Thursday, August 10, 2017

Condemned To Live (1935)

Starring Ralph Morgan, Pedro de Cordoba, Maxine Doyle, Russell Gleason, Mischa Auer
Directed by Frank R. Strayer
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A kindly professor, revered by his community, fails to realize that during nightly blackouts, he becomes a bloodthirsty vampire who preys on his friends and neighbors.

I think I probably like this film best among the many low-budget offerings directed by Frank Strayer. It has similarities to the other "vampire" film he directed, The Vampire Bat, although this entry has a much more substantive vampire than the other movie, and it moves along pretty well.  It doesn't compare to the more polished Dracula movies, but I still found it enjoyable.  Morgan doesn't offer much in his vampire persona other than twisting his limbs and expression, but gives a good performance as his decent other half, convincing us through sensitive line readings of his nobility and his love for the much younger Marguerite, played by Doyle.  Gleason is rather bland as Morgan's competition for Doyle, but Auer in an atypical role as a hunchback, is quite sympathetic and memorable.

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