4 user 1 critic

Darkened Rooms (1929)

Passed | | Mystery | 23 November 1929 (USA)
A phony "medium" uses an actual clairvoyant to fleece desperate and unsuspecting victims.


Louis J. Gasnier (as Louis Gasnier)


Melville Baker, Philip Gibbs (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Evelyn Brent ... Ellen
Neil Hamilton ... Emery Jago
Doris Hill ... Joyce Clayton
David Newell ... Billy
Gale Henry ... Madame Silvara
Wallace MacDonald ... Bert Nelson


A phony "medium" uses an actual clairvoyant to fleece desperate and unsuspecting victims.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What do they see? in "Darkened Rooms"- Mystery! Excitement! Hair-raising thrills! Breath-taking romance! They are all there. (Print Ad- Prescott Evening Courier, ((Prescott, Ariz.)) 2 May 1930) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 November 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Quarto Escuro See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The lead role was originally meant for Gary Cooper, who turned it down because he didn't like the script or director Louis J. Gasnier. He was threatened with suspension by Paramount Pictures, but eventually the studio relented and the role was given to Neil Hamilton. See more »


References Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

Crystal ball's all that's clear here
13 November 2002 | by arthurswardSee all my reviews

Neil Hamilton is Emory Yago, the struggling proprietor of a boardwalk photography shop. Madame Silvera, an adjacent spiritual medium, hires Emory to fake "spirit photos", and he becomes intrigued with the financial possibilities of spiritualism. While researching this new business enterprise, an exhausted and starving chorus girl (Evelyn Brent) collapses in Emory's shop. He shows kindness, feeding and nurturing her back to health, and she repays his rescue by picking up the slack at the photo shop. In spite of the affection Emory and Ellen share, greed overtakes Emory's heart and his spiritualism racket consumes his thoughts. Ellen will resort to some trickery of her own to save her relationship and get Emory to "go straight".

An early talker, this film cannot blame its flaws on the new sound technique. Its release near the end of 1929 comes almost a full year into Paramount's talking age. The plot is meandering and direction is slack. Mr. Hamilton gave many fine, full-bodied performances in 1929. Here, his character's motivations are not made clear to the audience, because, I don't believe HE understood them. Evelyn Brent fills the eyes and ears again with PRESENCE, though her lines have plenty of clunk factor. No dazzling special effects to save the finale, either.

Comic relief is supplied by Sammy Bricker playing a sailor. He keeps coming in to be photographed with a different girl throughout the picture. For all the shortcomings, I recommend seeing Evelyn Brent in any of her early talkie roles. She is one of the screen's truly unsung divas.

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