Double Door

  • Directed by Charles Vidor
  • United States, 1934, 75 mins., English

New Yorkers who flocked in the fall of 1933 to see Elizabeth McFadden’s play Double Door knew it was inspired by Manhattan’s Wendel family, a Gilded Age dynasty of fabulously wealthy eccentrics. What could be more gothic than seven sisters sequestered in a gloomy mansion, tainted by madness, forbidden to marry, presided over by an avaricious brother? DOUBLE DOOR is a dark riff on this legend, compressed into a three-act melodrama. The scion became a tyrannical spinster, holding in thrall a neurotic sister and a demoralized kid brother. When the brother makes a bid for sanity and freedom and takes a bride, the wheels of madness begin to turn.

Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery