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 <email@example.com><firstname.lastname@example.org>
Roger Corman learned that there was an old barn in Orange County, CA, that was about to be demolished. He was able to strike a deal that would allow him to burn the barn at night and film it. The resulting footage was so good that it was used not only in the climax of this film but in later "Poe" films as well. See more »
When Madeline's coffin is taken to the crypt, the head of the coffin is to the viewer's right. In subsequent scenes, the coffin's head is to the viewer's left. See more »
A Gothic classic and one of Roger Corman's best films.
Corman's first Poe film (out of eight) is one of the best adaptations of the familiar story (rivaled only by French director Jean Epstein's superb, yet completely different, 1928 version) and was a critical and commercial success in its day on a meager $125,000 budget. Vincent Price is superb as Roderick Usher, an eternally tortured soul who lives in a crumbling castle with his sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey) and faithful butler Bristol (nicely etched by Harry Ellerbe). When Philip Winthrop (bland Mark Damon) shows up to take Madeline away, Roderick's incestuous feelings come to surface and the terror begins. Highlights include Damon's colorful nightmare sequence and Price's explanation of the Usher family history.
HOUSE OF USHER is intelligent, subtle and effective, with good sets and costumes and excellent work from scripter Richard Matheson, composer Les Baxter, cameraman Floyd Crosby and art director Daniel Haller--all united by Corman's smart, stylish, fluent direction. Truly deserving of it's reputation as horror classic.
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