The Boris Karloff Collection


Night Key (1937), Tower of London (1939), The Climax (1944), The Strange Door (1951), The Black Castle (1952)






   Along with fellow actors Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price, Boris Karloff is recognized as one of the true icons of horror cinema, and the actor most closely identified with the general public's perception of the "monster" from the classic Mary Shelley book "Frankenstein". Renowned as a kind and warm-hearted gentleman, with a sincere affection for children and their welfare, Karloff passed away on February 2, 1969, from emphysema. Universal hace compiled 5 of his films into one package - and Karloff fans will rejoice - especially at the addition of Tower of London (also note Vincent Price appearing in one of his earliest film roles).

Gary W. Tooze


Theatrical Releases: 1937 - 1952

 DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal (3-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Other Universal Multi-DVD Boxsets
Runtime 1:32:36 + 1:07:32 + 1:25:57 + 1:20:48 + 1:21:24 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.2 + 6.4 + 5.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  Disc 1
Night Key / Tower of London

Bitrate: Disc 2
The Climax / The Strange Door

Bitrate: Disc 3
The Black Castle

Audio English (original) 
Subtitles English (Hoh), French, None

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: September 19th, 2006

Case: Bookcase style - 3 disc (2 overlapping)




Well, this DVD package is about what I anticipated. From previous Universal multi-film/disc boxset we knew what to expect. It is akin to Universal's DVD release of the Gary Cooper Collection. A bare bones collection of 5 films adeptly transferred to digital with no supplements. The difference is that Universal have heard peoples complaints about the double-sided DVDs and the discs in the Boris Karloff Collection are all single-sided (3 of them - Disc 1 - Night Key / Tower of London, Disc 2 - The Climax / The Strange Door and Disc 3 - The Black Castle).

The 5 films look quite good with the two most recent looking the best. All are progressively transferred.  Flickering contrast is prevalent to a small degree in the earlier releases. Acceptable sharpness. Color in The Climax bled a bit. They even look to have gone through the same process - fairly clean of larger flaws with digital noise appearing as fine grain - decent-to-good contrast, original audio and well done optional, hard-of-hearing English subtitles (and French).

Personally, I enjoyed Night Key, The Strange Door and The Black Castle the most, but each film has its own merit and appeal. 

I'm sure I could gripe and expect some extensive extras and individual releases with keep cases and even better transfers - but at what cost? These films generally don't warrant a lot of supplement attention and they come out to less than $4 a film. What better $ value is there out there? I'm sold on this manner of packaging some previously unreleased titles that many crave and so we strongly recommend! out of     

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus (Samples)


Subtitle Sample




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DVD Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Other Universal Multi-DVD Boxsets


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Gary Tooze

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