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The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  22 January 1964 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,876 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 57 critic

Waldo Trumbull, an undertaker who hasn't had any 'customers' in a long time is forced the pay one year's back-rent. To get money he starts to kill people in order to get new clients.

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Title: The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Waldo Trumbull
...
Felix Gillie
...
Amos Hinchley
...
Amaryllis Trumbull
...
Cemetery Keeper
Beverly Powers ...
Mrs. Phipps (as Beverly Hills)
...
Mr. John F. Black
Alan DeWitt ...
Buddy Mason ...
Mr. Phipps
Douglas Williams ...
Doctor
Linda Rogers ...
Phipps' Maid
Luree Holmes ...
Black's Servant
Orangey ...
Cleopatra (as Rhubarb)
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Storyline

Waldo Trumbull, an undertaker who hasn't had any 'customers' in a long time is forced the pay one year's back-rent. To get money he starts to kill people in order to get new clients. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every shroud has a silver lining! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 January 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Graveside Story  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boris Karloff was originally hired to play John F. Black but it soon became clear that his severe arthritis would not permit him to undertake such a strenuous role. Karloff was switched to the part of Mr. Hinchley, and Basil Rathbone was brought in to play Black. See more »

Goofs

Peter Lorre's stunt double is quite obvious - he's clearly a younger man (with longer, darker hair), wearing a Lorre mask. See more »

Quotes

John F. Black, Esq.: [repeated line upon waking up from his "death"] What place is THIS?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Contains Basil Rathbone's finest moments in film!

I just couldn't resist a film that boasts Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre all together, all in one film! Their chemistry is amazing, and they all come off as seasoned actors who are just having a really good time. Price and Lorre are the perfect duo of undertakers in search of their next job. Price consistently insults, threatens and demeans Lorre (and everyone else-he is so delightfully despicable!)

Peter Lorre, who I consider to be a neglected comic genius in his own right, plays the perfect bumbling and lovable assistant. The scenes between him and Joyce Jameson (an argument for hearing protectors if ever there was one) are beautiful and absurd in their ingenuousness, as if the 60 year old Peter Lorre was but a smitten schoolboy mooning over a damsel.

The scenes at the dinner table are perfect in their comic timing, the decrepit Boris Karloff sitting peacefully unaware of Vincent Price's palpable loathing of him and his daughter, occasionally coming out with gems like "The Egyptians used to pull the brains out through the nose with a hook!" before returning to drinking his milk in a charming and doddering manner.

Basil Rathbone, however, is the hammy fist of the production, so to speak. He plays the inflexible and imperious landlord who owns the establishment out of which the funeral home of Hinchley and Trumbull operates, and he plays it up to the hilt, using every ounce of overacting he saved up from his Shakespearian stage days to render Macbeth like it has never been heard before! This is perhaps Basil Rathbone's finest hour, and you must watch the film to see why. Trust me on this one!


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