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Premature Burial (1962)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  7 March 1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,282 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 49 critic

An artist grows distant from his new wife as an irrational horror of premature burial consumes him.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Guy Carrell
Emily Gault
Miles Archer
Kate Carrell
Dr. Gideon Gault
John Dierkes ...
Mole (as Richard Miller)
Clive Halliday ...
Brendan Dillon ...


Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father's tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament. Written by Doug Sederberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fear | nightmare | crypt | tomb | burial | See All (89) »


Within the Coffin I Lie...ALIVE!


Unrated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 March 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Premature Burial  »

Box Office


$1,250,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Roger Corman started this film outside of American International Pictures. Since Vincent Price had been signed to an exclusive contract with AIP, Corman chose Ray Milland for the lead role. American International would acquire the production just as principal photography began. See more »


When about to show his guests the cup of poison, Guy refers to this as the coup de grace, but mispronounces it as "coup de gras" (as in "foie gras" or "Mardi Gras"). It is very unlikely that a well educated English grandee such as Guy would make such a mistake. See more »


Guy Carrell: Can you possibly conceive it. The unendurable oppression of the lungs, the stifling fumes of the earth, the rigid embrace of the coffin, the blackness of absolute night and the silence, like an overwhelming sea.
See more »


References Mr. Sardonicus (1961) See more »


Molly Malone
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User Reviews

And if Death were not the end....
8 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

This is an excellent horror movie.To be buried alive is a fear we all share ,and although it's not really new (outside Poe's obsession there's a sequence in Dreyer's "Vampyr") ,it's terribly effective.

Ray Milland portrays a man whose obsession knows no bound.His mausoleum which he shows to a distraught wife and to his good sensible friend and the nightmare are worth the price of admission.The foggy ghastly atmosphere -pure English sixties studios - adds to the almost unbearable suspense.The screenplay,which,like all the other Corman's adaptations ,is rather far from Poe's short novel,is full of good ideas (the undertakers whistling a gentle tune when they open a grave,the cat,the unexpected final twist which is quite successful).

"Premature Burial" is to be recommended to horror movies buffs.

The fear of being buried alive never came to an end ;two examples "Oxygen" featuring Adrian Brody and "Spoorlos" (aka "L'Homme Qui Voulait Savoir")

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