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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   305 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:
SOULS FOR SALE aka CONFESSIONS OF AN OPIUM EATER (Albert Zugsmith, 1962) *** 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] When the dreams of the dark, idle, monstrous phenomenae move forever forward... wild, barbarous, capricious into the great yawning darkness... to be fixed for centuries in secret rooms. De Quincey, the artist ?, De Quincey, the pagan priest, to be worshiped...See more »
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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
SOULS FOR SALE aka CONFESSIONS OF AN OPIUM EATER (Albert Zugsmith, 1962) ***, 15 May 2011
Author: MARIO GAUCI (marrod@melita.com) from Naxxar, Malta

While I have always been interested in watching this one because of its potential campy wretchedness (courtesy of exploitationer Zugsmith's involvement and Leonard Maltin's unflattering *1/2 rating), I only actively sought to acquire it once I learned of its surprising inclusion in celebrated film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum's iconoclastic "Alternative Top 100 list" counterpart to the AFI's official list! As if that was not recommendation enough, a movie-buff friend of mine recently alerted me to the fact that, on the film's entry on Joe Dante's "Trailers From Hell" website, the genial American director names CONFESSIONS OF AN OPIUM EATER one of his all-time favorites!

Some years ago I had read Thomas DeQuincey's literary classic "Confessions Of An English Opium Eater" (for the record, Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA {1977} derives its title from the author's "Suspiria De Profundis") – along with Aleister Crowley's "Diary Of A Drug Fiend" (another such book I acquired but which I have yet to go through is Aldous Huxley's "The Doors Of Perception") – while preparing to embark on my third screenplay…but its semi-autobiographical fantasia nature has, so far, largely proved hard to pin down! Having said that, despite the fact that Vincent Price's central character in the movie was named Gilbert DeQuincey and it does feature a series of hallucinatory sequences, the film under review is no adaptation of the book. For one thing, it is set in San Francisco against the original's London and, as if to emphasize that difference, it was distributed also under the alternative monikers of SOULS FOR SALE (which is the title sported by the thankfully good-looking TV print I watched that does justice to Eugene Lourie''s remarkable production design - after an earlier one I had come by proved very fuzzy!) and EVILS OF CHINATOWN. For what it is worth, the film is said to have inspired John Carpenter's BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986), a guilty pleasure from my childhood days!

Actually, this is the first example I have watched from Zugsmith's tawdry directorial efforts and, by all accounts, it is the only one worth seeing. Conversely, his credits as producer were pretty impressive and versatile: Douglas Sirk's WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956) and THE TARNISHED ANGELS (1957); a clutch of Jack Arnold films, including his best i.e. THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957); and, finally, Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) which, given its drug-addiction subplot, is the most pertinent to CONFESSIONS. Discriminating viewers might well find this one of the most inept things they had ever witnessed but, for those able to accept its uniqueness, the sheer oddity on display exerts an undeniable fascination. Right from the opening sequence showing a horse galloping on a deserted beach, followed by a curiously silent pirate crew manhandling their captive female cargo around (sometimes being literally thrown overboard into a descending net and falling, comically speeded-up, into place and in unison on a waiting barge!) and, when a scuffle erupts on the beach between Tong factions, the horse makes a sudden reappearance to save one of the girls (who later has an active part in the narrative) by pushing her assailant off of a cliff! The 'abduction of women for pleasure' theme links this to Price's later vehicle, the Harry Alan Towers production HOUSE OF A THOUSAND DOLLS (1967; where the star's role was more ambiguous yet less adventurous than here), a viewing of which actually preceded this one!

The hallucination sequences are truly weird here, with a proliferation of predictably nightmarish images and slow-motion chases that are suddenly speeded-up, like Price's fall from a rooftop; incidentally, it is a rare sight to have Vincent Price as the action hero…but, then, the entire film feels like it did not belong in the early 1960s! The underground slave trading sequence is one of the most striking in the film, even if this includes a succession of protracted dance routines that are meant to show off the attractive qualities of the 'merchandise' on display to the gathering of prospective buyers! Price, who is forever spouting poetically-defiant lines at his captors (even while embarrassingly hanging off-the-ground on a meat-hook!), finds an improbable ally in a spirited female midget who eventually gets a knife in the back just as they are about to make their escape down a manhole. Curiously enough for a movie of which he is the intermittent narrator, Price himself is presumed dead at the very end as he and the villainess (the actress playing her bears the unfortunately appropriate name of Linda Ho!) are whisked away by the flowing underground currents.

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