“Would murder convince you?”

Sir Ronald Burton (Richard Greene) is an Englishman who travels to the Black Forest. He is using the name Richard Beckett. He is looking for Count Karl von Bruno (Stephen McNally). He believes the Count is responsible for the death of two of his friends. He gains permission to visit the Count’s castle as a guest. He plans to investigate and try to find proof that the count is responsible for his friends’ deaths.

Once he is there he finds out first hand how viscous and brutal the count really is. Then he meets the count’s wife Elga (Rita Corday). He is immediately attracted to her. And she to him. The count is aware of the attraction. Dr. Meissen (Boris Karloff) is the count’s doctor in residence. He is sympathetic to Elga and is also aware of the attraction between Ronald and Elga. He is also quite aware of the Count’s viciousness.

Once he has his evidence Sir Ronald leaves the Count’s castle to return to England. Dr. Meissen follows him to the Inn that Ronald stops at on his way home. Dr. Meissen convinces Ronald that the Countess Elga is in mortal danger. Ronald races back to the castle. When the count discovers who Sir Ronald really is, and of his love for his wife Elga, he allows his servant Gargon (Lon Chaney Jr.) to assault the Countess. He then throws her into the dungeon. When Sir Ronald reaches the castle he too is tossed into the dungeon.

The Count is also on a mission of vengeance. He blames Sir Ronald and his two friends for the battle that cost him his eye. His servant Gargon lost his tongue in the same battle.

Dr. Meissen (Boris Karloff) comes up with a plan to best the Count and allow Sir Ronald and Elga to escape. But the plan is dangerous, and the doctor is weak. If things go wrong, both Sir Ronald and Elga will die a gruesome death.

“The Black Castle” was released in 1952 and was directed by Nathan H. Juan. This is not a horror movie. It is a period piece supposedly taking place during the 18th century. Both Karloff and Chaney have small parts. Chaney’s part is very small. But he does get to rape the Countess and throw her in the dungeon. The story is told in flashback. A lot of it is Gothic Romance with some swashbuckling thrown in. Outside of the very beginning it doesn’t get real good until the last 20 minutes or so. Then it’s pretty awesome. It ended up being better than I expected.

Get rid of the “Most Dangerous Game” references in your head. It’s not that. The count and Sir Ronald go on a hunt for a panther. Rich pampered people use to do that a lot.

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