IMDb > Confessions of an Opium Eater (1962)
Confessions of an Opium Eater
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Confessions of an Opium Eater (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.8/10   295 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Robert Hill (written by)
Thomas De Quincey (book)
Contact:
View company contact information for Confessions of an Opium Eater on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 June 1962 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Dare you enter the nightmare zone of the incredible?
Plot:
Gilbert de Quincey is an early 19th-century adventurer involved with helping runaway slave girls and victims of a tong war in San Francisco... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(4 articles)
Confessions of an Opium Eater
 (From Trailers from Hell. 21 August 2014, 10:00 PM, PDT)

Confessions of an Opium Eater
 (From Trailers from Hell. 15 August 2014, 1:38 PM, PDT)

New on Warner Archive Instant: August 2014
 (From Cinelinx. 8 August 2014, 1:44 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A film for fans of cult cinema See more (10 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Vincent Price ... Gilbert De Quincey
Linda Ho ... Ruby Low
Richard Loo ... George Wah

June Kyoto Lu ... Lotus (as June Kim)
Philip Ahn ... Ching Foon
Yvonne Moray ... Child
Caroline Kido ... Lo Tsen
Terence de Marney ... Scrawny Man
Geri Hoo ... 2nd Dancing Girl
Gerald Jann ... Fat Chinese
Vivianne Manku ... Catatonic Girl
Miel Saan ... Look Gow
Joanne Miya ... 1st Dancing Girl

John Fujioka ... Auctionieer (as John Mamo)
Keiko ... 3rd Dancing Girl
Victor Sen Yung ... Wing Young
Ralph Ahn ... Wah Chan
Arthur Wong ... Kwai Tong
Alicia Li ... Ping Toy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Horvath ... (unconfirmed)
Vincent Barbi ... Captain (uncredited)
William Baskin ... Giant (uncredited)
David Chow ... Opium Eater (uncredited)
Richard Fong ... (uncredited)

Roy Jenson ... Boat Crewman (uncredited)
Angelo Rossitto ... Newspaper Boy (uncredited)
Carol Russell ... Slave Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Albert Zugsmith 
 
Writing credits
Robert Hill (written by)

Thomas De Quincey (book "Confessions of an English Opium Eater")

Produced by
Robert Hill .... associate producer
Albert Zugsmith .... producer
 
Original Music by
Albert Glasser 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc (director of photography) (as Joseph Biroc)
 
Film Editing by
Robert S. Eisen  (as Robert Eisen)
Roy V. Livingston  (as Roy Livingston)
 
Art Direction by
Eugène Lourié  (as Eugene Lourie)
 
Set Decoration by
Joseph Kish  (as Joe Kish)
 
Makeup Department
Alice Monte .... hairdresser
William Turner .... makeup artist (as Bill Turner)
 
Production Management
Lonnie D'Orsa .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lindsley Parsons Jr. .... assistant director (as Lin Parsons Jr.)
 
Art Department
Ted Mossman .... property master
 
Sound Department
Ralph Butler .... sound
Charles G. Schelling .... sound editor (as Charles Schelling)
 
Stunts
Everett Creach .... stunts (uncredited)
Charles Horvath .... stunts (uncredited)
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Peter Peterson .... stunts (uncredited)
George Robotham .... stunts (uncredited)
Paul Stader .... stunts (uncredited)
Marvin Willens .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Norah Sharpe .... wardrobe
Roger J. Weinberg .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Victor Lewis .... music editor
 
Other crew
Eylla Jacobs .... set continuity
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Souls for Sale" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
Runtime:
85 min
Country:
Language:
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Germany:16 | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating)
Company:

Did You Know?

Quotes:
Gilbert De Quincey:[narration] In that first instance of her image passing the lenses of my eyes, I felt that I was hanging in the immensity of space and she was floating with me - chained, locked inextricably together; arms, brains, heart pulsations, unable to flee, unable to break apart; sinking...See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Matinee (1993)See more »

FAQ

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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
A film for fans of cult cinema, 2 November 1999
Author: ghannah from Australia

Enter a world of hidden rooms, sliding panels, secret passages, narrow sewers and opium dens; a world where, at the Hour of the Rat, pretty Chinese girls are auctioned off to the highest bidder. When Gilbert De Quincey (Vincent Price) arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1902, he is quickly embroiled in a viscous Tong war between two rival factions. The seductive Ruby Low and her followers organize the picture bride auctions on behalf of ancient Ling Tan. The supporters of the Chinese Gazette's murdered editor, George Wah, oppose them. De Quincey bears the moon serpent tattoo, aligning him with Ruby Low, but his actions suggest he may have other motives.

Albert Zugsmith, better known as the producer of Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil", produced and directed "Opium Eater", a black and white b-grader hastily dismissed by reviewers. It has genuine merit to those who like offbeat cinema. Although it uses Thomas De Quincey's 1821 book title, (actually called "Confessions of an English Opium Eater") it conjures up its own story of deception and murder. Price as Gilbert De Quincey, who also narrates the film, suggests he is an ancestor. "Opium Eater" actually has more in common with the Fu Manchu mysteries or the yellow peril pulps popular in the 1930s. Add to this its fortune cookie dialogue and ramblings about dreams, reality, death and destiny and you have one very strange movie indeed. There is no doubt "Opium Eater" is bizarre, but it is also literate and genuinely mysterious.

Albert Glasser's spooky soundtrack is one of the films great strengths. His eerie electronic score endows it with an ambience of unease and dislocation. In one scene, after Price awakens from his opium-induced nightmare, axe-wielding henchmen chase him across rooftops. Here the music drops right off the soundtrack and we are left with only an unnerving silence. Zugsmith's direction is clumsy at times but many intriguing moments make up for this, including his creative use of slow motion and the nightmare montage in the joss house. This drug scene must have been quite controversial in 1962 and I wonder if it was snipped from certain prints or caused the film to be banned in some areas.

The love/hate relationship between De Quincey and Ruby Low suggests their fate is predetermined and leads to a quite unexpected, but oddly satisfying outcome.

It's a flawed film, but remains a curious, haunting experience deserving of a cult following. >

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