White Zombie (1932) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

  • Young couple Madeleine and Neil are coaxed by acquaintance Monsieur Beaumont to get married on his Haitian plantation. Beaumont's motives are purely selfish as he makes every attempt to convince the beautiful young girl to run away with him. For help Beaumont turns to the devious Legendre, a man who runs his mill by mind controlling people he has turned into zombies. After Beaumont uses Legendre's zombie potion on Madeleine, he is dissatisfied with her emotionless being and wants her to be changed back. Legendre has no intention of doing this and he drugs Beaumont as well to add to his zombie collection. Meanwhile, grieving 'widower' Neil is convinced by a local priest that Madeleine may still be alive and he seeks her out.

  • While traveling to New York, the young couple Madeleine Short Parker (Madge Bellamy) and her fiancé Neil Parker (John Harron) are convinced by their new acquaintance Charles Beaumont (Robert Frazer) to stay in Port Prince and get married in his mansion. However, Beaumont felt in love for Madeleine and his real intention is to convince her to call off the wedding. When he realizes that the time is too short to seduce her, he visits the local witch Legendre (Bela Lugosi) , who gives him a drug to transform Madeleine into a zombie. She dies immediately after the wedding, and her corpse is disputed by Beaumont and his sick love for her; Legendre, that wants her for his team of zombies; and Neil, who is convinced by the local missionary Dr. Bruner (Joseph Cawthorn) that she might be alive. In the end, true love wins.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In Haiti in 1932 as Madeline Short (Madge Bellamy) with her fiancé Neil Parker (John Harron) travel to the home of Charles Beaumont (Robert W. Frazer) to be married they are stopped on the road by an unusual funeral. When the driver stops a suspicious figure by the name of Murder Legendre (Bela Lugosi) who is accompanied by a league of his personal zombies grabs Madeline's scarf. Beaumont has promised Parker a job running his sugar cane plant. When they meet local priest Dr. Bruner (Joseph Cawthorn) he entreats them to leave the island and not return as there are weird things taking place. When Beaumont meets Madeline he is obsessed by her beauty and goes to Legendre for an elixir that will allow Beaumont to have her under his control as a zombie. After Beaumont has Madeline under his power he becomes dissatisfied by her lack of emotion and asks Legendre to change her back but Legendre has plans of his own and drugs Beaumont. When Parker appeals to Dr. Bruner for help they discover that they may be in for the fight of their lives.

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