IMDb > Tales of Terror (1962)
Tales of Terror
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Tales of Terror (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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Tales of Terror -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   3,703 votes »
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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Richard Matheson (screenplay)
Edgar Allan Poe (based on the stories by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Tales of Terror on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 February 1963 (Denmark) See more »
Tagline:
A Trilogy of Shock and Horror!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(52 articles)
The Greatest Horror Anthology Film Segments of All Time
 (From SoundOnSight. 25 October 2014, 7:35 AM, PDT)

Why horror games are scarier than horror movies
 (From Den of Geek. 6 October 2014, 4:18 AM, PDT)

The Hypnotist DVD review
 (From Den of Geek. 19 September 2014, 3:24 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Very Good Poe Adaptations See more (52 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Vincent Price ... Locke / Fortunato Luchresi / Ernest Valdemar
Maggie Pierce ... Lenora (segment "Morella")
Leona Gage ... Morella (segment "Morella")

Peter Lorre ... Montresor (segment "The Black Cat")

Joyce Jameson ... Annabel (segment "The Black Cat")

Basil Rathbone ... Carmichael (segment "The Case of M. Valdemar")

Debra Paget ... 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")
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Bradley ... Wine Society Member (segment "The Black Cat") (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Wine Society Member (segment "The Black Cat") (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Tavern Patron (uncredited)
Cosmo Sardo ... Wine Society Member (segment "The Black Cat") (uncredited)
Jack Tornek ... Wine Society Member (segment "The Black Cat") (uncredited)

Directed by
Roger Corman 
 
Writing credits
Richard Matheson (screenplay)

Edgar Allan Poe (based on the stories by)

Produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... executive producer
Roger Corman .... producer
James H. Nicholson .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Les Baxter 
 
Cinematography by
Floyd Crosby (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Anthony Carras 
 
Production Design by
Daniel Haller 
 
Art Direction by
Daniel Haller 
 
Set Decoration by
Harry Reif 
 
Makeup Department
Lou LaCava .... makeup artist (as Lou La Cava)
Ray Forman .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Robert Agnew .... unit manager
Bartlett A. Carre .... production manager (as Bartlett A. Carré)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Bohrer .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Ross Hahn .... construction coordinator
Richard M. Rubin .... property master (as Dick Rubin)
John Ceniga .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John L. Bury .... sound (as John Bury)
Jack Woods .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Pat Dinga .... special effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marjorie Corso .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Eve Newman .... music editor
Al Simms .... music coordinator
 
Other crew
Jack W. Cash .... production assistant (as Jack Cash)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Terror" - USA (alternative title)
"Morella" - USA (segment title)
"The Black Cat" - USA (segment title)
"The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" - USA (segment title)
See more »
Runtime:
89 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Pathé Colour)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:15 (video rating) (1993) | USA:Approved (PCA #20234) | USA:Unrated (video release)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Filmed November-December 1961.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: When Morella takes control of Lenora's body, as Vincent Price walks up the last time before the reveal, you can see a red backstage light in the "window."See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Driver:Ma'am, I have to get back to Boston.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Very Good Poe Adaptations, 27 January 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

This film is a very loose adaptation of three Edgar Allan Poe tales, "Morella", "The Black Cat" and "The (Facts in the) Case of M. Valdemar", each roughly one half-hour in length. All three feature Vincent Price. The Black Cat also features Peter Lorre, and M. Valdemar also features Basil Rathbone. Morella concerns a daughter returning to the home of her father, who is estranged because of the mother's death. The Black Cat concerns an alcoholic who makes a crucial mistake in covering up a crime. And M. Valdemar concerns a doctor experimenting with hypnosis (or "mesmerism") on a terminally ill man.

Although fairly clunky and uneven compared to the other Roger Corman/Vincent Price Poe collaborations (which tend to be excellent), and even compared to other similar collections of short films from the same era, such as Amicus' Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), this is still a good film, and earned an 8 out of 10 from me.

It is usually very difficult to try to adapt Poe stories to film--similar to the difficulty of attempting to adapt H.P. Lovecraft to film. Both authors write very dense, poetic, often abstract prose, and Poe, especially, is sometimes not very plot-oriented. Each segment in Tales of Terror succeeds in its own way, however.

Morella, as Poe writes it, is an exploration of what personal identity means, particularly as it applies to continuation through offspring. In director Corman and writer Richard Matheson's hands, Morella becomes an even more abstract depiction of the ideas of personal identity, turned into more of a supernatural ghost story. It's also implied in the film that a lot of the events perhaps occurred in Locke's (Price) mind, leading up to the tragic ending. This segment is particularly notable for the set design, which is the best in the film.

The Black Cat, which is Poe's most conventionally plotted tale out of the three presented here, is also probably the most changed. The changes in this case are surely due to the still lingering studio-imposed moral and content restrictions of the "Golden Era" of Hollywood. The changes are understandable, if still lamentable, in historical context. Corman and Matheson turn Poe's very dark and somewhat grisly story into more of a comedy for its first half, then more a tale of moral retribution in the second half. It's a joy to watch in any event, especially seeing Price's hammy comic performance. The ending of this section is as chilling as the beginning is humorous.

Except for the addition of a couple characters, The Case of M. Valdemar is probably the closest to its source in spirit. This is a tightly scripted, creepy story, and the Carmichael (Rathbone) character is actually an improvement on Poe, and it's great to see Rathbone play someone so evil. In a fairly literal way, this is a great zombie story, although the ending of the filmed version is a bit more vague in both plot and in explaining the horrific dilemma than Poe's version.

Despite its slight flaws--mainly that it's a bit too bright and colorful and the mood of the segments could have matched better--Tales of Terror is worth viewing, especially for any Poe, Corman, Price or Rathbone fans.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Tales of Terror (1962)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The second story just didn't work for me. gaylordsmythe-higglebott
Morella maxvaughn
bad movie...SPOILERS AHEAD devious0
Peter Lore makes this from ok to excellent rstonesfan
Does anyone know if this back in print rstonesfan
Chicken or the egg Herowithgreeneyesandblue
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