The Passing of the Third Floor Back (December 15, 1935)

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Passing of the Third Floor Back
 

Released December 15, 1935: Strange things begin to happen in a London boarding house when a mysterious stranger rents the room on the third floor back.

Directed by Berthold Viertel

The Actors: Conrad Veidt (the stranger), Anna Lee (Vivian), Rene Ray ('Stasia), Frank Cellier (Wright), John Turnbull (Major George Tomkin), Cathleen Nesbitt (Mrs. Tomkin), Ronald Ward (Chris Penny), Beatrix Lehmann (Miss Kite), Jack Livesey (Mr. Larkcom), Sara Allgood (Mrs. de Hooley), Mary Clare (Mrs. Sharpe), Barbara Everest (the cook), Alexander Sarner (the gramophone man), Betty Bascomb (bit part), James Knight (police inspector)

 

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Guest Review by Wayne Cooper

A decidedly 'noir' movie.

Starting with the title that might not make much sense to most Westerners or not familiar with the somewhat awkward-sounding British name it denotes just about the least desirable room in a boarding house.

This is an excellent quality print with intense and moody performances by the 2 main protagonists. However you call it's style...good vs evil....devil vs angel it's an age old, even biblical formula with excellent performances by Conrad Veidt and Frank Cellier. Supported by cute little Rene Ray ( who plays a maid as she will again in the 1936 movie 'Secret Agent"), she plays a decidedly pivotal and important role in the movie but I'll say no more as it would give away too much.

I found the female lead, Anna Lee and her on-again-off-again betrothed a little stereotypical and meaningless to the plot but this was the 30's and conflicted emotions between 'couples' was an important part of that generation

The other actors are outstanding, supporting the sub-plot storylines. The thunder & LIGHTNING FLASHES....in the final scenes is WONDERFULLY utilized to heighten the drama...maybe slightly cliche by today's movie standards but still marvelously effective.

The B/W photography AND high contrast lighting are superbly well adapted to this old-fashioned story of THE base and basic moral battle OF GOOD VS EVIL.

My interest in photography BEGAN back in the days of B/W as it was the only one I could afford to process myself in-home.

Years of time in a darkroom and exposed ( no pun intended ) to exclusively black and white photography gave me a lasting appreciation for it and I firmly believe B/W photography is often the BEST effect for some pictures.

Not for nothing is it still, to this day, along with Sepia an important feature in even expensive DSLR cameras.

So is it with the movie industry.

Black and White is not the poor COUSIN of modern movies...it stands alone and has a power to tell a story not distracted by colour or special effects.

Much like Old Time Radio, ( OTR ), the shows were DELIBERATELY designed to take advantage of the medium and NOT as people today would believe, hampered or limited by it.

This movie reminds me somewhat of what would have happened if Alfred Hitchcock did Wizard of Oz....also with a surprise ending. I hope you take the time to watch and enjoy this movie.

Conrad Veidt and Frank Cellier
Conrad Veidt and Frank Cellier
Alexander Sarner and René Ray
Alexander Sarner and René Ray
Alexander Sarner
Alexander Sarner
Anna Lee
Anna Lee
Anna Lee and Frank Cellier
Anna Lee and Frank Cellier
Anna Lee and René Ray
Anna Lee and René Ray
Anna Lee and Ronald Ward
Anna Lee and Ronald Ward
Anna Lee and Ronald Ward
Anna Lee and Ronald Ward
Anna Lee
Anna Lee
Anna Lee
Anna Lee
Barbara Everest and Mary Clare
Barbara Everest and Mary Clare
Barbara Everest
Barbara Everest
Beatrix Lehmann
Beatrix Lehmann
Beatrix Lehmann and Jack Livesey
Beatrix Lehmann and Jack Livesey
Beatrix Lehmann and Jack Livesey
Beatrix Lehmann and Jack Livesey
Beatrix Lehmann
Beatrix Lehmann
Cathleen Nesbitt and Anna Lee
Cathleen Nesbitt and Anna Lee
Cathleen Nesbitt and Beatrix Lehmann
Cathleen Nesbitt and Beatrix Lehmann
Cathleen Nesbitt and John Trumbull
Cathleen Nesbitt and John Trumbull
Cathleen Nesbitt
Cathleen Nesbitt
Conrad Veidt
Conrad Veidt
Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Conrad Veidt and Mary Clare
Conrad Veidt and Mary Clare
Conrad Veidt arrives at the hotel
Conrad Veidt arrives at the hotel
Conrad Veidt and Frank Cellier
Conrad Veidt and Frank Cellier
Conrad Veidt
Conrad Veidt
Frank Cellier, Cathleen Nesbitt and John Turnbull
Frank Cellier, Cathleen Nesbitt and John Turnbull
Frank Cellier and Conrad Veidt
Frank Cellier and Conrad Veidt
Frank Cellier and Mary Clare
Frank Cellier and Mary Clare
Frank Cellier and René Ray
Frank Cellier and René Ray
Frank Cellier and Conrad Veidt
Frank Cellier and Conrad Veidt
Jack Livesey and Frank Cellier
Jack Livesey and Frank Cellier
Anne Gwynne
Anne Gwynne
Jack Livesey
Jack Livesey
John Turnbull, Anna Lee and Frank Cellier
John Turnbull, Anna Lee and Frank Cellier
John Turnbull and Cathleen Nesbitt
John Turnbull and Cathleen Nesbitt
John Turnbull and Mary Clare
John Turnbull and Mary Clare
Mary Clare and Beatrix Lehmann
Mary Clare and Beatrix Lehmann
Mary Clare and René Ray
Mary Clare and René Ray
Mary Clare
Mary Clare
René Ray
René Ray
René Ray and Frank Cellier
René Ray and Frank Cellier
René Ray
René Ray
René Ray
René Ray
Ronald Ward
Ronald Ward
Ronald Ward and Anna Lee
Ronald Ward and Anna Lee
Ronald Ward
Ronald Ward
Sara Allgood, Cathleen Nesbitt and Beatrix Lehmann
Sara Allgood, Cathleen Nesbitt and Beatrix Lehmann
Sara Allgood, Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Sara Allgood, Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Sara Allgood, Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Sara Allgood, Conrad Veidt and Beatrix Lehmann
Sara Allgood and Conrad Veidt
Sara Allgood and Conrad Veidt