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Homicidal (1961)

 -  Horror | Mystery | Thriller  -  June 1961 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,537 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 39 critic

The brutal stabbing murder of a justice-of-the-peace sparks an investigation of dark family secrets in a sleepy small town in Southern California.

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Title: Homicidal (1961)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Karl Anderson
Patricia Breslin ...
Miriam Webster
Eugenie Leontovich ...
Helga Swenson
Alan Bunce ...
Doctor Jonas
Richard Rust ...
Jim Nesbitt
James Westerfield ...
Mr. Adrims
Gilbert Green ...
Lt. Miller
Joan Marshall ...
Emily (as Jean Arless)
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Storyline

The story centers around a murderous scheme to collect a rich inheritance. The object of murder is Miriam Webster, who is to share in the inheritance with her half brother Warren, who lives with his childhood guardian Helga in the mansion where Warren and Mariam grew up. Confined to a wheelchair after recently suffering a stroke, Helga is cared for by her nurse Emily, a strange young woman who has formed a close bond with Warren. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SPECIAL "FRIGHT BREAK" * There will be a special FRIGHT BREAK during the showing of "Homicidal." Can you heart stand the challenge when the clock starts the COUNTDOWN! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

June 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den mystiske knivstikker  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Castle:  [gimmick]  In the final reel, when Miriam is about to go into the house for the big climax, there was a one-minute "Fright Break" in which producer/director William Castle advised the audience that anyone too scared to see the climax could go into the lobby and get their money back. For this gimmick, Columbia shipped a cardboard "Coward's Corner" to theaters playing the film. Supposedly, audience members too frightened to see the climax could go to the "Coward's Corner" and wait there until the film ended and the rest of the audience filed past. Apparently no one took the offer. See more »

Goofs

The position of the knocker in Helga's hand changes between shots numerous times whenever she's using it. See more »

Quotes

Karl Anderson: Is there any way to tell?
Doctor Jonas: [Distracted after a long pause] Hah? Tell what, Karl?
Karl Anderson: Well. If a person's homicidal?
Doctor Jonas: [giving him a prescription] There you are. No... That's what makes them so dangerous. They can change from being your friend into your murderer in a second's time!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film Joan Marshall's characters Emily/Warren come out to face the audience, via split screen, and take a bow! See more »

Connections

Featured in Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"If you stay in this house one more minute, I'm going to kill you!"
5 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is yet another classic from William Castle, the king of the gimmicks. The gimmick used for this film, often compared with "Psycho", was the idea of a "Fright Break" during which the viewer has 30 seconds to determine if they want to see the 'terrifying' conclusion to the film. When released in theaters initially, there was a separate section that patrons could go to during the "Fright Break". Gimmicks aside this is a very well crafted, often goofy, and quite effective little thriller. The murders, acting, and storyline are all over the top and everyone in the movie puts on quite an effective performance. Standing out in her role as Emily is Jean Arliss. It seems that Emily is quite disturbed as the movie opens with an alarming murder sequence. The story goes downhill from there and, just when you think you have all of the answers, the film changes the questions! The ending is very shocking for first time viewers and yet this is the kind of film that also gets more and more entertaining with each additional viewing. Highly recommended for horror fans, even though it's often compared with "Psycho" I feel that the film stands out on it's own and it's ending is actually more effective than Hitchcock's. Watch this movie, you won't regret it!


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Recent Posts
Jean Arless did her own voice for Warren!!! pearlbeach
Miriam's name is a pun b-rad
Entertaining but improbable brand78
Way ahead of its time! pearlbeach
The 'Homicidal' ad campaign jeanarless
Jean Arless in *Shampoo* ?? moondog-8
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