Day 6 – Juggernaut (1936)

The Films of Boris Karloff 2As Boris Karloff was making The Man Who Changed His Mind, he signed a one picture deal with Twickenham Films, allowing him and his wife to stay in England for another three months. Juggernaut would film in the late spring and was plagued with an almost incomprehensible script and a very chaotic production schedule. Juggernaut is not a true horror film but Karloff does play a very stereotypical mad scientist. Let’s start off by saying the film is clearly not one of Karloff’s better films.

Karloff stars as Dr. Sartorius, a truly mad scientist name and perhaps the best thing going for the film. He is researching for a cure to paralysis when his funding is cut. He accepts an offer from the Lady Yvonne Clifford (annoying played by Mona Goya) to help poison her rich husband, Sir Charles Clifford (Morton Selten) in exchange for the money he needs to continue his research. However, Sir Charles suspects foul play and, shortly before his suspicious death, he transfers control of his fortune to his son from a previous marriage. Once Dr. Sartorius’ nurse suspects him of murder, a series of events leads to the final confrontation, resulting in Sartorius taking his own life to avoid a murder charge.Juggernaut poster

Karloff turns in an adequate performance. Let’s be honest, any time we can see him on screen, it elevates the film, no matter how bad everything else may be. Beyond that, the only other positive thing that can be said about Juggernaut is that it provided Karloff extra time to spend in England with his wife and their friends there before their vacation in France during the summer of 1936. Karloff reportedly never saw the film and most of even the die-hard Karloff fans agree that it is one of his weakest films. Not every entry in a 31 day film tribute can be a classic and this will be one of our low spots.

Juggernaut is in the public domain, so there are a lot of sources out there from which you can acquire this film including the usual YouTube. All are in the same generally poor condition but, with a running time of a little over an hour, there are worse ways you could spend your time.


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