IMDb > Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
Pit and the Pendulum
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Pit and the Pendulum (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Pit and the Pendulum -- Vincent Price plays a 16th century Spanish nobleman who slowly goes crazy when he thinks that his wife has been buried alive. It's all a joint plot between the supposed dead wife and her doctor/lover to get Price's money. Price now totally insane, assumes his father's identity (that of a grand inquisitor) and starts to murder!


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Popularity: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Matheson (screenplay)
Edgar Allan Poe (story)
View company contact information for Pit and the Pendulum on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 August 1961 (USA) See more »
Until now no one has dared to film this ...... the most diabolical classic of all time! See more »
In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(221 articles)
User Reviews:
One of the spookiest and most frightening of the Roger Corman Poe adaptations. A must see for all horror buffs. See more (94 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Vincent Price ... Nicholas Medina

John Kerr ... Francis Barnard

Barbara Steele ... Elizabeth Barnard Medina

Luana Anders ... Catherine Medina
Antony Carbone ... Doctor Charles Leon
Patrick Westwood ... Maximillian
Lynette Bernay ... Maria (as Lynne Bernay)
Larry Turner ... Nicholas as a Child
Mary Menzies ... Isabella
Charles Victor ... Bartolome
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Randee Lynne Jensen ... Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
Roger Corman 
Writing credits
Richard Matheson (screenplay)

Edgar Allan Poe (story "The Pit and the Pendulum")

Produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... executive producer
Roger Corman .... producer
James H. Nicholson .... executive producer
Original Music by
Les Baxter 
Cinematography by
Floyd Crosby (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Anthony Carras 
Production Design by
Daniel Haller 
Art Direction by
Daniel Haller 
Set Decoration by
Harry Reif 
Makeup Department
Ted Coodley .... makeup
Production Management
Robert Agnew .... unit manager
Bartlett A. Carre .... production manager (as Bartlett A. Carré)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Bohrer .... assistant director
Paul Rapp .... second unit director (uncredited)
Art Department
Ross Hahn .... construction coordinator
Tom Matsumoto .... scenic effects
Richard M. Rubin .... properties
Sound Department
Roy Meadows .... sound recordist
Kay Rose .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Pat Dinga .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Ray Mercer .... photographic effects
Albert Whitlock .... matte artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Tanner .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marjorie Corso .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Chris Lamie .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Eve Newman .... music editor
Al Simms .... music coordinator
Other crew
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... presenter
Jack W. Cash .... production assistant (as Jack Cash)
James H. Nicholson .... presenter
Reynold Brown .... movie poster art (uncredited)
Betty Crosby .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Edgar Allan Poe's Pit and the Pendulum" - USA (complete title)
"The Pit and the Pendulum" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
80 min
Color (Pathécolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Ryder Sound Services)
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 (DVD rating) | Germany:18 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | Norway:16 (1961) | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (Blu-ray rating) (2014) | USA:Approved (PCA #19988) | USA:Unrated (video release) | West Germany:18 (nf)

Did You Know?

This was the second of Roger Corman's "Poe" films. He had intended to do "The Masque of the Red Death" but felt that it was too close to the content of Ingmar Bergman's recent The Seventh Seal (1957) (US title: "The Seventh Seal"). Several years later Corman would go to England to make The Masque of the Red Death (1964).See more »
Continuity: The height of the pendulum keeps changingSee more »
Doctor Leon:We will exhume Elizabeth.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Deathstalker II (1987)See more »


Is Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" available for reading online?
What are the "fun facts" printed on the DVD package?
How closely does the movie follow Poe's story?
See more »
36 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
One of the spookiest and most frightening of the Roger Corman Poe adaptations. A must see for all horror buffs., 12 January 2003
Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia

'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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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
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Old castle horror movies Herowithgreeneyesandblue
What's with 'I could almost more easily believe...' satyr-14
True...true....TRUE!! ! mclaughlinconnor338
Will this ever air on TCM? jackson53h
80's "documentary"/short before Pit and the Pendulum louise_watts80
The Differance between Poe's horror story, and the movie RobStrand
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