William K. Everson gave a great comparison between the movie of The Old Dark House (1932) and the novel (Benighted) it was based on in Classics of the Horror Film (Citadel Press, New York, 1974, page 81):
Priestley's original novel was rather uneven; he was generally much more at home with his "social," semi-political books and plays--or with his simple, regional comedies of manners, like When We Are Married, which dealt with the people and class-distinctions of Yorkshire that he knew wo well. Elements of both schools of writing seem to be forced into Benighted, and get in the way of the melodrama too often. The one major difference between novel and film was that Priestley killed off his hero, Penderell, whereas indications in the film that this might have been a last minute decision. The well-knit scenario is carefully balanced, pitting the five inhabitants of the house against the five guests. In a very rough kind o way, each has an opposing counterpart, and the night of terror brings out the best (or worst) in all of them, solving all their problems, just as dawn automatically banishes the insoluble fears and dangers of a nightmare. (Somehow, it is a little difficult to consider oneself free of problems with Karloff's semi-mad butler still lumbering around!)
Miss Maven's beloved mother watched this movie just once because Boris Karloff was in it and that was it.
This is one of those movies that Miss Maven strongly recommends parents watch before letting their children of about twelve or under watch it.
Come to think of it . . . .
Some days Maven isn't up to it!
Please excuse her while she looks for her bourbon--
er, smelling salts!
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