Ghoul, The (1933): British Horror Film, Starring Boris Karloff and Cedric Hardwicke

The Ghoul, a British horror film, stars Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesiger, and Ralph Richardson (in his film debut).

Loosely based on a 1928 novel by Frank King (and subsequent play by King and Leonard J. Hines), The Ghoul was produced by Gaumont British and released in the UK in August 1933.

Egyptologist and professor Henry Morlant (Karloff) thinks an ancient jewel will give him powers of rejuvenation if offered up to the god Anubis. But when Morlant dies, his assistant Laing (Ernest Thesiger) steals the jewel.

While interlopers, including a disreputable lawyer (Cedric Hardwicke) and a fake vicar (Ralph Richardson), descend on the professor’s manor to steal the jewel, Morlant returns from the dead to punish everyone who has betrayed him.

Release in the US followed in January 1934, with a reissue in 1938.

The film was financially successful in the UK, but performed disappointingly in the US.

The Ghoul marked the first time in over two decades that Karloff had acted in Britain.

In 1969, collector William K. Everson located a virtually inaudible subtitled copy in communist Czechoslovakia. Though missing eight minutes of footage including two violent murder scenes, it was thought to be the only surviving copy of the film. Everson had a 16mm copy made and for years made it available to film societies, including a screening at The New School in New York City in 1975 on a Halloween triple bill with Lon Chaney in The Monster and Bela Lugosi in The Gorilla. Subsequently,

The Museum of Modern Art and Janus Film made archival negative of the Prague print, which went into limited commercial distribution.

Recycling: Remake
What A Carve Up! (1961) is a British comedy-horror directed by Pat Jackson and starring Sid James, Kenneth Connor, and Shirley Eaton, loosely based on The Ghoul. It was released in the US as No Place Like Homicide in 1962.

Boris Karloff as Professor Henry Morlant
Cedric Hardwicke as Broughton
Ernest Thesiger as Laing
Dorothy Hyson as Betty Harlon
Anthony Bushell as Ralph Morlant
Kathleen Harrison as Kaney
Harold Huth as Aga Ben Dragore
D. A. Clarke-Smith as Mahmoud
Ralph Richardson as Nigel Hartley
Jack Raine as Davis, the chauffeur (uncredited)
George Relph as Doctor (uncredited)