Release dateDecember 8, 1951 (1951-12-08) WriterJerry Sackheim (screenplay), Robert Louis Stevenson (story) Film seriesUniversal horror Film Series CastCharles Laughton (Sire Alain de Maletroit), Boris Karloff (Voltan), Sally Forrest (Blanche de Maletroit), Richard Wyler (Denis de Beaulieu (as Richard Stapley)), William Cottrell (Corbeau), Alan Napier (Count Grassin) Similar moviesUnderworld: Rise of the Lycans, The Gauntlet, Trophy Heads, Blood of Dracula's Castle, Tahkhana, Little Witch Academia
TaglineRobert Louis Stevenson's masterpiece of Terror !
The Strange Door is a 1951 American film noir thriller horror film, released by Universal Pictures. The film starred Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff, Sally Forrest and Richard Stapley. Karloff's role is actually a support one but his name carried significant weight in the billing. It was directed by Joseph Pevney and was based on the short story "The Sire de Maletroit's Door" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Its alternative title was Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Door.
Alain, the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), plots revenge on his younger brother Edmund (Cavanagh) for stealing Alain's childhood sweetheart, now deceased. Alain imprisons Edmund in a dungeon for 20 years. He then convinces Edmund's grown daughter Blanche (Forrest) that her father is dead. As Blanche's mother (Alain's lost love) died in childbirth, Maletroit intends to further antagonize Blanche by reducing her life to a miserable hell. As the film begins, he tricks a high-born drunken cad, Denis de Beaulieu (Richard Stapley), to pass through the sole, exterior door of the Maletroit chateau, which has no latch handle on the inside, making him a captive, with the intent of forcing the delicate Blanche into marriage with him. However, Denis has unanticipated redemptive qualities, and he and Blanche fall in love. Their attempt to escape is initially foiled by Alain, who seals Edmund, Blanche and Denis in a stone deathtrap designed to crush the lot of them. Maletroit's disloyal manservant Voltan (Karloff) comes to their aid and dies effecting the escape of Denis, Blanche and her father from a dungeon cell, the walls of which are crushing in on them under pressure of river water churned against them by a water wheel on the chateau. Alain dies when he falls into the river and is caught up in the water wheel, his fat body jamming it to a halt.
Charles Laughton as Alain de Maletroit
Boris Karloff as Voltan
Sally Forrest as Blanche de Maletroit
Richard Stapley as Denis de Beaulieu
William Cottrell as Corbeau
Alan Napier as Count Grassin
Morgan Farley as Renville
Paul Cavanagh as Edmond de Maletroit
Michael Pate as Talon
Home Video Release
This film, along with Night Key, Tower of London, The Climax and The Black Castle, was released on DVD in 2006 by Universal Studios as part of The Boris Karloff Collection.