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Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  12 August 1961 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 8,206 users  
Reviews: 91 user | 108 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
...
...
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:

She was enslaved by evil in a terror haunted castle. 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 story takes place in 1545, as indicated by the date on Elizabeth's tomb, however in the background in one scene a grandfather, or longcase, clock can be seen. The longcase clock was not developed until 1670. See more »

Quotes

Don Nicholas Medina: Do you know where you are Bartolome? You are about to enter hell. In hell Bartolome, IN HELL!: the dead world, infernal zone, damned house, tortures place, pandemonium, purgatory, avernus, fire, Satan, THE PIT!... and the pendulum.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Richard Matheson Storyteller: Comedy of Terrors (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the spookiest and most frightening of the Roger Corman Poe adaptations. A must see for all horror buffs.
12 January 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Pit And The Pendulum' sees b-grade legend Roger Corman ('Little Shop Of Horrors'), talented suspense writer Richard Matheson ('The Incredible Shrinking Man'), and horror master Vincent Price ('The Tingler') try and recreate the success of their first Poe adaptation 'House Of Usher'. And they do so admirably, '... Pendulum' being even better than the excellent '... Usher'. Matheson cleverly expands upon Poe's original tale by also mixing in elements from the earlier movie, 'The Premature Burial' and other Poe classics. John Kerr is the one weak link in this first rate thriller. An actor I'm not familiar with, he is dull and not all that good. Much better is Antony Carbone (who Corman fans will recognize from 'A Bucket Of Blood') as Price's doctor pal, and the underrated Luana Anders ('Dementia 13', 'Easy Rider') as Price's sister. Price himself is wonderful as usual as the tormented Don Medina, and an added bonus is the appearance of enduring cult figure, and one of the most beautiful actresses in movie history, Barbara Steele ('Black Sunday', 'Shivers'). Steele doesn't get as much screen time as one would wish but it's a joy to see her work alongside Price, sadly their only movie together. 'Pit And The Pendulum' is one of Corman's best horror movies, and one that will surprise many viewers today with just how atmospheric and creepy it still is. An extremely underrated film (as are Corman's other 60s Poe adaptations), and one that is a must see for all horror buffs. Highly recommended.


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