The Ghoul (1933 film)
|Directed by||T. Hayes Hunter|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Written by||Dr. Frank King (play)|
John Hastings Turner
|Music by||Louis Levy|
|Edited by||Ian Dalrymple|
|Distributed by||Woolf & Freedman Film Service|
|August 1933 (UK)|
January 1934 (US)
|Budget||just under £40,000|
This plot section reads like a review rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (August 2016)
Egyptologist and professor Henry Morlant (Boris Karloff) thinks an ancient jewel will give him powers of rejuvenation if it is offered up to the god Anubis. But when Morlant dies, his assistant Laing (Ernest Thesiger) steals the jewel. While a gaggle of interlopers, including a disreputable lawyer (Cedric Hardwicke) and a fake vicar (Ralph Richardson), descend on the professor's manor to steal the jewel for themselves, Morlant returns from the dead to punish everyone who has betrayed him.
- Boris Karloff as Professor Henry Morlant
- Cedric Hardwicke as Broughton
- Ernest Thesiger as Laing
- Dorothy Hyson as Betty Harlon
- Anthony Bushell as Ralph Morlant
- Kathleen Harrison as Kaney
- Harold Huth as Aga Ben Dragore
- D. A. Clarke-Smith as Mahmoud
- Ralph Richardson as Nigel Hartley
- Jack Raine as Davis, the chauffeur (uncredited)
- George Relph as Doctor (uncredited)
Release and preservationEdit
Loosely based on a 1928 novel by Frank King (and subsequent play by King and Leonard J. Hines), The Ghoul was produced by Gaumont British and released in the UK in August 1933. Release in the US followed January 1934, with a reissue in 1938. The film was popular in the UK, but performed disappointingly in the US. The only film made during a brief contract dispute with Universal Studios, The Ghoul also marked the first time in over two decades that Karloff had acted in Britain and the British film industry. 
Subsequently, the film disappeared and was considered to be among the famous lost films. In 1969, collector William K. Everson located a murky, virtually inaudible subtitled copy, Běs, in then-communist Czechoslovakia. Though missing eight minutes of footage including two violent murder scenes, it was thought to be the only surviving copy of the film. Everson had a 16mm copy made and for years made it available to film societies in England and the United States, memorably at The New School in New York City in 1975 on a Halloween triple bill with Lon Chaney in The Monster and Bela Lugosi in The Gorilla. Subsequently, The Museum of Modern Art and Janus Film made an archival negative of the Prague print and it went into very limited commercial distribution.
In the early 1980s a disused and forgotten film vault at Shepperton Studios, its door blocked by stacked lumber, was cleared and yielded the nitrate camera negative of the film in perfect condition. The British Film Institute took possession of the film, new prints were made, and the complete version aired on Channel 4 in the UK. However, the official VHS release from MGM/UA Home Video was of the damaged Czech copy. While audiences were grateful to see a major lost Karloff film, the film was disappointing in its battered condition. In 2003, MGM/UA released the fully restored version of the film on DVD.  It was subsequently released in the United Kingdom by Network Distributing, in restored DVD and Blu-Ray editions featuring a new commentary by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones.
What A Carve Up! is a British comedy-horror film directed by Pat Jackson and starring Sid James, Kenneth Connor, and Shirley Eaton, loosely based on The Ghoul. It was released in the United States in 1962 as No Place Like Homicide.
- Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 133, 141
- https://www.classicfilmfreak.com/2015/01/22/ghoul-1933-boris-karloff/ accessed 12 March 2019
- https://horrorpedia.com/2013/03/29/the-ghoul-1933/ accessed 12 March 2019
- https://www.allmovie.com/movie/what-a-carve-up!-v54049 accessed 12 March 2019