Cinema: The New Pictures, Dec. 17, 1951

The Strange Door (Universal-International), remotely based on Robert Louis Stevenson's short story, The Sire de Maletroit's Door, is a creaky costume melodrama that lets Charles Laughton wallow in villainy up to his ample jowls. The film itself is puerile stuff. But Actor Laughton, who slices his ham with stylish zest, makes it fun to watch whenever he looms into sight.

The story takes place in an 18th Century château, where even the secret panels have secret panels, where Boris Karloff keeps the keys to the dungeons, and evil servants slink about among torture contraptions apparently devised by some medieval Rube Goldberg. Lording...

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