Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

London After Midnight (1927)

on September 22, 2021

London After Midnight (known also as The Hypnotist) was a 1927 silent film starring the master of disguise, Lon Chaney, as Professor Edward C. Burke. The last known print was destroyed in the MGM vault fire of 1967. Consequently, it is a highly-sought film that would command a high price if a precious copy were found. Many people believe a private collector secretly harbors the last print in a secure vault somewhere in the world. Wishful thinking?

Rick Shmidlin reconstructed the film from stills for Turner Classic Movies. It premiered on Halloween, 2002.

Synopsis (Spoiler Alert):

Five years after Roger Balfour’s death is ruled a suicide, his abandoned estate is usurped by a gruesome duo: an older man with scraggly hair and wicked sharp teeth, and a sinister-looking young woman in a funereal long gown. Professor Burke, who investigated Balfour’s death, is re-engaged to investigate the couple by Sir James Hamlin, Balfour’s neighbor. Coincidentally, all the people living at the Hamlin estate were suspects in Balfour’s death.

When bizarre and unusual things begin to happen, however, suspicion turns on the ghoulish occupants of the Balfour estate. The neighbors whisper that they are the living dead and murdered Roger Balfour.

Professor Burke hypnotizes Sir James Hamlin and uncovers the truth: Hamlin murdered Balfour and made it look like a suicide after Balfour forbade Hamlin from marrying his daughter. The ghoulish couple turn out to be Professor Burke and a stage actress in disguise. Mystery solved!

Courtesy of Monster Madness 78 on YouTube. Length: 46:40 minutes.

Lon Chaney as the vampire.

Dawn Pisturino

September 20, 2021

Copyright 2021 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

10 responses to “London After Midnight (1927)

  1. Eternity says:

    I love the detail that you have in this article.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Americaoncoffee says:

    Hi Dawn. Only an avid film student, historian or filmmaker could share one of the earliest beginnings of horror films. Film history is so interesting. šŸŽ¬šŸŽ„

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Iowa Life says:

    That is wonderful. I hope I get to watch all of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hello Dawn,
    I’d love to watch this old movie with Chaney. Never found on DVD. One day maybe…
    Thanks for that good review by the way.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. momomanamu says:

    The movie sounds great! I love old horror movies, and the more theatrical the better. This sounds like just my thing.

    Liked by 2 people

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