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The Monster (1925)

Passed | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 16 March 1925 (USA)
A meek clerk who doubles as an amateur detective investigates some very strange goings-on at a remote mental sanitarium.

Director:

Roland West

Writers:

Roland West (stage production), Crane Wilbur (stage play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Dr. Ziska
Gertrude Olmstead ... Betty Watson
Hallam Cooley ... Watson's Head Clerk
Johnny Arthur ... The Under Clerk
Charles Sellon ... The Constable (as Charles A. Sellon)
Walter James Walter James ... Caliban
Knute Erickson ... Daffy Dan
Frank Austin ... Rigo (as George Austin)
Edward McWade ... Luke Watson
Ethel Wales ... Mrs. Watson
Learn more

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Storyline

A general store clerk and aspiring detective investigates a mysterious disappearance that took place quite close to an empty insane asylum... Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll Guess! You'll Gasp! You'll love it! (Print Ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Monster" is one of the few films from Lon Chaney that can claim to being a horror production, albeit a more tongue-in-cheek one. See more »

Goofs

When Johnnie flies out of the door, into the rainstorm again, you can see the wire that holds him, right when he is crushing into Rigo. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ziska: [to Johnny] Do you know who I am?
[Johnny shakes his head 'no.']
Dr. Ziska: Neither do I!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) showed an 86-minute version with an uncredited music score on cable. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Monster (2015) See more »

User Reviews

Disappointing Chaney Flick
28 August 2011 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Monster, The (1925)

** (out of 4)

The teaming of legend Lon Chaney and director Roland West sadly ends up being a very disappointing entry in the "old dark house" genre, which was still quite new at the time this was released. In the film, Chaney plays a mad scientist trying to figure out the secrets of life in an abandoned asylum. Wannabe detective (Johnny Arthur) winds up at the asylum with the woman (Gertrude Olmstead) he loves and the two try to destroy the scientist and his evil ways. THE MONSTER is a major disappointment that doesn't appear to know what type of film it wants to be. Considering Chaney is given top-billing you'd think that the director and studio would want a horror film or at least some sort of dark mystery but they only partially give us that. For some reason the film contains a lot of comedy relief that really sinks everything. The film starts off with the wannabe detective, a store clerk in reality, constantly being pushed around and of course he plans to show them all one day. We get another guy thrown into the mix because he appears to be more "manly" and of course these two both want the same woman. This silly love story never comes full circle and it really just adds minutes to the running time and the film certainly didn't need that. There's full comedy scattered throughout the film and it's a bit of a mystery why they bothered. I mean, you do have the Man of a Thousand Faces and you do have him playing the role of a mad scientist so did they really think people wanted to see this type of comedy? Even stranger is that Chaney gets top-billing yet he doesn't appear until the mid-way point and sadly both Arthur and Olmstead aren't strong enough to carry the material. Once Chaney does get on screen he delivers another fine performance and while there's not any real make-up, I did enjoy that head full of white hair. Chaney was always good at playing mad and he does a good job here but it's a shame he's wasted. West's direction is pretty much all over the place and it's clear that he couldn't do comedy. The "old dark house" stuff is a tad bit better but it's still far from what he did with THE BAT.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dom wariatów See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (New York opening)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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