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House of Usher (1960)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  22 June 1960 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 7,637 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 92 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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(based on "The Fall of The House of Usher"), (screenplay)
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Title: House of Usher (1960)

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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:

I heard her first feeble movements in the coffin... we had put her living in the tomb! 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

This film was one of the early examples of American International Pictures' occasional practice of distributing a feature under two different titles. In some areas the main title, and the ad campaign, read "The Fall of the House of Usher." In other areas, the main title, and the ad campaign, read simply "House of Usher." This also carried over to the 16mm U.S. television syndication prints in which one, or the other title, would appear on the print itself. See more »

Goofs

Roderick is shown playing a lute, but the sound we hear is a muted harpsichord. See more »

Quotes

Roderick Usher: Did you know that I could hear the scratching of her fingernails on the casket lid?
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"I suggest you live, mr. Winthrop. No? Then perish with us".
5 October 2003 | by (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

This is Roger Corman´s first Edgar Allan Poe-based movie and probably the best of them all in terms of direction, acting and script. It´s certainly the best adapted one, because it manages to build a larger story around the events of the tale without borrowing material from other tales and without making it seem obvious, unlike the sequels. Anyway, probably my favorite is still "Masque of the red death" which is also my favorite Poe tale. The rest deserves a look, of course, but it doesn´t get any better.

Vincent Price stars as Roderick Usher, a man obsessed with the tragic history of the Usher clan, filled with psychopats, murderers of all kinds and people who die of incurable illnesses. He forces his sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey) to stay in the house waiting for death to spare the world the horrors of the Usher family in years to come and even builds two separate coffins for them. Madeline´s fiancee (Mark Damon) goes looking for her to the house and is received by the obedient butler Bristol (Harry Ellerbe). From there on this four characters will go through a lot of arguing, running around the House (which, like in the Poe tale, is a character itself, one of a really menacing nature) and digging on ancient secrets. Any Corman or Poe afficionado can figure out the rest of the story by himself, but it´s a joy to watch it evolve here.

The star of the show is Vincent Price, of course. He puts in a black robe or a red silk suit and speaks in a low, soft, modulated voice, throwing his overwrought dialogue while the others just stare at him with surprise and fear. He has a special weakness of the hearing (I have the same problem, BTW, although not to this extent) and in one scene the fiancee screams at him hard enough to make him twitch in pain. In that scene you realize just what a genius he is. The set decoration is also to be noted (you won´t forget easily the paintings of the Usher family members by Burt Schonberg), as is the music and practically everything that sets the unbelievable mood this movie has.


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