6.8/10
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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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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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More Like This 

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At the end of a long and hot summer day, members of one family gather in a large house. Everyone has something painful and offensive to say, and their silence is even worse.

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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:

Sherlock Holmes Arsene Lupin Craig Kennedy all great detective characters. Now comes Burke of Scotland Yard, finest of all sleuths, as played by the foremost of all screen character actors. (Print Ad- Florence Times-News, ((Florence, Ala.)) 29 April 1928) See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1927 enter the U.S. public domain in 2023. See more »

Quotes

Sir.James Hamlin: Burke... look! It is Roger Balfour!
Sir.James Hamlin: Come, Burke! We're helpless before such creatures as these!
Arthur Hibbs: For one who doesn't believe in vampires, you've taken a sudden interest in them!
Professor Edward C. Burke: Perhaps it's for the same reason that you did, Mr. Hibbs!
Professor Edward C. Burke: Be brave, my dear. Follow my instructions tonight.
Professor Edward C. Burke: Young man, I'll take one of your cigars... and have a little talk with you.
Professor Edward C. Burke: I've suspected you for a long time, Hibbs.
Arthur Hibbs: Yes? And I've suspected you!
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

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Frankenstein 1910 (2009) See more »

User Reviews

restored intertitle cards and still do not make a movie.....
7 April 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"London After Midnight" is a combination mystery film and vampire movie. Lon Chaney plays dual roles--a detective as well as a crazed vampirey guy. Five years after a supposed suicide, weird ghouls move into the dead man's house--and the detective returns to investigate. At the end, the mystery is finally solved--though exactly how all this is proved is baffling--like there is either something missing or it just had a HUGE plot hole.

I won't give this film a numerical rating, as the film no longer exists--at least not in any known archive. Turner Classic Movies recently showed what purported to be "London After Midnight" and I saw it on a DVD with "The Unknown" but it was a strange reconstruction--a film that should have been left lost if you ask me. Using the original intertitles and LOTS of stills from the movie, they attempted to re-create the film--without any actual film! Now I am a die-hard lover of silents and especially love the films of Lon Chaney, but this sort of reconstruction is simply ridiculous. It just isn't THE original film nor is it even a truncated version--it's a bizarre attempt to recreate the film from nothing--totally bizarre. To give the film a sense of movement, the camera moves about the stills--but again, these are just stills! And so, the film is lifeless--with no more energy than simply reading the screenplay. I say with such re-creations it's best to just leave them alone and put your energy into piecing together films with PORTIONS missing--not the entire film! I've seen such re-creations (such as Frank Capra's "Lost Horizon") and since the missing portions are filled in with stills for only tiny portions, it's very acceptable. This one, in my opinion, was a HUGE mistake and not worth your time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

3 December 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hypnotist See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$152,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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