Film: 7558

Feature Drama | 1930 | Silent | B/W


A silent, black and white 'horror' film from the early 1930's, produced by J.H.Aherne and E.M Heimann, concerning a bedroom haunted by ghosts.
Title faded up against grey backing. Credits in gold lettering on brown backing. Two ornate symbols on either side. Fade into producers introduction/acknowledgement text again in gold on brown. Followed by cast credit.
Two men sit beside open fire. First ('host') sits next to fire with stick poking the coal. He gazes intently at it. Man to his left ('guest') sits and looks down at long object he is polishing. Firelight glows brighter as host removes poker from fire and rubs hands. Both are smart in dress with pipes. Camera moves slightly up to show objects on mantelpiece and antlers on wall. Close-up of guest who continues action then puts down object. He turns to talk to partner.
First text: "I hear you have a ghost or something attached to these premises". Shot of both men again. Host takes out pipe and pours drink from decanter. Second text: "Yes, there's an old legend that the last man who slept in that room was found dead the next morning and nothing to show how he met his end".
Host sprays soda into drink and continues talking. He lights pipe. Close-up of guest leaning forward with surprised and intrigued expression. Guest speaks, then third text: "Sounds exciting. I rather fancy spending the night in your haunted room-see if I can lay the ghost for you". Host laughs and offers reply (possibly a rebuke). Host with eager expression. Fourth text: "Why not? I've never seen a live ghost!". Host again talks then fifth text: "Personally, I prefer a warm bed on a cold night-but if you like being uncomfortable..."
Host continues speaking then puts pipe back in his mouth. He turns to right and reaches out to something on wall beside fire. Close-up reveals he is pulling on a tasselled rope. Both relax and intently smoke pipes. Guest reclines in his chair while host adopts refined, legs-crossed pose. Side-on close-up of guest with head thrown back, eyes closed and smoking pipe. Decanter behind on far right. Return to view of both men.
Host sits up distracted and looks to left of screen. Gloomy, dark shot with outlines of doors. Figure becomes visible walking slowly towards camera. She has hood and appears very frail. She (the 'housekeeper') comes into shot of men by fireside as host faces her and speaks. She is shown wearing hood and shawl. He gestures to her with his pipe. Sixth Text: "and bring him plenty of candles".
He gazes up at housekeeper who stands and listens. He looks toward guest as she slowly turns to face him also. Close-up of housekeeper looking down at guest with serious expression. Guest looks to right in discomfort. Shot again of gazing housekeeper then back to guest.
Host stands up as housekeeper leaves shot. He empties pipe contents into fire. Seated man faces camera with perturbed look. Fades out.
Dark shot with banister of stairs just visible. Housekeeper holding candle walks up stairs from left of screen. Large shadow follows. Man in dressing gown passes left to right directly behind her. View from behind them as they proceed up stairs.
Close-up view looking through banisters as feet pass up the stairs. Shadow of banisters eerily pass along screen.
View looking up top of stairs and side-on banister as guest holding candle, passes across. Housekeeper arrives at door holding large candle. She turns doorknob. Guest reaches door immediately after, holding, possibly, tray of candles. He faces door with back to camera. Housekeeper opens door and they go through.
Door's shadow passes across screen as it is opened. Reveals old black chair.
Guest walks towards camera and looks nervously to left. Close-up of same action while housekeeper lurks behind. She closes door as guest continues to look nervously around. He turns to left and walks from shot.
He puts his candles on drawer or table then takes two of them and puts them to one side. Housekeeper, holding solitary candle, stands to right in background.
Close-up of candles as guest lights them. He then lights third candle and removes the rest, taking them and walking from shot. Housekeeper, still in same spot, remains in shot.
View of chairs or ornaments in front of curtain. Guest walks towards them with candle. He leans over it and when he moves away, candle is lit.
Housekeeper, head-on, stares menacingly past camera in front of curtain. She holds lit candle while to her left are five candles, two lit.
Guest walks past and away from camera to candles standing on table. Housekeeper remains still but looks at guest as he bends over table and lights candle. He turns to face camera holding two lighted candles then walks from shot. Close-up of housekeeper staring just past camera. She turns to allow gaze to follow something moving to the left of the room.
Empty part of room in gloomy light. Dark shadow passes across screen as guest, with candles, walks into shot. He looks up and around the room. About to place candle on table, he looks up in alarm.
