Seven Keys to Baldpate (1925 film)

Seven Keys to Baldpate is a lost 1925 American silent film based on the mystery novel by Earl Derr Biggers and play by George M. Cohan. Previously made in Australia in 1916 [1] and by Paramount in 1917, this version was produced by, and starred, Douglas MacLean and was directed by Fred C. Newmeyer (who later directed Our Gang shorts). Out of seven film adaptations of the story made between 1916 and 1983, this version is the only one that is now considered lost.[2][3][4] The story was remade again later in 1929, 1935, 1946 (TV movie) and 1947. It was also remade in 1983 under the title House of the Long Shadows, featuring John Carradine, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price and Christopher Lee.[5]

Seven Keys to Baldpate
Producer-star Douglas MacLean
in Seven Keys to Baldpate
Directed byFred C. Newmeyer
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Jesse Lasky
Douglas MacLean
Written byWade Boteler (scenario)
Frank Griffin (scenario)
Based onSeven Keys to Baldpate
by Earl Derr Biggers (novel) and George M. Cohan (play)
StarringDouglas MacLean
CinematographyJack MacKenzie
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
October 19, 1925
Running time
66 minutes; 7 reels (6,648 feet)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


Writer William Magee arranges to stay at the old deserted Baldpate Inn so he can write a mystery novel in peace. He makes a bet with his friends that he can write the entire book in 24 hours. One by one, strangers begin showing up at the inn, each with a key to the place.


Critical reception

In The New York Times, Mordaunt Hall wrote, "Douglas MacLean, who relies a great deal upon his eyes and his teeth in acting, is only moderately amusing in the film conception of Seven Keys to Baldpate, which is at the Rivoli this week. This does not seem to be as good a vehicle for him as The Yankee Consul and other productions in which he has figured. There are long stretches without much in the way of genuine fun, and Mr. MacLean is rather stiff and his clothes are much too well pressed. He looks as if he had come to life from a man's fashion advertisement, without a characterizing crease."[6]

Critic Troy Howarth comments "The as much on comedy as it is on chills and suspense, and it seems likely that most viewers were familiar with the story's convoluted plot by this time".[7]


  2. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 published by The American Film Institute, c.1971
  3. Progressive Silent Film List: Seven Keys to Baldpate at
  4. Seven Keys to Baldpate at Arne Andersen's Lost Film Files: Paramount Pictures - 1925
  5. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 292. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  7. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 292. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.