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The Haunting (1963)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  18 September 1963 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 24,130 users  
Reviews: 366 user | 125 critic

A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

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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:
...
...
...
...
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 | Plot Synopsis

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:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Casa Maldita  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the shoot, Julie Harris suffered from depression, and believed that her co-stars did not take the film as seriously as she did.At times, she would cry in her makeup chair prior to the day's shoot. Claire Bloom did not speak to Harris while filming continued, which worsened her depression. Afterward, Bloom told Harris that the lack of interaction had helped her build her own performance and the two women reconciled. Harris incorporated her own depression into her performance. 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 Clue (1985) 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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