Black Sleep (1956) US 1/2 Sheet Poster
The tipping point from comfortably making Universal B horrors to descending to the real life horrors of a Poverty Row Studio was different for each actor or director. For Reginald Le Borg, who’d made some Inner Sanctum mysteries; Calling Dr. Death (1943), Weird Woman and Dead Man’s Eyes (both 1944) as well as an entry in the Mummy series with The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), the call from Mongram came just after the war, for Joe Palooka, Champ (1946), a film written by Cy Endfield (who was to move into directing himself, as fans of Zulu (1964) will attest). Le Borg made the colourful Diary of a Madman (1963) with Vincent Price, but in between it was all Monogram, Lippert and Bel-Air, for whom he made The Black Sleep.
Basil Rathbone plays a renowned surgeon with the obligatory wife in a coma, due to a hitherto inoperable brain tumour. Only extensive experimentation will reveal the cure, so the surgeon operates on living subjects, who are under the influence of a powerful narcotic known as the 'Black Sleep’. When the operations are over, the mutilated test subjects are revived and naturally hidden in the cellar. It’s a classic cast, a thoroughly satisfying climax, and the best film Bel-Air made.
Aka: Dr Cadman’s Secret (reissue title) / Les monstres se révoltent
Condition: FINE – wear on folds and some edge creases and dirt, small tear in top border, thick card stock
Cast: Basil Rathbone, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Tor Johnson, Akim Tamiroff, Patricia Blair