Shot looking up at ceiling or wall support in shape of a gargoyle. Shadows move across it. Shot looking up at gargoyle. Guest's head and candle top also in shot. Close-up of guest as he turns sharply round then returns to previous position.
Housekeeper leaning around from just inside the door. She gazes to camera, offers chilly smile and disappears behind door. Door closes.
Guest looking over shoulder, presumably at door. He looks back up towards gargoyle then back towards door. Shot of closed door. Close-up of guest looking, seriously, to left of screen then slowly turning to face right. He lights unlit candle using other, lit candle, then repeats action with third candle.
Three lit candles on table with two chairs behind. Guest walks into shot. Close-up of his hand picking up object on table. He puts three unidentified objects on table. He sits down to left of table, puts pipe in mouth and opens book on table. Pauses in unidentifiable action to look to right of screen.
Shot of three candles on table. Returns to previous position. Guest's eyes look around the room. Another shot of candles with curtain behind then pans up to take in 'gargoyle'. Guest, still seated, looks up to left of screen then concentrates on reading book. Shot again of candles, then again to guest at table, looking around towards curtains. Gives startled expression but returns to book.
Two candles flickering ominously then three candles flickering violently. Guest turns page of book and intently reads. Candles flicker then blow out. Close-up of one blowing out. Guest walks to mirror, reflection facing camera. He walks from shot. He walks towards blown out candle (one on far right of table) and leans over it. Close-up of candle being lit. Guest, with candles behind, walks from shot. He returns to chair and sits down but still looks around.
Table with two candles lit on right end. Camera zooms in on unlit candle to point where image blurs.
Guest, standing up, puts something on table and picks something up, then walks from shot. Walks away from camera towards candle. Glare comes up in front of him signalling lit candle. He spins around with fearful look.
Three candles in shot as second blows out. Bright glare silhouettes guest as he re-lights it. Solitary candle flickers. Close-up of guest as he turns around to gaze to left of screen in deep suspicion. Solitary candle flickers then blows out. Another lone candle blows out.
Guest bends down in panicked movement. Close-up of candle being lit. Guest, centre of screen, holds on to table and looks around. Two candles in close-up, left one blows out.
Guest, as in previous shot, runs from view. View of door as he runs to it, frantically trying doorknob. He tugs it. Close-up of hands grasping doorknob. He pulls in desperation, then looks back in horrified expression.
Shot looking up at candle with gargoyle in background. Candle blows out.
Guest at door looking over shoulder. He faces door and, again, frantically tries to open door. Close-up of hands then of face, in utter terror, at door. Returns to hands which bang on the door. Close-up of his face as he looks back and yells or screams. Hands grasping doorknob once more then guest turns from door and runs out of shot. Lights candle behind large black candle or obelisk.
Two candles in close-up as left blows out. Guest obscured by gloom, runs across screen. Candle, just lit, blows out again.
At table, guest lights candle then picks it up and crouches down. Shadow of object, possibly candle, moves violently around screen. With candle, guest looks up at it in fear. Many such objects fill the screen and move around. Large black shadows zoom up to screen. Guest yells. More shadows pass screen. Shots of candles blowing out then of dancing shadows.
Guest moving about in gloom. Row of carved objects appear before him, appearing to close him in. More shadows then object drops to ground. Large shadow zooms towards camera.
Four candles in semi-circular arrangement come up into shot. From left, one by one blown out. Guest comes up from behind candle, hands on head, yelling.
Candle holders pass across screen. Candle flame passes across screen with two more above. All but one blow out. View looking down on guest running around with candle. Guest by wall as, on it, giant candle shadows appear. More blurred shadows face guest who appears to faint.
Candles move left to right of screen as, superimposed candle holder silhouettes pass right to left.
Close-up of candle flame going out then a prolonged darkness. Blurred bars or window frames come into focus. The same process occurs for candles on table. Returns to bars with chairs now visible.
Pipe lays on table with book open. Shot of object (possibly candle). Shot looking down on box of matches with spilled contents. Pans across floor to show second matchbox then right to reveal arm outstretched. Shot of guest lying motionless across floor. Shot fades out followed by producer's signatures.

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