The Wizard (1927 film)

The Wizard is a lost[1] 1927 American silent horror film directed by Richard Rosson and written by Andrew Bennison, Malcolm Stuart Boylan and Harry O. Hoyt. The film stars Edmund Lowe, Leila Hyams, Gustav von Seyffertitz, E. H. Calvert, Barry Norton, and Oscar Smith. It is based on the 1911 novel Balaoo by Gaston Leroux. The film was released on December 11, 1927, by Fox Film Corporation.[2][3][4]

The Wizard
The Wizard (1927) lobby card.jpg
Lobby card
Directed byRichard Rosson
Screenplay byAndrew Bennison
Malcolm Stuart Boylan
Harry O. Hoyt
Based onBalaoo
by Gaston Leroux
CinematographyFrank B. Good
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • December 11, 1927 (1927-12-11)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The last known print of this film was destroyed in a fire at the Fox studio vaults in 1931. It remains one of the most sought after lost horror films of the silent era. All that remains are some still photos.[5]

The Wizard did not follow the Leroux novel so closely, turning the story instead into more of an "old dark house" thriller. The film also had a very strong anti-death penalty message, typical of films of this period. it was released soon after the release of a similar film called The Gorilla (also 1927), which stole some of the Fox film's thunder.

Balaoo had been filmed earlier in 1913 as Balaoo, the Demon Baboon, and the film's screenplay would later inspire the 1942 film Dr. Renault's Secret.[5]


Paul Coriolos is a professor who seeks vengeance on the members of a jury who sentenced his son to death at the gallows, who he swore was innocent. The professor goes into his dark laboratory where he creates a creature out of a gorilla whom he trains to kill his enemies. Meanwhile, a newspaper reporter named Stanley Gordon and a detective named Murphy are both on the case of the murders. Gordon seeks to save Judge Webster and his daughter Anne who are both marked for death. Eventually discovering who is behind the murders, Gordon faces Prof. Coriolos and his simian henchman in a final confrontation.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ American Silent Feature Film Survival Database: The Wizard
  2. ^ "The Wizard (1927) - Overview". December 3, 1927. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Hal Erickson (2016). "Wizard - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "The Wizard". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era. Midnight Marquee Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.

External linksEdit