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A small-town doctor (William Prince) gets caught up in a revenge plot when his small daughter is kidnapped and buried alive as he is given a few short hours to find her before she suffocates. To cover the risk of a heart attack while viewing the film, Producer-Director William Castle provided each member of the audience with an official certificate issued by Lloyds of London to insure them for $1,000 against death by fright. The gimmick worked and Castle was on his way to movie exploitation stardom! Written by
I finally saw this on TV several years ago and wish I had taped it. It's got strong story elements that could have been developed into something really great.
The idea of a funeral to be held at night because the deceased, the daughter of a very wealthy man, had been blind sets the tone. Add a race against time to save a kidnapping victim who's been buried alive and you've got the elements of a tidy thriller.
My understanding is that the novel this was based on, THE CONCRETE GARDEN if I remember the title correctly, was actually written by several mystery writers. It was a project where writer A came up with the concept and wrote opening, then passed it to writer B who developed it and threw in complications that would make writer C sweat bullets to resolve. The fact that there were so many writers involved seems to have made it very difficult to get the rights to the story, and that's why it's the only one of William Castle's thrillers not available on video.
We've seen remakes of several of Castle's works. Maybe someone will discover this one and get the rights issue resolved.
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