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The Maze (1953)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 26 July 1953 (USA)
A Scotsman abruptly breaks off his engagement to pretty Kitty and moves to his uncle's castle in the Scottish highlands. Kitty and her aunt follow Gerald a few weeks later, and discover he ... See full summary »

Writers:

(written for the screen by) (as Dan Ullman), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gerald MacTeam
Veronica Hurst ...
Kitty Murray
Katherine Emery ...
Edith Murray
...
William
John Dodsworth ...
Dr. Bert Dilling
...
Peggy Lord
Stanley Fraser ...
Robert
...
Margaret Dilling (as Lillian Bond)
Owen McGiveney ...
Simon
...
Richard Roblar
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Storyline

A Scotsman abruptly breaks off his engagement to pretty Kitty and moves to his uncle's castle in the Scottish highlands. Kitty and her aunt follow Gerald a few weeks later, and discover he has suddenly aged. Some mysterious things happen in a maze made from the hedges adjoining the castle. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The shocking chills of the sensational suspense novel leap from the screen... in 3 Dimension See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il labirinto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was to be the second 3-D film designed and directed by William Cameron Menzies. Contrary to some opinion, there is no evidence to substantiate that his previous film, Invaders from Mars (1953), was designed nor planned for for 3-D, and certainly was not shot in this process. Menzies, who was known as a director with a very "dimensional" style (eg. many shots are focused in layers), only directed one other 3-D film previous to this: "Fun in the Sun," a short that was shot for the aborted Sol Lesser production, "The 3-D Follies". This would be his final film as production designer and director. See more »

Goofs

Kitty and Edith's rooms in the castle have their windows blocked with stone. That is shown in a shot of Kitty's room the night they arrived. The only light sources are candles and the fireplaces. Yet, in the morning, both bedrooms are bathed in light as if the sun were streaming in through these blocked windows. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 3-D Rarities (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Phylogeny Repeats Ontology.
25 December 2015 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

You have to admire Richard Carlson. He was reliable, almost handsome, had an MA from the University of Minnesota, wrote novels and plays, and projected intelligence, boldness, tension, and earnestness that were perfectly suited to the unusual subject matter of hi later career. He was an exceptionally unexceptional actor but he was THERE for you.

The opening is a brief flashback to a mysterious event in a 17th-century Scottish castle. Then a shot of a pleasant lady speaking directly to the audience (originally in 3D) and introducing us to the story we're about to follow. I like the lady too. Katherine Emery is Aunt Edith, and she had a pleasant, relaxing smile and I believed every word when she explained, "I guess it all started with an engagement party at Cannes, on the Rivera." She continues to do the voice over for the rest of the film. Dissolve to Carlson and a few others at a gay nightclub in which an attractive young girl is flung around with abandon by a couple of men in tuxedos. One of the guests, uncredited, is the immortal Bess Flowers, whose entire career consisted of playing uncredited guests. Carlson seems to be enjoying himself immensely. He's engaged to Emery's niece, Veronica Hurst.

His holiday is interrupted by a message from that Scottish castle, called Craven. Carlson must fly to Scotland immediately. He's next in line to inherit the castle and the title of Baronet that goes with it. The castle has no modern conveniences -- no telephone, no electricity -- and stands just as it did hundreds of years ago. Still, his fiancée doesn't object, although she muses that "I suppose I'll get used to being addressed as Baroness." (You bet you will.) He does not return. Instead he sends a message to the aunt and his fiancée dissolving their arrangement. Hurst is distraught, as who wouldn't be in such a circumstance? Hurst and Emery travel to Craven Castle to find Carlson put out by their visit. What's worse, he's turned twenty years older in the past few weeks. He reluctantly puts them up for the night, cautioning his sinister butler to lock all the doors. Strange slithering sounds are heard in the hallway. Hurst is resolved to find out what the hell has been going on, and she sneaks out that night and begins exploring the cobwebbed ruins. A bat flies at her, or rather into the 3D camera lenses.

It's impossible to know why bats have such a bad reputation. They mean no harm. One night, standing on the lip of the Grand Canyon, I tore a piece of scrap paper into bits and flung them into a floodlight, only to be surrounded by thousands of bats with a dawning sense of disbelief. Two or three of the more adventurous entangled themselves in my hair and I toppled helplessly into the canyon. But two days later they brought me up by mule, bloody but unbowed, still at peace with bats. Anyway, Hurst makes it to a grimy window that overlooks the back yard. There she sees a gigantic maze with dim figures moving through it.

The next morning she finds a webbed footprint on the staircase and another in the gravel before the maze. At this point it's beginning to look less like a horror movie or science fiction than one of Edgar Allan Poe's fantasies. Nothing that happens from that point on changes anything.


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