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Tales of Terror (1962)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,638 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 47 critic

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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Maggie Pierce ...
Leona Gage ...
...
...
Annabel (segment "The Black Cat")
...
...
Helene (segment "The Case of M. Valdemar")
David Frankham ...
Dr. James (segment "The Case of M. Valdemar")
Lennie Weinrib ...
Policeman (segment "The Black Cat")
Wally Campo ...
Barman Wilkins (segment "The Black Cat")
Alan DeWitt ...
Chairman of Wine Society (segment "The Black Cat") (as Alan DeWit)
John Hackett ...
Policeman (segment "The Black Cat")
Edmund Cobb ...
Driver (segment "Morella") (as Ed Cobb)
Scott Brown ...
Servant (segment "The Case of M. Valdemar")
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Storyline

Three stories adapted from the work of Edgar Allen Poe. A man and his daughter are reunited, but the blame for the death of his wife hangs over them, unresolved. A derelict challenges the local wine-tasting champion to a competition, but finds the man's attention to his wife worthy of more dramatic action. A man dying and in great pain agrees to be hypnotized at the moment of death, with unexpected consequences. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | dying | drunkard | hypnotist | widower | See more »

Taglines:

A Trilogy of Shock and Horror!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1963 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Terror  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Pathé Colour)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Black Cat" segment was recycled for The Comedy of Terrors (1963) (even the presence of a meddlesome cat). Many of the same actors appear in both films, only here Peter Lorre plays the drunk married to devoted Joyce Jameson, with Vincent Price introduced as the third member of the triangle; in "Comedy of Terrors" Price and Lorre exchange roles, and Jameson essentially repeats her performance. Not only that, but Price's line "What place is this?" from the "M. Valdemar" segment of "Tales of Terror" is recycled as a running gag for Basil Rathbone in "Comedy of Terrors". See more »

Goofs

When Peter Lorre enters the residence and starts breaking pots,looking for money, one of the pots has a round base and is fluted. The pot hitting the floor, near the cat, is a little different color grey and more cylindrical. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Driver: Ma'am, I have to get back to Boston.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Black Cat (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Anti-Disney
6 October 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This Roger Corman adaptation of three Edgar Allan Poe stories is fun to watch, hard to take too seriously. The first tale, Morella, is the most sombre, featuring Vincent Price mourning the death of his wife, for which he blames his young daughter. It's short and quite dramatic. The second story, The Black Cat, is an amiable mess, featuring Price and Peter Lorre. It has some agreeable humor, especially in its wine tasting scenes, and has some evocative nineteenth century street and tavern sets. The final tale, Facts In the Case Of M. Valdemar, features Price as a dying man whose consciousness but not body is kept alive by a scheming mesmerist, played by Basil Rathbone. This one ends on a note of pure horror, and is nearest to Poe in its mood and ideas.

Screenwriter Richard Matheson did a reasonable job of adapting Poe, and Corman was probably wise to emphasize jokes in the middle tale, as Poe was one grim, death-haunted writer, and each of these stories is a meditation on death and the tricks it plays on us. Perhaps to compensate somewhat for the morbidity of the stories, Corman emphasizes bright colors throughout, as the decor and costumes are quite attractive, almost garish at times. The actors are fine, the older ones especially, though Maggie Pierce in Morella is quite good, if too contemporary in looks and voice.

I can't resist a few sociological comments on the Corman-Poe cycle of films of the early sixties. Tales Of Terror came out in 1962, the high noon of the New Frontier. This was a time of optimism and social change, the start of the space program and the Civil Rights movement, and yet in the middle of it all there was this series of low budget horror films, aimed mostly at children and teenagers, and quite unwholesome in atmosphere and subject matter. These weren't even monster movies, like the horrors of old, they were morbid movies about death, torture, witchcraft and premature burials. They were like anti-Disney films, with Price, Lorre and Rathbone instead of MacMurray, Brian Keith and Dorothy McGuire. If in Disney nothing really bad ever happened, in Corman-Poe nothing really good ever happened. Disney represented the smiling surface of America, while Corman-Poe hinted as anxieties just below the surface, and as such, sad to say, portents of things to come.


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Morella maxvaughn
Peter Lore makes this from ok to excellent rstonesfan
Does anyone know if this back in print rstonesfan
Chicken or the egg Herowithgreeneyesandblue
The second story just didn't work for me. gaylordsmythe-higglebott
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