The Movie: The Old Dark House (1932)
What Is It?: Possibly the first horror/comedy to play to a more sophisticated audience than sillier old dark house pictures such as The Cat and the Canary and The Bat Whispers. American Lilian Bond is particularly hilarious as Charles Laughton’s hot footed, flapper gal pal Gladys. James Whale’s The Old Dark House is not merely good for a laugh; in one absolutely chilling sequence, Eva Moore’s haggard face is reflected in various surfaces, growing more and more distorted as she rants at negligee-clad Gloria Stuart. The reveal of Moore and Ernest Thesiger’s insane 102-year old brother, played by actress Elspeth Dudgeon, is just as unsettling.
Why Today?: On this day in 1889, James Whale is born.