The Haunted Strangler 1958 – or ‘Grip of the Strangler’

I have known this film as ‘Grip of Strangler’ but I see that it is being shown on Talking Pictures as ‘The Haunted Strangler’. Either way, it is the same film starring Boris Karloff and it was made in England at the same time, and alongside, one of my own favourites ‘Fiend Without a Face’

The two were released together on the same bill and MGM were very happy, as together, they made quite a good profit, having done good business both here and in the USA

The film is set in Victorian times, with Boris Karloff playing a writer who becomes obsessed with a twenty-year-old case surrounding “The Haymarket Strangler” and intends to prove that the young man who was hanged for the murders two decades earlier was in fact innocent. All evidence seems to point to a certain Dr. Tenant who used a surgeon’s knife not only to choke the life out of his victims, but to slash their flesh as well. Details of Tenant’s life and whereabouts remain a mystery, and Boris Karloff is keen to investigate but that gives him some uncomfortable surprises.

It is a demanding role for Boris Karloff who was approaching 70 but he is very good in the part as a well-meaning but disoriented author going nearly mad.

Above – This Double Bill from MGM did very good business in the USA – I am not surprised as they are two good films

By the time this film was made Boris Karloff had been a star for almost 30 years mainly in Horror Films.

This film had quite a strong cast with Jean Kent and Elizabeth Allan who appeared from time to time on ‘What’s My Line’ as a panelist.

Also cast was Anthony Dawson who had a memorable role as the ‘murderer’ in ‘Dial M For Murder’ – who comes to kill Grace Kelly in a planned murder, but things do not go as planned. He also had a long and distinguished career in both Films and the Theatre

Anthony Dawson – Here with Grace Kelly ‘Dial M for Murder’ 1954

Anthony Dawson said that when he received the call from Alfred Hitchcock to do this film he was more or less told that he would do well financially out of it – which he did. It also opened doors for many other big roles including being in the Bond films.

This film was not of the standard of others in his career but nevertheless it would have been good.

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