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Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

 -  Horror  -  12 August 1961 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,645 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 101 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 »

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Title: Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Francis Barnard
...
Elizabeth Barnard Medina
...
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:

Edgar Allan Poe's diabolic classic See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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  »
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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 name plate on Elizabeth Medinas tomb goes from looking almost brand new to worn and rusty and back in several different shots. See more »

Quotes

Don Nicholas Medina: You will die in agony. Die!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Matheson's medley
19 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

The movie adapted from Edgar Allan Poe is par excellence a movie made up of sketches:for instance ,"tre passi nel delirio"(Fellini,Malle,Vadim,1968) encompassed three short stories.

The problem with Edgar Poe's short stories lies in the fact that they are...short!Here Richard Matheson double-jumped his contemporaries by combining elements from several Poe stories in a single classy film. Some kind of" the writer's greatest hits " so to speak.

The beloved late wife subject directly comes from "Morella" which will be filmed by Corman in "tales of terror" the following year.The doomed house which is slowly sinking down recalls "the fall of the House of Usher"."Burried alive" or "premature burial" plays a prominent part in the plot too.The walled up character was present in "the black cat" and "the cask of Amontillado".As for "the pit and the pendulum",it provides the movie with its final,but it's only a small segment of the whole.

The actors are excellent ,the sets wonderfully Gothic,but there's something hollow in these Corman movies.Fellini was able to transcend Poe (eg segment "Tobby Dammit" in "tre passi nel delirio") ,Corman remains a respectful director,and one sees little of the madness which emanates from Poe's best works.The same goes for such works as "premature burial" or "tales of terror".Outside technically,it does not show any improvement on,for instance Jean Epstein's (helped by Luis Bunuel)"chute de la maison Usher" a silent movie from 1928.


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