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House of Usher (1960)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 23 September 1960 (Japan)
Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man 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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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
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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:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

23 September 1960 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Haunted House of Usher  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

| (Ryder Sound Services)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Spain hadn't a theatrical release until 1983, 23 years later. The film was only released -with 1 copy-, at first in Barcelona (July/83, Casablanca 2) for 33 days and later, in Madrid (August/83, Alphaville 3) for 4 weeks, only projected in subtitled version. Also was a re-release in Madrid in 2003 (Pequeño Cine Estudio) for 23 days, only in subtitled version. The dubbed version was for VHS premiere (1984) and later was broadcast on TV premiere (1989). See more »

Goofs

When asked to remove his boots, Phillip sits down and starts to remove his right boot, but stops when he realizes Bristol has disappeared. He then stands up and walks away in socks. See more »

Quotes

Philip Winthrop: Would you permit me to light a candle so that...?
Roderick Usher: I think you had better leave, Mr. Winthrop.
Philip Winthrop: I think you need some light in this house, Mr. Usher.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
AN EXCELLENT START FOR ROGER CORMAN'S POE CYCLE
30 May 2001 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

"House of Usher" is an excellent start for Roger Corman's cycle of films based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe. There have been many remakes, but the Corman films remain the definitive statement. Corman was able to capture the feel of Poe's work and that's something that the remakes couldn't even touch. It also provides a tour de force for Vincent Price and establishes him as a great actor.

The film was shot on a budget of $270,000 and it looks GREAT. "House of Usher" is a fabulous calling card for American International Pictures, the distributor. Mostly known for making grade Z schlock, Corman's films gave AIP real class. This is also Corman's first film in CinemaScope and he makes the most of the widescreen here. It earns him a distinction of mine as a "Master of the Widescreen", or filmmakers who create complex and worthwhile compositions in the widescreen frame. The only problem is that the Poe films die on TV, due to the horrific "pan-and-scan" process. Luckily for us, American Movie Classics show these Poe films often in letterbox and MGM is releasing the cycle on letterboxed DVDs.

For a film that runs 85 minutes, "House of Usher" packs a lot into its' narrative. It is the most faithful of the Poe adaptations, although screenwriter Richard Matheson does take some liberties with the source material, as any great adaptation should. Floyd Crosby's CinemaScope photography is excellent as usual and Daniel Haller's elaborate sets make this look more expensive than it really is. Vincent Price's performance as Usher sets the tone for his future appearances in other Poe films. It neatly combines calm and frenzy together and I can't think of anyone else who would have done a better job. He should have received an Oscar nomination and maybe even the Oscar itself.

Note: "House of Usher" introduces the infamous "Burning Rafters" sequence. If you watch these Poe films back-to-back, you'll see this same sequence repeat itself over and over in several of the films (Tomb of Ligeia and The Raven come to mind). It is a mild criticism, but it is such a great sequence and it is so effectively shot that I didn't mind seeing it again and again.

**** out of 4 stars


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