3.9/10
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75 user 20 critic

Scared to Death (1947)

Approved | | Thriller | 1 February 1947 (USA)
From a slab in the morgue, a dead young woman tells the bizarre tale of how she got there, through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist, a midget and a mysterious figure in a green mask.

Director:

Writers:

(original story) (as W.J. Abbott), (screenplay) (as W.J. Abbott)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Dr. Joseph Van Ee
...
...
Laura Van Ee / Laurette La Valle
...
Jane Cornell
...
Lilybeth
...
Ward Van Ee
...
Terry Lee
...
Pathologist
...
...
Rene the Killer
...
Autopsy Surgeon
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Storyline

From a slab in the morgue, a dead young woman tells the bizarre tale of how she got there, through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist, a midget and a mysterious figure in a green mask.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A thrilling mystery of a supernatural killer!

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 February 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Accent on Horror  »

Box Office

Budget:

$135,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only color film to star Bela Lugosi (he appeared in a 1930 Technicolor film, Viennese Nights (1930), but did not star in it). The only other color footage of the actor is in a wartime short in which he can be seen giving blood for the war effort. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning of the film when Dr. Van Ee goes to the window to investigate the tapping noise, he takes the stethoscope out of his ears twice in succeeding shots. See more »

Quotes

Lili Beth: I'm sorry, but the doctor won't see anybody without an appointment.
Leonide: I have had an appointment with him for at least twenty years, he will see me!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Low budget, no scares, Lugosi
18 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is Bela Lugosi's only starring feature in color. That's about all it has going for it, really; the schtick of having a corpse narrate the movie (Which would be done quite a bit better a few years later by Sunset Blvd.) isn't well executed, anyway.

Laura Van Ee (Mary Lamont) is a nervous, tension-ridden ex-dancer who thinks she's imprisoned in her room by her husband Ward and her father in law Dr. Josef (George Zucco). She's mad, mad I tell you! Since it's her corpse that narrates, I think we can assume we know what happens to Mrs. Van Ee right from the get-go.

Why is she so anxious? She's not sure - no one is - but everyone suspects it all has something to do with her past, and something to do with a handkerchief. Enter Bela Lugosi and a midget - no, wait, Professor Leonide and his faithful companion, Indigo. And a wisecracking, tough-guy reporter (Douglas Fowley) and his dim-bulb dame (Joyce Compton). Add in a bumbling ex-cop who overtly desires a murder so he can solve it and get back to "real" policework (Nat Pendelton), and you have all the ingredients for One Crappy Low Budget Movie.

Every now and then the director remembers this is supposed to be a horror film, not a crime caper, so you hear this loopy pseudospooky music that's probably supposed to portend doom, or something. Which makes some sort of sense, but there's nothing creepy going on at the time, so it's hardly effective.

I've heard tell that Lamont, as the haunted Mrs. Ee (love the surname) is the only actor with any kind of spirit (ha, ha) in the movie - but please, hammy isn't the same as being spirited. Lugosi plays Lugosi, the midget disappears halfway through the picture, there's a supposedly disembodied head, and that's about it. It's all over in an hour or so.


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