Macabre (1958)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  October 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 649 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 15 critic

A doctor's daughter is kidnapped and buried alive, and he is given just five hours to find and rescue her.



(screenplay), (novel) (as Theo Durrant)
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Cast overview:
Dr. Rodney Barrett
Police Chief Jim Tyloe
Christine White ...
Nancy Wetherby Tyloe
Polly Baron - Nurse
Susan Morrow ...
Sylvia Stevenson
Philip Tonge ...
Jode Wetherby
Jonathan Kidd ...
Ed Quigley - Funeral Director
Dorothy Morris ...
Alice Wetherby Barrett
Howard Hoffman ...
Miss Kushins
Linda Guderman ...
Marge Barrett
Voltaire Perkins ...


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Horror | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Macabro  »

Box Office


$90,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


During its initial theatrical release, attendees were given a small badge that said, "I'm no chicken. I saw 'Macabre'." See more »


Possibly intentional by director; Quigley was guilty of murder. The closing credits incorrectly place Ed Quigley among the characters who died during the movie. See more »


Narrator: Ladies and gentlemen - for the next hour and fifteen minutes, you will be shown things so terrifying that the management of this theatre is deeply concerned for your welfare. Therefore, we request that each of you assume the responsibility of taking care of your neighbor. If anyone near you becomes uncontrollably frightened, will you please notify the management so that medical attention can be rushed to their aid? Please set your watches. It is 6:45 in the evening in a town called Thornton...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In an animated closing credit sequence, characters who died during the film are borne in hearses that parade across the screen, right to left. The surviving characters follow on foot. See more »


Featured in Horrible Horror (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Patiently Awaiting the DVD
16 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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