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The Haunting (1963)

 -  Horror  -  18 September 1963 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 21,892 users  
Reviews: 352 user | 124 critic

Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (based on the novel: "The Haunting of Hill House")
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Title: The Haunting (1963)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Fay Compton ...
Rosalie Crutchley ...
...
Valentine Dyall ...
Diane Clare ...
Ronald Adam ...
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Storyline

Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

house | mansion | ghost | psychic | new england | See more »

Taglines:

You may not believe in ghosts but you cannot deny terror See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Casa Maldita  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Wise had seen Julie Harris in a play and decided she was perfect for the leading role. She later confessed that shooting the picture had been very hard on her. She saw her character, Eleanor, in a different way than director Wise but didn't feel it was her place to disagree, so playing the part was a struggle for her. Still she claims Wise was a perfect gentleman and they remained friends for decades. See more »

Goofs

When Nell is leaving the Garage in Boston, she sees a signpost that is, for the most part correct with respect to route numbers and directions for the towns indicated. However, one sign refers to "US 50" and Nell then reads aloud her directions to take "US 50 from Boston and watch for the turn-off to Route 238." US 50 is nowhere near Boston; prior to the advent of the Interstate system of highways, US Route 50 was one of the principal highways that went straight through the middle of the country from Maryland on the East coast to California on the west coast. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. John Markway: [voice-over] An evil old house, the kind some people call haunted, is like an undiscovered country waiting to be explored. Hill House had stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more. Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there... walked alone.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Evil Dead II (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Forty one years after its release, this movie is still frightening.
4 April 2004 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

ABC broadcast this film as a Sunday Night Movie in, I believe, 1965. I watched it with my best friend at his house, which happened to be next door. After the movie was over I was afraid to walk home. Thirty eight years later, this movie is still the scariest movie I've ever seen.

It's hard to put into words why this movie triggers such an emotional response. There is no blood and gore, no creatures or monsters in plain sight. In fact, there is very little physical presence in this movie that should evoke such a fear reaction. True, there are multiple angle exterior shots of the mansion that make one feel as if the house is watching them all the time. And there are loud unexplained noises, bulging wall panels, and door knobs that turn by themselves. All-in-all, the physical evidence is pretty tame, especially by today's standards.

The fear reaction lies not in the physical form, but in the psychological sense. For example, as Theo and Nell cling to one another as wall pounding draws closer to their room, only to stop and dead silence replaces the noise. Later in the movie, Nell and Theo are again in their room when Nell grabs hold of Theo's hand as noise begins to build outside their bedroom door. Finally, unable to stand the noise any longer, Nell begins to scream which awakens Theo, who happens to be halfway across the room, and thus not close enough to be holding Nell's hand. So the question is "who or what was Nell holding?". There are many scenes that are similar to the above.

This film was directed by Robert Wise who made me believe there was something lurking around every corner, or there was something that was going to happen, but you just didn't know quite when. This is the type of directing that has given this movie the classic status it so richly deserves.

So, if you are more into the physical style of a movie, go see "Texas Chain Saw Massacre", but if you are ready for a genuinely scary movie, go rent or buy the 1963 version of "The Haunting".


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
This is 1963?? jv-181-346883
Eleanor was an insufferable character. m_u_r_d_e_r
not bad, a bit outdated, Bernard Herrmann, SAM RAIMI(?) rozroz
Screenwriter's interpretation Grayseph
All in her head LearningToCrawl
That damned wallpaper! philgeorge
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