MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 963 this week

Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  12 August 1961 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 8,062 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 107 critic

Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 11 Jan 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 04 Feb 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 15 Aug 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 22 Feb 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Pit and the Pendulum (1961) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Pit and the Pendulum.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Raven (1963)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A magician who has been turned into a raven turns to a former sorcerer for help in this film loosely based on the Edgar Allan Poe poem.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

It is the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Maria does not like what is going on during the "Auto De Fe". When she speaks out, she is arrested and accused of being a witch. Torquemada has ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Lance Henriksen, Stephen Lee, William J. Norris
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three tales of terror involve a grieving widower and the daughter he abandoned; a drunkard and his wife's black cat; and a hypnotist who prolongs the moment of a man's death.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Maggie Pierce, Leona Gage
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An artist grows distant from his new wife as an irrational horror of premature burial consumes him.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Richard Ney
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.9/10 X  

Seven students answer an advertisement to participate in an experiment to explore how the sensation of pain can be eliminated. Arriving at a secluded institute, they are welcomed by ... See full summary »

Director: David DeCoteau
Stars: Lorielle New, Stephen Hansen, Bart Voitila
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith
House of Wax (1953)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A millionaire offers ten thousand dollars to five people who agree to be locked in a large, spooky, rented house overnight with he and his wife.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Aristocrat Julian Markham keeps his disfigured brother, Sir Edward, locked in a tower of his house. Occasionaly Sir Edward escapes and causes havoc around the town.

Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies
Drama | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Waldo Trumbull, an undertaker who hasn't had any 'customers' in a long time is forced the pay one year's back-rent. To get money he starts to kill people in order to get new clients.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Francis Barnard
...
...
Catherine Medina
Antony Carbone ...
Doctor Charles Leon
Patrick Westwood ...
Maximillian
Lynette Bernay ...
Maria (as Lynne Bernay)
Larry Turner ...
Mary Menzies ...
Isabella
Charles Victor ...
Bartolome
Edit

Storyline

Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died of a blood disease, but Francis finds this hard to believe. After some investigating he finds out that it was extreme fear that was fatal to his sister and that she may have been buried alive! Strange things then start to happen in the Medina castle. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest Terror Tale Ever Told! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 August 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allan Poe's Pit and the Pendulum  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

(Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film never had an original prologue. It was added when the film was sold to TV and a further few minutes were required to pad out the running time. Only Luana Anders from the original cast was available so an extra scene of her in a madhouse was filmed and tacked on to the beginning. This scene does not really tie in with the rest of the film. See more »

Goofs

The height of the pendulum keeps changing See more »

Quotes

Catherine: Maximilian, we must break into the torture chamber! Quickly!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps the finest Corman & Price collaboration.
24 December 2005 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Following the sudden death of his sister, Francis Barnard (John Kerr) travels to Spain to question her husband, Don Nicholas Medina (Vincent Price), son of a notoriously barbaric Inquisitor. Medina openly mourns the death of his wife but Barnard is unconvinced by his story and is determined to discover the truth.

Proceeding from 'The Fall of the House of Usher' (1960), director Roger Corman's second film in his now-famous cycle of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations was this delightfully lurid and lavish offering that can at once be both repugnant and resplendent. 'Pit and the Pendulum' is a uniquely and profoundly visual experience. Dazzling colour and abhorrent darkness coalesce to invoke the most unpleasant aura of trepidation. The luxuriant cinematography of Floyd D. Crosby coupled with the artistic eye of Corman merge eminently, ensuring that mood and atmosphere remain constant and that the viewer feels the agony of the events depicted on-screen. Furthermore, Richard Matheson's screenplay is both intelligent and eloquent and Corman makes full use of what he is gifted here. The pacing of the film is superb, constantly moving onwards, never lingering too long and remaining thoroughly enthralling throughout. Truly this film is perfect in presentation and direction.

Sadly, there are imperfections in the performances of the cast, most notably John Kerr whose continually wooden, dull and tepid acting is too explicit for a leading role. Similarly, while the linguistical talents of Vincent Price lend themselves to an almost Shakespearean delivery of his lines, he occasionally allows himself to sink into ham-acting which detracts somewhat from the more serious nature of the film. However, minus these minor distractions, the performances of the cast are more than adequate to support what is in essence a strongly visceral experience. Luanne Anders and Anthony Carbone offer masterful performances in their supporting roles and cult-favourite, Barbara Steele, makes short appearances as Medina's deceased wife.

If the Corman/Price collaborations are to horror what the Scorsese/De Niro collaborations be to drama then this may well be Corman's 'Goodfellas'. A sublime entry into the genre that offers numerous thrills and chills, inherent beauty and one of the strongest screenplays to grace Sixties horror cinema. What few flaws that there are cannot truly undermine the hard work that went into making this magnificent horror film.


31 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What's with 'I could almost more easily believe...' satyr-14
One of the greatest final shots in a movie ever SlipGun
Old castle horror movies Herowithgreeneyesandblue
The Differance between Poe's horror story, and the movie RobStrand
Question About The Corpse mgrad784
One of my favourite films ever evie100
Discuss Pit and the Pendulum (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?