London After Midnight (1927)

USA,
47m [reconstructed version], 1733.40 metres, 7 reels
35mm film, black and white, 1.33:1
silent

An American horror film directed by Tod Browning. It is believed to be a lost film after the only known print was destroyed, along with many other prints, in a fire at MGM's Vault 7 in Culver City in 1967. Rumours have persisted for many years that at least one copy has survived and is in the hands of an anonymous private collector though no evidence for this has ever been presented. A version reconstructed from the original script and film stills was created by TCM in the United States in 2002. Browning remade the film as Mark of the Vampire (1935).

Plot Summary

Five years after the death of Roger Balfour, his home is taken over by a sinister looking pair, a monstrous man with large pointed teeth and his young female companion. Their arrival reopens old wounds and when Balfour's body disappears from its tomb, the couple immediately come under suspicion. But are they all they seem to be?

Credits

Crew
Director: Tod Browning
MGM
Producer: Irving Thalberg (uncredited)
2002 Reconstruction Producer: Rick Schmidlin
Script: Waldemar Young
Story: The Hypnotist by Tod Browning
Titles: Joseph Farnham
Director of Photography: Merritt B. Gerstad
Editors: Harry Reynolds, Errol Taggart
Wardrobe: Lucia Coulter
Sets: Cedric Gibbons, A. Arnold Gillespie

Cast
Lon Chaney (Burke)
Marceline Day (Lucille Balfor)
Henry B. Walthall (Sir James Hamlin)
Percy Williams (butler)
Conrad Nagel (Arthur Hibbs)
Polly Moran (Miss Smithson)
Edna Tichenor (Luna the bat girl)
Claude King (Roger Balfour)
Jules Cowles (Gallagher)
Allan Cavan (real estate broker)
Andy MacLennan (bat girl's assistant)

Alternative Titles

La casa del horror – Spanish title
The Hypnotist
London nach Mitternacht – Austrian title
Londres après minuit – French title
Londres Depois da Meia-Noite – Portugese title
Um Mitternacht – German title
Der Vampyr – Austrian title

Remake
Mark of the Vampire (1935)

See also
Fade to Black (1980)
Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000)
Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)
Matinee (1993)
Swing You Sinners! (1930)
Universal Horror (1998)

References

Periodicals
Classic Film Collector no.31 (Summer 1971) p.32
The Film Spectator vol.5 no.1 (3 March 1928) p.11
Film Comment vol.27 no.1 (January/February 1991) pp.79-80 – article (Tales from the crypt by Jim Beckerman)
Monster! no.25 (January 2016) pp.77-91; 114-115 – illustrated article (London After Midnight: Lon Chhaney, Tod Browning & in Australia by Daniel Best); note
Photon no.23 (1973) pp.36-45 – illustrated credits, synopsis (Tod Browning – a Filmography by Bill Nelson)

Books
The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.37-38 – credits, review
Censored Screams: The British Ban on Hollywood Horror in the Thirties by Tom Johnson pp.103, 106, 163 – notes
Cinematic by John L. Flynn pp.25-28
A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.7-8; 12
Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.185
The Palgrave Encyclopedia of American Horror Film Shorts 1915-1976 by Gary D. Rhodes and David J. Hogan p.277
by Walt Lee pp.264; 265 – credits; still