London After Midnight

Synopsis: When Roger Balfour is found shot dead in his London home, his death is declared a suicide by Inspector Burke of Scotland Yard, even though the executor of Balfour's estate, Sir James Hamlin, insists his friend never would have taken his own life. Five years later, the abandoned Balfour house comes to life again with the arrival of two sinister-looking tenants: a fiendish-looking man with pointed teeth, bulging eyes and a tall beaver hat, and a pale young woman in a long gown. The presence of the strangers prompts Sir James, who lives next door, to call in Inspector Burke again. Also living in the Hamlin household are the other people who were also present in Balfour's house the night he died: Sir James' nephew, Arthur Hibbs; the late Balfour's now-grown daughter, Lucille; and Williams, the butler. Burke expresses skepticism about Sir James' suspicions that the new neighbors might have been involved in Balfour's death, until strange things start happening: Balfour's body disappears from
Genre: Horror
Director(s): Tod Browning
Production: MGM
 
IMDB:
6.9
PASSED
Year:
1927
69 min
672 Views

London After Midnight

TITLE:

In rural England--

a forsaken garden--

1.

FADE IN:

EXT. BALFOUR GARDEN (NIGHT) PERAMBULATOR SHOT

The camera is stationary as the fade comes in: through a

tangle of brush can be seen in the night, four dark

figures, one of them carrying a lantern. They are

evidently searching for something. They come toward

camera through a garden long neglected ... gone into ruin.

As they reach foreground the camera moves with them. They

are men of the English servant class: a gardener and some

hostlers. The gardener; who carries the lantern searches

the ground ahead of them as they stumble forward,

frightened. It isn't a job that they relish.

LAP DISSOLVE INTO:

EXT:
BALFOUR GARDEN AND HOUSE (NIGHT) LONG SHOT

A Newcomb shot of the house of the English country type in

a state of decay quite as sad as that of the garden.

Windows are broken, shutters loose; it is bleak, desolate.

The dim figures of the men with their lantern are

approaching from b. g. a corner of the house.

LAP DISSOLVE INTO:

EXT. CORNER HOUSE (NIGHT) CLOSE SHOT

The men coming into scene, stop suddenly, startled.

INSERT:

CLOSEUP, a shutter hanging loose

on rusty hinges, banging back and

forth in a gust of wind.

BACK TO SCENE:
The men as they shudder. One of them trying

to conquer the fear that holds them, points up, telling

them it was only a shutter in the wind. The gardener with

the lantern indicates for them to press forward. They start,

around the corner of the house.

2.

EXT. BALFOUR HOUSE (NIGHT) MEDIUM SHOT

Around corner, lying crumpled, still and lifeless in f.g.

is the body of a man. The men come around the corner with

the lantern. They stop short in horror. The man with the

lantern leans over the body. The others huddle with scared

faces around him.

3.

EXT. BALFOUR (NIGHT) CLOSEUP

The men, with the body below frame line. The gardener,

holding the lantern so that he can see, looks down and out

of scene as though at the face of the dead man. He looks up

at the others and says in an awed whisper:

TITLE:

"It's 'im. It's 'arry Balfour"

BACK TO SCENE:
The men look at each other in awe. One of

them shakes his head slowly and says:

TITLE:

"This'll break 'is sister

Lucy's 'eart"

BACK TO SCENE. There is solemn assent to this.

TITLE:

"And 'ow about Sir James?

Him as loved 'em both like

they was 'is own children."

BACK TO SCENE:
Again there is solemn assent.

QUICK FADE OUT:

4.

QUICK FADE IN:
EXT. HAMLIN HOUSE (NIGHT) LONG SHOT

A Newcomb shot of another English country house, this one

with lighted windows and well-kept grounds, a distinct

contrast to the ruin just seen. Run only a few feet for

swift, impressionistic effect and

LAP DISSOLVE INTO:

INT. HAMLIN MUSIC ROOM (NIGHT) FULL SHOT

Again the sense of contrast. Here are warmth, wealth,

comfort. Seated at a piano is Lucy Balfour, a pretty English

girl in her early twenties. Standing listening to her, as

she plays, is Sir James Hamlin, a dignified, kindly country

gentleman in his late forties.

LAP DISSOLVE INTO:

INT. HAMLIN MUSIC ROOM (NIGHT) CLOSE SHOT

Lucy and Sir James, as she finishes playing and looks up at

him with a wistful smile. He indicates for her to play

something more. She selected a piece and is startled when a

little worried look crosses her face and she looks up at

him and says:

TITLE:

"I simply can't understand,

Sir James, why Harry went

away without saying anything."

CUT FROM TITLE TO:

5.

INT HAMLIN MUSIC ROOM (NIGHT) CLOSEUP

Lucy as she finishes title, a pretty puzzlement in her

expression. It is apparent that she is not greatly worried,

just perplexed.

6.

INT. HAMLIN MUSIC ROOM (NIGHT) CLOSE UP

Sir James, as he smiles down at her gravely, a deep

affection in his eyes, and says:

TITLE:

"There is nothing to worry about,

Lucy, my dear."

CUT FROM TITLE TO:

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Waldemar Young

Waldemar Young (July 1, 1878 – August 30, 1938) was an American screenwriter. He wrote for 81 films between 1917 and 1938. more…

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Submitted on May 15, 2017

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"London After Midnight" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 21 Nov. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/london_after_midnight_1137>.

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