IMDb > The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
The Comedy of Terrors
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The Comedy of Terrors (1963) More at IMDbPro »

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6.8/10   3,711 votes »
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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Matheson (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Comedy of Terrors on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 January 1964 (USA) See more »
Your favorite creeps...together again! See more »
Dishonest undertaker Waldo Trumbull and his sidekick Felix Gillie are creating their own customers when they cannot find willing ones. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Very Funny Comedy of Black Humor See more (56 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Vincent Price ... Waldo Trumbull

Peter Lorre ... Felix Gillie

Boris Karloff ... Amos Hinchley

Joyce Jameson ... Amaryllis Trumbull

Joe E. Brown ... Cemetery Keeper
Beverly Powers ... Mrs. Phipps (as Beverly Hills)

Basil Rathbone ... Mr. John F. Black
Alan DeWitt ... Riggs
Buddy Mason ... Mr. Phipps
Douglas Williams ... Doctor
Linda Rogers ... Phipps' Maid
Luree Holmes ... Black's Servant

Orangey ... Cleopatra (as Rhubarb)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Barselou ... Riggs (uncredited)
Harvey Parry ... Man knocked down on street (uncredited)

Charles Soldani ... Mourner (uncredited)

Directed by
Jacques Tourneur 
Writing credits
Richard Matheson (screenplay)

Elsie Lee  novel (uncredited)
Richard Matheson  novel (uncredited)

Produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... producer
Anthony Carras .... co-producer
Richard Matheson .... associate producer
James H. Nicholson .... 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 
Costume Design by
Marjorie Corso 
Makeup Department
Betty Pedretti .... hair stylist
Carlie Taylor .... makeup artist
Verne Langdon .... special prosthetics creator (uncredited)
Production Management
Joe Wonder .... production manager (as Joseph Wonder)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Agnew .... assistant director
Art Department
Karl Brainard .... property master
Sound Department
James Nelson .... sound editor
Kay Rose .... sound editor (as Kathleen Rose)
Don Rush .... sound
Special Effects by
Pat Dinga .... special effects
Harvey Parry .... stunt double: Peter Lorre (uncredited)
Jesse Wayne .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Harry Sundby .... lighting coordinator
Editorial Department
Harold Hazen .... assistant to editor
Music Department
Milton Lustig .... music editor
Eve Newman .... music editor
Al Simms .... music coordinator
Les Baxter .... conductor (uncredited)
Harry Betts .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Caesar Giovannini .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Albert Harris .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Milton Kestenbaum .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Tommy Pederson .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Thomas Z. Shepard .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Other crew
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... presenter
Jack W. Cash .... production assistant (as Jack Cash)
James H. Nicholson .... presenter
Reynold Brown .... movie poster art (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min
Color (Pathécolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | Iceland:L | Netherlands:18 (1966) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | UK:12 (new rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #20639) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Completed September 1963.See more »
Revealing mistakes: Peter Lorre's stunt double is quite obvious - he's clearly a younger man (with longer, darker hair), wearing a Lorre mask.See more »
Waldo Trumbull:[gesturing toward the body of Mr. Phipps] I'm afraid, madam, he has made his final journey towards that stygian shore.
Mrs. Phipps:[blankly] What?
Waldo Trumbull:[pause, then sharply] He's dead.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Court Jester (1955)See more »


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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Very Funny Comedy of Black Humor, 13 September 2014
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The alcoholic director of the Hinchley & Trumbull Funeral Parlor Waldo Trumbull (Vincent Price) is a cheater that has married Amaryllis Trumbull (Joyce Jameson) in a marriage of convenience to get control of the business of her father Amos Hinchley (Boris Karloff). Trumbull has been using the same casket for more than thirteen years, dumping the corpses in their graves to resell the coffin. He also blackmails his only employee Felix Gillie (Peter Lorre) that had robbed a bank and is an abusive husband, threatening to poison his father-in-law and not allowing Amaryllis to sing. Gillie has a crush on Amaryllis and loves to hear her singing.

Trumbull owes more than one year of rental of his premise to Mr. John F. Black (Basil Rathbone) and he has no client. So he decides to improve his business killing Mr. Phipps (Buddy Mason) to get a new client. However his wife Mrs. Phipps (Beverly Hills) flees to Europe with all her possessions and does not pay for the funeral service. When Mr. Black duns his debts, Trumbull decides to kill him to make some money and resolve his financial problem. But Mr. Black is epileptic and his family wants to keep his body in a crypt instead of burying him in a grave. During the night, the Cemetery Keeper (Joe E. Brown) hears a cry and releases Mr. Black from the coffin in the beginning of a tragic night.

... "Comedy of Terrors" is a very funny comedy of black humor. The veterans Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone have incredibly comic performances. The movie begins hilarious before the credits and I laughed and repeated many scenes so funny they are. It is impossible to list the best scenes since there are many of them. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Farsa Trágica" ("Tragic Farse")

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