The Terror — 1928

by Paula Bosse

Creepy-but-stylish hooded organist tickles the ivories in 1928. (Surely movie cobwebs and candle flames aren’t a good combo. …Hoods might be a problem, too.) This is a still from the 1928 movie The Terror, the first horror movie with sound. Sadly, this is a “lost” film, even though, weirdly, the soundtrack of the film survives.

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Sources & Notes

Top movie still is from the May, 1929 issue of the magazine Movie Makers. The caption for this photo reads, “Motion Creates a Focal Point. In this weird scene from The Terror with its many possibilities for diverting the eye, a clear understanding of good cinematics definitely establishes the hands of the hooded organist as the center of interest by limiting all motion to them. (Photograph by Warner Brothers)”

Poster is from the movie’s Wikipedia entry, here. (Don’t miss the contemporary review which contains the stinging nugget, “…so bad that it is almost suicidal.“)

Photo of man in cape and some sort of… headgear, along with star May McAvoy, is from eBay, here.

Photo of caped man terrorizing May McAvoy with red-hot poker (or staked marshmallow) is also from eBay, here.

Photo from the set of The Terror showing the organ is also from eBay, here.

Finally, interesting tidbits about the history of this film can be found in a YouTube video, here.

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Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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