The Dark Tower (1943)

Article 2412 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-3-2007
Posting Date: 3-20-2008
Directed by John Harlow
Featuring Ben Lyon, Anne Crawford, David Farrar

A struggling circus hits paydirt when they stumble across a man who has extraordinary hypnotic abilities. He is used in a high wire act, where he hypnotizes a woman to do dangerous feats on the high wire. However, he is not satisfied with the fame he acquires…

The plot is really nothing to write home about here; it’s basically a variation on the Svengali story, and there are very few surprises along the way. However, the film is well-directed, has a nice pace, and even the filler circus acts are fun. Especially of note here is the presence of the fourth-billed Herbert Lom as the hypnotist in question; it’s one of his very early roles, and he is wonderful in it. It’s also interesting to see William Hartnell, looking much younger than “Doctor Who” fans are used to, as a press agent who serves to promote the new hypnotist. My biggest question about the movie is the significance of the title; there really is no tower here as far as I can tell.


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