Captain Clegg (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Captain Clegg
Captain clegg poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Graham Scott
Produced byJohn Temple-Smith
Written byAnthony Hinds
StarringPeter Cushing
Yvonne Romain
Patrick Allen
Music byDon Banks
CinematographyArthur Grant
Edited byEric Boyd-Perkins
Distributed byUniversal-International
Release date
  • 13 June 1962 (1962-06-13) (Kansas City, MO)
  • 16 June 1962 (1962-06-16) (United States)
  • 25 June 1962 (1962-06-25) (United Kingdom)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Captain Clegg (released as Night Creatures in the United States) is a 1962 British adventure horror film directed by Peter Graham Scott and produced by Hammer Film Productions. It is loosely based on Doctor Syn, created by Russell Thorndike, and stars Peter Cushing, Yvonne Romain and Patrick Allen.


In 1776, a mulatto sailor (Milton Reid) is marooned on an island after assaulting the wife of pirate captain Nathaniel Clegg.

By 1792, Clegg has supposedly been captured by the Royal Navy and hanged. His resting place is the coastal village of Dymchurch on the Romney Marsh. The surrounding countryside is home to the "Marsh Phantoms": figures on horseback who ride by night and bring terror to the village.

Captain Collier (Patrick Allen) and his band of sailors arrive in Dymchurch to investigate reports that the locals are involved in the smuggling of alcohol from France. They are accompanied by the mulatto, mute after his tongue was cut out sixteen years earlier, whom Collier saved from death and now keeps as a slave. As Collier's men ransack an ale house run by Rash (Martin Benson) and his ward Imogène (Yvonne Romain), the mulatto uncovers a hidden cellar. Ostensibly a varnish store, this is connected by a secret passageway to the home of coffin-maker Jeremiah Mipps (Michael Ripper), which serves as the smugglers' headquarters. The smugglers are led by the village parson Dr Blyss (Peter Cushing), whom the mulatto inexplicably attacks before being subdued by the sailors.

That night, the smugglers succeed in transporting a consignment to a nearby windmill for onward shipment, although squire's son Harry (Oliver Reed), Imogène's secret fiancé, is wounded when he is shot in the arm by the pursuing Collier. Back at the ale house, Rash kills one of the sailors to prevent the smuggling operation from being exposed. This frees the mulatto, who leaves for the churchyard to break open Clegg's grave. Collier, who spent years chasing Clegg, becomes suspicious of Blyss when the mulatto later makes a second attempt on the parson's life.

At Blyss's house, Rash finds Clegg's last will and testament. Learning that Imogène is Clegg's daughter, he attempts to take advantage of her compromised situation to rape her, but she escapes and flees to Blyss’s home. There, Blyss and Harry both tell her they were already aware of her relationship to Clegg. After consoling Imogène, Harry confronts Rash but is arrested by Collier when the captain notices the young man's bandaged arm. Harry is led away to Collier's ship as a hostage but escapes when the Marsh Phantoms appear, distracting the sailors. The Phantoms, who are actually villagers in disguise, take Harry and Imogène to the church, where they are hurriedly married by Blyss before leaving to start their life together.

Collier arrives at the church and announces that Clegg's grave is empty. He then tears off Blyss's collar to reveal the rope burns from an unsuccessful hanging, exposing the parson as Clegg. Clegg declares that his executioner spared his life and that he wished only to help the inhabitants of Dymchurch live comfortably. A struggle breaks out between the villagers and the sailors, enabling Clegg to flee with Mipps via the secret passageway. However, on emerging at the coffin-maker's house they run into the mulatto, who has murdered Rash and fatally impales Clegg with a spear before being shot dead by Mipps. In the film's closing scene, the villagers look on and Collier and the sailors salute as Mipps sorrowfully places Clegg's body in the open grave.



Home media[edit]

In North America, the film was released on 6 September 2005 along with seven other Hammer horror films on the 4-DVD set The Hammer Horror Series (ASIN: B0009X770O), which is part of MCA-Universal's "Franchise Collection". This set was re-released on Blu-ray September 13, 2016.

A Blu-ray was released in the UK on 23 June 2014 by Final Cut Entertainment.


Variety was moderately positive, writing that the film had a "good" screenplay and "savvy" direction, "and the range of technical credits are all on the plus side, especially Arthur Grant's photography."[1] The Monthly Film Bulletin was negative, writing, "The script is feeble, the acting, apart from Patrick Allen's forceful hero, uninspired, and the obsession with injury, degradation and death more dispiriting than ever."[2]

Among later reviews, author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film three and a half out of four stars, calling it "good fun with some scary moments."[3] Donald Guarisco from Allmovie called it "one of the best Hammer Films productions", praising the film's imaginative script, and colorful characterizations.[4]


  1. ^ "Night Creatures". Variety: 17. 9 May 1962.
  2. ^ "Captain Clegg". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 29 (342): 92. July 1962.
  3. ^ Leonard Maltin; Spencer Green; Rob Edelman (January 2010). Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide. Plume. pp. 466–467. ISBN 978-0-452-29577-3.
  4. ^ Guarisco, Donald. "Night Creatures (1962) - Peter Graham Scott". Donald Guarisco. Retrieved 13 June 2018.

External links[edit]