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The Tingler (1959)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  29 July 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,749 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 63 critic

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us.... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Judith Evelyn ...
Mrs. Martha Ryerson Higgins
David Morris
Patricia Cutts ...
Isabel Stevens Chapin
Pamela Lincoln ...
Lucy Stevens
Philip Coolidge ...
Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins


Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Amazing NEW TERROR Device Makes You A Living Participant in the FLESH-CRAWLING ACTION! PERCEPTO! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »



Release Date:

29 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El aguijón de la muerte  »

Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)| (partial)


(one scene)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Tingler is a large scale model of velvet worm, also called peripatus. It has its own phylum - Onychophora. It is about half way between and earthworm and an arthropod. See more »


Hair and nails do not continue to grow after one dies, as Dr. Chapin asserts. The illusion of growth is created by the shrinkage of the flesh surrounding the hair and nails. However, the belief in growth after death has become so ingrained in common folklore that it is not surprising to see it used as "fact" in a horror film; such films play on our fears and knowledge of folklore to achieve their effects. See more »


Dr. Warren Chapin: [opens Ollie's bag and finds a mask and hatchet in it] You killed her.
Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins: No I didn't...
Dr. Warren Chapin: Your wife was frightened to death, by this, and this.
See more »


Featured in The Sci-Fi Boys (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

B Movie Heaven!
16 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Tingler" is the name that Vincent Price's likable scientist character gives to the creature that apparently is responsible for the sense of spine-tingling fear we all experience at some point in our lives. If we scream, The Tingler is rendered harmless. If we do not, The Tingler will get us!

This is classic William Castle gimmick stuff. When this black and white masterpiece of schlock was originally shown in theaters, devices would be rigged up underneath theater seats which would "tingle" during a certain scene. The film would then seemingly stop, and the audience would be encouraged to scream! Scream for their LIVES! Of course, the audience was happy to oblige and the Tingler would be defeated. Man, how I regret having missed those days of cheesy ballyhoo.

This film has some really nifty stuff in it. Highlights include Vincent Price's "acid" trip (reportedly the first acid trip ever seen on the silver screen), and a cool hallucinatory color sequence with a deaf mute woman menaced by a bathtub full of blood, among other things. The plot is clever and actually pretty well thought out for a B flick, and Vincent is superb, as he always is. This is an absolutely hysterical film that should not be missed. I can't say enough good things about it

  • it simply has to be seen to be appreciated. It's campy, seedy, bloody

good fun!

38 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The original in the theater deadaimcarlos
Favorite Line in this Movie? Big_McLarge_Huge
Vertigo Score? longsa64
lost something at the end mrsramthun
remake? mynameisRoxanne
They don't make movies like this anymore mattie0218
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