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House of Usher (1960)

 -  Horror  -  22 June 1960 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,857 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 87 critic

A man, upon entering his fiancées's family mansion, discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

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Title: House of Usher (1960)

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Victor Reynolds arrives at the notorious House of Usher, whereupon he is greeted by old acquaintances Roderick and Madeline Usher and their servant, Markus. As Victor uncovers more about ... See full summary »

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Michael Cardelle, Frank Mentier, Jaimyse Haft
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mark Damon ...
Philip Winthrop
Myrna Fahey ...
Harry Ellerbe ...
Bristol
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Storyline

After a long journey, Philip arrives at the Usher mansion seeking his loved one, Madeline. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Madeline and her brother Roderick Usher have been afflicted with a mysterious malady: Roderick's senses have become painfully acute, while Madeline has become catatonic. That evening, Roderick tells his guest of an old Usher family curse: any time there has been more than one Usher child, all of the siblings have gone insane and died horrible deaths. As the days wear on, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher and Nina <rocher@fiberbit.net><sinadone@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The House of Usher is no more - and the place whereon it stood is as if - it had never been. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 June 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fall of the House of Usher  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
 »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The stark landscape that Mark Damon rides through was the site of a fire in the Hollywood hills. Roger Corman had heard of the fire on the radio and went to the location the next day with his crew to do the shots of Damon. See more »

Goofs

In the church, Roderick has the head of Madeline's coffin, but while going down the stairs he has the foot of the coffin. In the next shot, entering the crypt, Roderick has the head of the coffin again. See more »

Quotes

Philip Winthrop: [as the house starts to rumble] Don't you think that crack in the wall should be repaired?
Roderick Usher: For future generations of Ushers?
Philip Winthrop: For Madeline's safety.
Philip Winthrop: While I was riding here I noticed a singular lack of vegetation, is there something wrong with the soil?
Roderick Usher: The soil?
Madeline Usher: Roderick please!
Roderick Usher: [looking at Madeline] As you wish.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Atomic Brain (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Masterpiece of Gothic Horror Cinema
7 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Roger Corman's brilliant adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's chilling tale is one of the greatest achievements in cinematic horror. It's hard to pick one of Corman's Poe adaptations as the best, but this, the first, might be it.

The movie is fairly faithful to the story, but extremely faithful to the tone of Poe's writing. No one but the team of Corman and writer Richard Matheson could pull it off like this. Poe's deranged sense of dread and sardonic humor are all here, in every shot.

Vincent Price turns in one of his finest performances as Roderick Usher, a man who is glad that he and his sister, Madeline (the wonderful Myrna Fahey) are the last of their bloodline, as he believes the family is doomed to all eventually go mad. He also suffers from hyper-sensitivity, and must have quiet, dim light, soft clothing and bland food, otherwise he suffers extreme pain. Whether this is a physical or psychological anomaly is never confirmed.

Madeline's fiance Philip (Mark Damon) comes to the house to claim Madeline as his wife. Roderick forbids it, believing he and his sister should die together, thus ending the Usher line of insanity. But it may be too late, as Madeline is already showing signs of flipping out, and Roderick has some pretty twisted ideas of how to stop that from happening.

The movie leads up to a spine-tingling finale that's as intense and scary a climax as anything I've seen. HOUSE OF USHER is a great horror movie, and perhaps the most faithful adaptation of Poe, both in content and style, ever filmed.


28 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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