41 user 66 critic

Premature Burial (1962)

Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 22 August 1962 (Italy)
An artist grows distant from his new wife as an irrational horror of premature burial consumes him.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

With Prime Video

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charles Dexter Ward arrives at a small village to visit the house he inherited from his ancestor who died there 100 years ago.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr.
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three tales of terror involve a grieving widower and the daughter he abandoned; a drunkard and his wife's black cat; and a hypnotist who prolongs the moment of a man's death.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Maggie Pierce, Leona Gage
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
The Raven (1963)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A magician who has been turned into a raven turns to a former sorcerer for help.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey
Drama | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Vincent Price recites four Edgar Allen Poe stories: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Pit and the Pendulum.

Director: Kenneth Johnson
Stars: Vincent Price
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A doctor uses special eye drops to give himself x-ray vision, but the new power has disastrous consequences.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Aristocrat Julian Markham keeps his disfigured brother, Sir Edward, locked in a tower of his house. Sir Edward occasionally escapes and causes havoc around the town.

Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies
The Skull (1965)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A collector comes into possession of the skull of the Marquis de Sade and learns it is possessed by an evil spirit.

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Peter Cushing, Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett


Complete credited cast:
Guy Carrell
Emily Gault
Miles Archer
Kate Carrell
Dr. Gideon Gault
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 <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Within the Coffin Lies a Man...Yet ALIVE! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

22 August 1962 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Premature Burial  »

Box Office


$1,250,000 (estimated)


$1,250,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In Spain, the film was 2 dubbed versions: in 1963 for theatrical release and in 1987 for TV premiere. See more »


When Kate tells Guy that it's time for his medicine, she's holding the tray in her hands. In the next shot it's gone, and it is nowhere to be seen when the three of them leave the crypt. 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 »


Featured in Masters of Fantasy: Roger Corman (1997) See more »


Molly Malone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Claustrophobic Gothic Horror Greatness from Corman (Sadly without Vincent Price)
28 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe cycle ranges among the most essential moments ever in Horror cinema, some of the adaptations such as "Pit And The Pendulum" (1961), "The Masque of the Red Death" (1964) or (the actually Lovecraft-inspired) "The Haunted Palace" (1963) being among the greatest Gothic Horror films ever brought to screen. The brilliance of these films lies in the creepy Poe-themed stories, Corman's outstanding talent for eerie Gothic atmosphere, and, not least, the leading performances by Horror-deity Vincent Price.

"Premature Burial" of 1962 treats an eponymous subject that is as essentially 'Poe' as it gets - being buried alive, or more precisely, the terror of being buried alive.While I did have high expectations for this film, it had been lying on my DVD shelf for a long while before I finally saw it, the only reason for delaying the viewing being the lack of Vincent Price in this film. Ray Milland, who plays the lead here, was a fantastic actor, but simply not quite as fantastic as Vincent Price (who happens to be my all-time favorite actor). Price simply was one of the greatest actors who ever lived, and the Poe-adaptations are arguably the ultimate highlights of his career. The only flaw of this film, is therefore not really a flaw, but the greatness of Corman's other Poe-adaptations: The fact that the other films had Vincent Price, and this one doesn't. As great as Milland is - and he IS great - every fan of the other films will see that Price could have been greater in some scenes. Vincent Price had a unique quality of being likable sinister. Price played dozens of Horror villains and murderous madmen, yet one always somehow had to like them (the one notable exception being his entirely diabolical eponymous role in Michael Reeves' 1968 masterpiece "Witchfinder General"). Ray Milland is a great actor, but he doesn't share this unique talent for being macabre, creepy, even scary, and yet somehow likable at the same time. Actually, his character here is not villainous, and yet he is somewhat unlikable.

This being said, "Premature Burial" is still and wonderful Gothic Horror experience, which once again proves that Corman is a true master of creepy greatness and beautifully eerie atmosphere. Ray Milland plays Guy Carrell, a man living in paralyzing fear of being interred alive. The beautiful Emily (Hazel Court) nonetheless falls for him and becomes his wife. Once they are married, however, his obsessions become worse and worse... The setting in an eerie mansion near a foggy cemetery is perfect for a Gothic Horror film like this one, and, apart from the usual atmosphere donors such as foggy grounds, Corman includes many morbid set-pieces, such as a demented live-in mausoleum. The fact that Milland's leading character is a painter of very morbid pictures also helps the film's creepiness. The stunning Hazel Court is, as always, absolutely wonderful in the female lead.

Overall, "Premature Burial" isn't quite as essential as films like "House of Usher" (1960), "Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), "The Haunted Palace" (1963) or "The Masque of the Red Death" (1964), but it is still a fantastic Gothic Horror that no genre-lover can afford to miss. The true genius of this film manifests in that it creates a uniquely claustrophobic atmosphere - which actually makes the viewer afraid of being buried prematurely!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: