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Diary of a Madman (1963)

 -  Horror  -  6 March 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 938 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 11 critic

Simon Cordier is a well-respected magistrate who visits a condemned prisoner, Louis Girot, just before the man's execution. Girot again pleads his innocence insisting that he has been taken... See full summary »



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Title: Diary of a Madman (1963)

Diary of a Madman (1963) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Magistrate Simon Cordier
Odette Mallotte
Chris Warfield ...
Paul Duclasse
Elaine Devry ...
Jeanne D'Arville
Stephen Roberts ...
Police Captain Robert Rennedon
Lewis Martin ...
Father Raymonde
Mary Adams ...
Edward Colmans ...
Andre D'Arville
Nelson Olmsted ...
Dr. Borman
Harvey Stephens ...
Louis Girot
Wayne Collier ...
Arguing Cafe Couple
Gloria Clark ...
Arguing Cafe Couple
Don Brodie ...
Marcel the Postman


Simon Cordier is a well-respected magistrate who visits a condemned prisoner, Louis Girot, just before the man's execution. Girot again pleads his innocence insisting that he has been taken over by a spirit that forced him to commit his crimes. Cordier doesn't believe him and the man suddenly dies. Cordier does however note a rapid change in his personality during their short interview. In the following days, Cordier must face a number of strange occurrences in his home. He begins to wonder if he is sleepwalking but is soon hearing voices and begins to wonder about his sanity. It's recommended to him that he take up sculpting, something he once had an interest in. He develops a relationship with Odette, a gold digger married to a struggling artist, but the evil, invisible spirit soon drives him to murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He upholds the law, except when he murders.




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 March 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Horla  »

Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the start of the movie the date in Magistrate Simon Cordier's diary states 1886 as the year. 18-19 minutes into the movie, when he returns the picture of his dead wife and son back to the trunk upstairs, the camera pans to the right after it's open and there is a Teddy Bear. Teddy Bears weren't around until shortly after the November 16, 1902 newspaper cartoon of "Teddy" Roosevelt's based on his bear hunting trip in Mississippi earlier in the month. ("Teddy" refused to kill a baby bear after its mother was killed). Steiff bears started at the Leipzig Toy Fair in March 1903. See more »


Police Captain Robert Rennedon: Murderers. They're all the same. Humanity would be much better off without them.
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Demons (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

great for Halloween...
17 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The dissociation of a madman, this film is great fun and terror from Vincent Price, mater of the horror genre of 1960-1970's.

In this film as Judge Simon Corday, he is a judge who has recently witnessed the public hanging of a heinous murderer. Somehow the evil spirit enters his mind, and controls his evil side.

He also has the vocation of painting portraits of beautiful women, (the lovely Debra Kovacs one of them). Of course after their interlude, the evil spirit of the "horla" takes over and causes much evil.

The sets of 18th century Paris and costumes are lovely, and this is a small gem worth renting for Halloween. Price always delivers, never fails to disappoint. 8/10.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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