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I Bury the Living (1958)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  July 1958 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,697 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 31 critic

Cemetery director Robert Kraft discovers that by arbitrarily changing the status of plots from empty to occupied on the planogram causes the death of the plots' owners.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Andy McKee
Peggy Maurer ...
Ann Craig
Howard Smith ...
George Kraft
Herbert Anderson ...
Jess Jessup
Robert Osterloh ...
Lt. Clayborne
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Storyline

Through a series of macabre "coincidences," the newly-elected director of a cemetery (Richard Boone) begins to believe that he can cause the deaths of living owners of burial plots by merely changing the push-pin color from white (living) to black (dead) on a large wall map of the cemetery that notes those plots. Written by mperryo@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST SPINE-CHILLING CRY THAT EVER FROZE THE BLOOD!... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killer on the Wall  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the film progresses and Kraft gradually comes to believe that the map controls him, the map on the wall becomes slightly larger in each progressive scene, symbolizing it slowly controlling him. See more »

Quotes

Robert Kraft: Andy, you better get this straight right now. You heard that lieutenant. It's possible for some people to have things inside them that make other things happen. Nothing is impossible for a man like that, if he thinks about it hard enough.
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Underground: I Bury the Living (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Lord Randall, My Son
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Theodore Bikel
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User Reviews

They call this a classic, may I ask why?

So many people call this movie a modern classic and one of the scariest genre movies ever made. Why? I have seen it more than once and done some research on it and I question all those assertions. Okay, follow me on this, Richard Boone takes the job as caretaker of a cemetery because it is a family tradition. By accident he discovers that if he places a black pin into the map showing the empty plots, the owner of that plot dies. Several friends and business associates actually do turn up dead when Richard sticks black pins into the spots marking graves reserved for them. It then dawns on him that if he can kills people by sticking black pins into the map maybe he can bring them back by substituting white pins. Now this is where we get to the really scary scenes. Boone goes running through the cemetery and sees that all the recent graves have been opened and the bodies are gone. His plan worked! But is it too late?

WARNING WARNING! I am not about to reveal the real ending of the movie, just the way it was originally written in the script. I am not, repeat NOT, telling you how the real movie ends.

As written Boone was to have locked himself in the caretakers shed which was suddenly surrounded by the walking corpses of all the people he had killed by sticking black pins into their grave markers. They do not attack but stand patiently outside calling for him to join them. Richard's grief is so great at having caused their deaths that he dies of a heart attack. Yeah but that ISN'T the way it ended. A "logical" explanation is tacked on that totally ruins the supernatural theme that we have spent the whole movie getting used to. I for one felt let down by this and THAT is why I say this movie is no classic. Yes it has some well staged moments but the copout ending spoils everything. If they had just stuck to the original ending it could have pre-dated NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD by 10 years.


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