Tower of London (1939)

Tower of Londontower of london poster
Directed by Rowland V. Lee
Written by Robert N. Lee
Universal Pictures

First viewing/Netflix rental


Mord: [to Richard] You’re more than a king, more than a man. You’re a god to me!

This fairly lame retelling of Richard III does not have nearly enough Karloff in it.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester (Basil Rathbone), eliminates the heirs that stand between himself and the throne with the help of his faithful giant Mord the executioner (Boris Karloff). On the margins, Richard prevents the love match of his niece and a  courtier. With Vincent Price as Clarence, Ian Hunter as King Edward IV, and Barbara O’Neill as Queen Elyzabeth.

tower of london 1

This is just barely OK.  The good performances (Rathbone, Karloff, Price) are balanced out with some pretty pedestrian ones.  I was expecting a horror angle and I didn’t get one.  Karloff is effectively menacing but has very little on-screen time.  The film is mainly a watered-down version of Shakespeare’s play with way too much corny romance tacked on.

Clip – drinking contest between Gloucester and Clarence (Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price)


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