The Black Sleep


Horror / Sci-Fi

The Black Sleep (1956) download yts

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 33%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 905  


Added By: Kaiac
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John Carradine as Borg aka Bohemond
Basil Rathbone as Sir Joel Cadman
Lon Chaney Jr. as Mungo
720p 1080p
582.76 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 22 min
P/S Unknown
1.23 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 22 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Brian J. Smith 6 / 10

A "Classic Horror" fan's paradise!

Most ratings of this film give it a one star or bomb rating, however, "The Black Sleep" is not as bad as some would have you believe. Mind you it's not a great film, but in fact is an adequate programmer that compares favorably with any thing turned out by Universal or Monogram in the 40s.

Basically, it's a mad scientist film with Basil Rathbone emoting as usual, in the lead role. But then old Basil was always way over the top. Herbert Rudley is the nominal hero - the good scientist who is rescued from the gallows by Rathbone.

In the supporting cast are many seasoned veterans. Akim Tamiroff is good as the procurer of Rathbone's "subjects". Playing various mutants are Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine (in yet another over the top performance) and poor old Bela Lugosi.

Lugosi nearing the end of his life looks sick, tired and underweight. Chaney is totally wasted. Had the producers beefed up his part, "The Black Sleep could have been a much better picture. They could have combined his role with that of the Rudley character, for example.

Given all of its limitations, "The Black Sleep" is good way to pass an hour and twenty minutes if you don't expect too much going in.

Reviewed by dbborroughs 8 / 10

Great cast of horror vets bring life to a "lost" gem

Dr Cadman saves the life of an old student, Ramsay, by giving him a drug nick named the "black sleep" prior to his going to the gallows. The drug simulates death and Ramsay is believed to have died before the hangman could have his way with him. Cadman revives Ramsay and has him help with his operations mapping the centers of the brain. Of course Cadman is mad, his desire to help his wife who is in a coma, has reduced him to using means that are less than savory. Tension mounts as Ramsay's good nature clashes with Cadman and the weird things that are going on in the house.

Somehow this little gem slipped under my radar and it wasn't until recently that I even knew this movie existed. With a cast that would be the delight of any classic horror movie fan (Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi,Lon Chaney, John Carradine, Tor Johnson, Akim Tamiroff) this is a one of those movies that they don't make any more. This is an odd mix of what you think of as classic horror and modern graphic visuals with a moody castle passageways and graphic brain operations and disfigured monsters. It walks that fine line of being link between the Universal style horror films of the 30's and 40's and the drive in monster fare of the 50's and 60's (it feels like a black and white version of the Hammer Frankenstein films or something like Blood of the Vampire) . Its a great deal of fun, and more than a tad creepy and tense since you really can't be sure whats going to happen next. In its way its a classic of its kind.

My only real complaint is that the casting of Lugosi, Johnson and Carradine is a bit misleading since Lugosi only has a few scenes as a mute butler, and Carradine and Johnson only show up in the final 15 minutes. They are really no more than cameos and don't deserve the high placement in the credits they receive.

Definitely high on my recommend list to anyone who likes classic style horror. This is a movie to search out and enjoy late on a rainy Saturday night.

Reviewed by drmality-1 7 / 10

Good Outweighs The Bad

From what I've heard about this one, I expected an Ed Wood style farce. What I got was a surprisingly literate and well-acted classic horror. The flaws are definitely present, but this flick has some genuinely chilling moments and boasts 3 outstanding performances.

Dr. Cadman, the mad scientist behind this whole house of horrors, is superbly played by Basil Rathbone. This was probably the last good horror role Basil had. He portrays Cadman as a supremely self-confident and utterly controlled man who has willingly tossed aside all ethics and morality in pursuit of his goal. Rathbone's command of dialog and smooth diction brings this human monster to life. And yet, in the scenes with his paralyzed wife, we feel some of the love and devotion that underlies his horrific crimes.

Cadman's partner in crime is the sly Udo the Gypsy, wonderfully brought to life by Akim Tamiroff. What a great character actor this guy was! His every facial expression and physical movement conveys what a greasy, unprincipled character Udo is. And yet his quick wit makes him roguish and likable in a way. It would be a mistake to consider Udo just a humorous character,though. The scene where he easily disposes of a prospective subject for Dr. Cadman to save his own hide is chilling. Great bit of character acting from Tamiroff!

The hero of the piece is Dr. Ramsay, whom Cadman has saved from the gallows to aid in his illicit research. Ramsay is played by Herbert Rudley, who I have not seen in any other roles. Rudley fits the part perfectly and more than holds his own in his scenes with Rathbone. I like the way he carefully tries to weigh all sides of the argument against Dr. Cadman before finally takes action against him. Rudley's revulsion against the crimes of Cadman seems heartfelt and authentic.

Those three strong performances anchor the movie, but not all cast members are so fortunate. A sickly looking Bela Lugosi is wasted completely as the mute butler Casimir. This was Bela's last "official" movie role not counting the stock footage that appeared in Ed Wood's "Plan Nine From Outer Space", which is a shame. His acting ability and speaking voice is wasted on a part that could have been done by any bit player. Lon Chaney Jr. comes across somewhat better as the moronic Mongo because of his physical size and truly crazed look, but he still deserved better. Mongo was originally a cultured professor and associate of Dr. Cadman until Cadman botched an operation on him. It might have been better to have Mongo as a "Jekyll-Hyde" character that veered between the man of science and the maniacal killer...more pathos that way and a better test of Chaney's acting.

A couple of scenes here are still capable of making the viewer queasy. The open brain surgery scene on the hapless sailor had to be shocking at the time...complete with fluid leaking from the brain. And the "tour" of Cadman's dungeon is right out of a carnival haunted house. John Carradine is crazed and over the top are the "crusader" Bohemund but he's in good shape compared to his cell-mates: the shrieking, laughing female with tufts of hair sprouting all over her body; the luckless sailor whose face has melted into slag; and hulking Tor Johnson, made blind and voiceless by Cadman's experiments. This is a nutty crew of mutants indeed and when they finally appear, "The Black Sleep" turns from a literate thriller of medical horrors into a sleazy, spook-house romp. "Kill, kill, kill!" yells Carradine crazily, and kill he does, bringing a visceral end to the movie.

If you don't require "Dr. Zhivago" or "Lawrence of Arabia" in every film, "The Black Sleep" should keep you awake for a while!

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