House of Usher (1960)

Not Rated  |   |  Horror  |  22 June 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 8,002 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 93 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.



(based on "The Fall of The House of Usher"), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Myrna Fahey ...
Harry Ellerbe ...


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 <><>

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He buried her alive... to save his soul! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

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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


$200,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film marked a major change in the career of Roger Corman. Instead of producing two low-budget black-and-white films for release as a double feature, American-International agreed that he could use the budget to produce one higher-budget movie, in CinemaScope and color instead. See more »


As Phillip leaves his room to go to supper you hear the house start to rumble and it shows the hallway shaking,you can tell that this is done by having the camera moved around as the candles and other miscellaneous items in the hall don't move at all. See more »


Philip Winthrop: [as the house starts to rumble] How long has that been going on?
Bristol: So long I'm hardly aware of it anymore. It's just the settling of the house.
Philip Winthrop: That settling could cause this entire structure to collapse. That doesn't worry you?
Bristol: Oh no, sir. If the house dies, I shall die with it.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Unearthly (1991) See more »

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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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