The Silent House (1929 film)

The Silent House (also released as The House of Silence)[2] is a 1929 British silent mystery film directed by Walter Forde (his first horror film), and starring Mabel Poulton, Gibb McLaughlin and Arthur Pusey. It was made in 1928 at the Nettlefold Studios in Walton-on-Thames and released in January of 1929[2]. The film was written by H. Fowler Mear, based on a hit stage play by John C. Brandon and George Pickett, but it was not a success at the box office.[3]

The Silent House
Directed byWalter Forde
Produced byArchibald Nettlefold
Written byJohn G. Brandon (play)
George Pickett (play)
H. Fowler Mear (screenplay)
StarringMabel Poulton
Gibb McLaughlin
Arthur Pusey
Gerald Rawlinson
CinematographyGeoffrey Faithfull
A. Randall Terraneau
Edited byWalter Forde
Distributed byButcher's Film Service
Release date
January 1929
Running time
9,376 feet[1]
95 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
English intertitles

The Oriental character played by Gibbs McLaughlin in the film resembled Fu Manchu, not surprising as Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu character was very popular among filmgoers in 1929. [2] A print of the film exists in the National Film Archives in London.[2]


The film takes place in an "old dark house" sporting hidden panels, clutching hands and a fairly high body count. A Chinese mandarin named Chang Fu (Gibbs McLaughlin) uses his Svengali-like powers to hypnotize a woman into revealing the hiding place of a cache of expensive bonds.



  1. Low p.450
  2. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era. Midnight Marquee Press. p. 331. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  3. Low p.175


  • Low, Rachel. The History of British Film: Volume IV, 1918–1929. Routledge, 1997.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

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