The Door with Seven Locks aka Chamber of Horrors – UK, 1940

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‘Blonde captive enslaved in an asylum of horrors!’

The Door with Seven Locks is a 1940 British mystery horror thriller film directed by Norman Lee (The Monkey’s Paw; The Strangler) from a screenplay co-written with producer John Argyle and Gilbert Gunn. It was loosely based on the 1926 novel The Door with Seven Locks by Edgar Wallace.

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The film was created and released shortly after the British Board of Film Censors lifted its mid-1930s ban on supernatural-themed and horror genre films. In the United States, it was released by Monogram Pictures under the title Chamber of Horrors.

On March 21, 2017, the film is released on Blu-ray in North America by Kino Lorber with the following special features: Audio Commentary by Film Historian David Del Valle and Filmmaker Kenneth J. Hall | Trailers.

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Buy: Amazon.com

Main cast:

Leslie Banks (The Most Dangerous Game), Lilli Palmer (The Boys from Brazil; The House That Screamed), Romilly Lunge, Gina Malo, David Horne, Richard Bird, Cathleen Nesbitt. J.H. Roberts.

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Plot:

A wealthy lord dies and is entombed with a valuable deposit of jewels. Seven keys are required to unlock the tomb and get hold of the treasure.

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A series of mysterious events cause the keys to be scattered, and when trying to unravel the circumstances, the heiress of the fortune and her companion investigators become entangled in a web of fraud, deceit, torture, and murder…

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

” … a much better— and much more honest— example of the genre than just about anything being made on a comparable budget in Hollywood at the time. The plot against Judy Lansdowne is good and complicated, but it never strains credulity and best of all, the answers to all the big questions come into view in a gradual, believable manner … The comic relief occasionally manages to be legitimately funny!” Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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“Some tossed in comedy relief takes away from the overall production but the beauty of Lilli Palmer makes it worth watching. Leslie Banks is a cartoon villain and Gina Mao is an annoying ditzy friend.” Vintage 45’s Blog

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“Old-fashioned but still entertaining Edgar Wallace story … There’s really nothing supernatural about it but it’s charming in its antiquated fashion.” John Stanley, Creature Features

“With everyone except the villains cracking bad one liners its more of a comedy” Nuno Costa, Letterboxd.com

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Choice dialogue:

Inspector ‘Andy’ Sneed: “Women are like tiger cats. They ought to be caged at sixteen and shot at twenty.”

Dr. Manetta, commenting on his instruments of torture: “Tomorrow you must visit my collection. It is a queer collection, of ancient and modern.”

June: “I love frolicking in morgues.”

Cast and characters:

  • Leslie Banks as Dr. Manetta
  • Lilli Palmer as June Lansdowne
  • Romilly Lunge as Dick Martin
  • Gina Malo as Glenda Baker
  • David Horne as Edward Havelock
  • Richard Bird as Inspector Cornelius ‘Andy’ Sneed
  • Cathleen Nesbitt as Ann Cody
  • JH Roberts as Luis Silva
  • Aubrey Mallalieu as Lord Charles Francis Selford
  • Harry Hutchinson as Bevan Cody
  • Ross Landon as John Selford
  • Phil Ray as Tom Cawler
  • Robert Montgomery as Craig the Butler

Wikipedia | IMDb

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