AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Haunted House
Director: Benjamin Christensen (Dir)
Release Date:   4 Nov 1928
Duration (in mins):   65
Duration (in feet):   5,755
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Larry Kent (Billy)  
    Thelma Todd (The nurse)  
    Edmund Breese (James Herbert)  
    Sidney Bracy (Tully)  
    Barbara Bedford (Nancy)  
    Flora Finch (Mrs. Rackham)  
    Chester Conklin (Mr. Rackham)  
    William V. Mong (The caretaker)  
    Montague Love (The Mad Doctor)  
    Eve Southern (Sleepwalking girl)  
    Johnny Gough (Jack, the chauffeur)  

Summary: James Herbert, an eccentric millionaire apparently on the brink of death, sends for his four most likely heirs: Billy, Tully, Nancy, and Mrs. Rackham. He gives each of them a sealed letter with instructions not to open it until his death. All four disregard the old man's wishes and open their letters, learning that Herbert has hidden a fortune in bonds in a haunted house. The four go there and meet with a mad doctor, a caretaker, a sleepwalking girl, and a beautiful nurse. After a night of strange noises, weird happenings, and screams, Herbert appears and explains that the ghosts and ghouls, hired from central casting, were part of a test to discover the true nature of his presumptive heirs. Billy is then designated as the rightful heir. 

Production Company: First National Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: First National Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Benjamin Christensen (Dir)
Producer: Richard A. Rowland (Pres)
  Wid Gunning (Prod)
Writer: Richard Bee (Scen)
  Lajos BirĂ³ (Scen)
  William Irish (Titles)
Photography: Sol Polito (Dir of photog)
Film Editor: Frank Ware (Film ed)
Country: United States
Language: English

Source Text: Based on the play The Haunted House; an American Comedy in Three Acts by Owen Davis (New York, 1926).
Authors: Owen Davis

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
First National Pictures, Inc. 3/10/1928 dd/mm/yyyy LP25681

Physical Properties: Si with sd seq: Sd eff and mus score by Vitaphone
  Sd, also Si: Also si; 5,775 ft.
  b&w:

 
Genre: Comedy-drama
 
Subjects (Major): Actors and actresses
  Caretakers
  Ghosts
  Haunted houses
  Inheritance
  Lunatics
  Millionaires
  Nurses
  Physicians
  Somnambulism

Note:  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   23 Dec 1928.   
New York Times   23 Dec 1928   Sec. VIII, p. 7.
Variety   19 Dec 1928   p. 12.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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