Melachrino explains the inspiration for one of his symphonies. Driven by an avaricious desire to inherit his stepbrother’s lavish Dorset home, sneering Francis Merryman (Laurence Harvey) uses the knowledge of his stepbrother Johnís (Alexander Archdale) heart condition to cause a fatal attack by smashing his treasured violin. He then proceeds to force his wife and remaining step-brother from the house. But his actions cause Francis to descend into a state of paranoia and madness. Thinking that he hears the melancholic tune of the broken violin, Francis runs to the piano and tries to drown out its music by playing it loudly but collapses on the keyboard, victim of fatal heart attack.

Production Team

Oswald Mitchell: Director
Cyril Bristow: Cinematography
Bert Rooke: Costume Department
Robert Johnson: Editing
Jane Seymour: Makeup Department
Marjorie Green: Makeup Department
George Melachrino: Original Music
Harry Reynolds: Producer
George Haslam: Production Design
John Gilling: Script
Richard A Smith: Sound Department


Laurence Harvey: Francis Merryman
Lesley Osmond: Elaine Merryman
Grace Arnold: Tessa
John Teed: Noel Merryman
Alexander Archdale: John Merryman
John Stuart: Crabtree
Lesley Brook: Lucy
Pauline Winter: Rosie
Sydney Moncton: Doctor

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