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The Black Room

The Black Room(1935)

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In a Tyrolean castle at the end of the 19th century, twins, Gregor and Anton, are born to the Baron de Berghman. Legend has it that when twins are born to the de Berghman family, the younger twin will kill the older one, so Anton, the youngest, is sent away to prevent a tragedy. Twenty years later, Gregor, who has been left to rule in Anton's absence, requests Anton's return. The town is suspicious of Gregor after several people disappear mysteriously from the castle. Gregor now announces plans to divide the responsibilities of ruling with his brother, but Anton has heard rumors of the disappearances and is wary of Gregor's motives. Gregor plans to marry Thea, Colonel Hassel's daughter, and after he meets her, Anton also becomes smitten with her. Meanwhile, Gregor murders the Hassel's servant, Mashka, when she threatens to reveal their affair. Peter, a palace servant, finds Mashka's scarf and shows it to some peasants who march on the castle. With the mob threatening, Gregor renounces his title in favor of the more popular Anton. Then, Gregor shows his brother the secret entrance to the Black Room, which was used in the past as a torture chamber. Anton sees Mashka's bones in the pit, but before he can react, Gregor shoves his brother into the pit, too. Gregor then assumes Anton's role, imitating his paralyzed arm, and only Thor, Anton's mastiff, knows the truth. After Hassel appoints Gregor as Thea's guardian, he discovers the ruse but before he can expose Gregor, he is murdered. Hassel's murder is blamed on Thea's true love, Lt. Albert Lussan, and Gregor convinces her to marry him, instead. On his wedding day, Gregor, on his way to visit the Black Room, is attacked by Thor, causing him to reveal his identity. Gregor retreats to the Black Room, where the angry Thor once again attacks him, this time sending him into the pit where he is impaled on the knife that is gripped in Anton's decaying hand, thus fulfilling the prophecy and leaving Lussan free to marry Thea.