Dark Tower, The (1943): British Noir Thriller, Starring Ben Lyon, Anne Crawford, David Farrar, Herbert Lom

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The Dark Tower is British noir thriller, starring Ben Lyon, Anne Crawford, David Farrar and Herbert Lom.

The Dark Tower
"The Dark Tower" (1943).jpg

The film marked the first major screen role of Herbert Lom, who renders an excellent performance and would become one of the most reliable character actors

Stephen Torg (Lom) seeks work at a struggling traveling circus, and while there, a lion escapes; Torg control it with hypnotism. Phil Danton, head of the circus, is so impressed, that he hires the newcomer.

Torg then hypnotizes Mary to perform a dangerous aerial stunt without props. which makes her partner and boyfriend, Tom Danton, suspicious.

With Torg’s help, the circus becomes successful, and Torg forces Phil into becoming a partner.

Torg falls in love with Mary, and begins to exert control over her. He tells her under hypnosis that she will get so tired that she will be unable to hold onto Tom during their trapeze. As a result, Tom falls and is injured, sending him to the hospital. The others suspect what is going on, but have no proof and are powerless.

When Tom recovers and returns to the circus, he finds that Mary performs an even more dangerous stunt. While watching it, he cries out her name, breaking her trance and almost causing her fall.

While Torg is being lowered to the ground, Phil cuts the rope and Torg falls to his death. However, in a twist, the doctor reveals that Torg was shot in the head mid-air, which could only have been done by the circus’s sharpshooter, Dora.

Cast
Ben Lyon as Phil Danton
Anne Crawford as Mary
David Farrar as Tom Danton
Herbert Lom as Stephen Torg
Frederick Burtwell as Colonel Willie Wainwright
William Hartnell as Jimmy Powers
Josephine Wilson as Dora Shogun
Elsie Wagstaff as Eve
J.H. Roberts as Dr. Wilson
Aubrey Mallalieu as Doctor

Credits:

Directed by John Harlow
Written by Reginald Purdell, Brock Williams, based on The Dark Tower by George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woollcott
Produced by Max Milder
Cinematography Otto Heller
Edited by Terence Fisher
Music by Jack Beaver

Production and distribution: Warner/First National

Release date: October 18, 1943

Running time: 93 minutes

 

Note:

TCM showed the movie on October 15, 2021.