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Diary of a Madman (1963)

 -  Horror  -  6 March 1963 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,014 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)

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Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

He upholds the law, except when he murders.

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Horla  »

Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Well made with a great Price, if far-fetched
19 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Diary of a Madman did seem interesting to me, although reading much of a story that has been told many times before any Vincent Price film is worth the viewing at least once. And Diary of a Madman is no exception. It is not perfect however, some of the effects while none are terrible are on the clumsy side, the murder scene especially looked fake, and while the story has a creepy atmosphere and a great climax, it is also rather thin for the running time(nearly an hour and forty minutes) and rather standard and far-fetched even in places. However, the never seen Horla still cuts a menacing psychological presence, and Diary of a Madman is beautifully made, the costumes and sets are really gorgeous to watch and the photography shows a lot of skill. The music has some nice haunting touches, and the writing manages to be intelligent and thoughtful with some tension too. Vincent Price is really wonderful in another of those roles that is made for him, while Nancy Kovack supports him touchingly. All in all, far-fetched at times but I loved the look and Price doesn't disappoint either. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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