American salesman Jack Robinson falls in love with Englishwoman Cynthia Marley and they visit her family so he can ask for permission to marry her. She points out to him that her relatives ...
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American salesman Jack Robinson falls in love with Englishwoman Cynthia Marley and they visit her family so he can ask for permission to marry her. She points out to him that her relatives are rather eccentric and, by the way, a cousin has just died. The remaining members of the clan are; the sinister Reginal; Percival, an inventor who has recently discovered electricity, the phonograph, and several other handy items; Natalia, a macabre, vampire-like creature; Cornwallis, a hammy and dapper ex-actor; Grandfather, who lies bedridden upstairs; and, by the way, Muldoon, who is kept locked up in the fear that he will harm someone. Several attempts are made on his life which leads Jack to believe that the Marleys are a shade past eccentric. He becomes convinced that he is just in the way of one of the Marley's attempts to do away with the other Marleys, especially, during his investigation of the vanishing Marleys, when he learns that the family fortune consists of one million dollars and ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I recently finished Peter Hutchings' book on Terence Fisher, where the author studies the work of the British filmmaker, and avoids forcing him into the boundaries of the auteur theory, concentrating on his skills for delivering effective motion pictures. Unfortunately he did not pay too much attention to this funny title in Fisher's filmography, which has suffered from quick, unfair evaluation probably based on the presence of singer Pat Boone as the American leading man who is trapped in the big, dark, old house of his British girlfriend's family. Surprisingly this is a far better movie than what I had read about, if admittedly of the "silly" almost infantile kind of comedy, and Boone proves to be a more than adequate comic actor. I even had a big (silly) laugh when Boone so unexpectedly started to sing the title song, which is more a cultural joke than the obligatory Boone song in all his movies. Conceived as part of a double bill with Don Sharp's horror drama "Witchcraft", there is nothing original about the plot of "The Horror of It All". At first it resembles Richard Matheson's adaptation of "The Fall of the House of Usher", but it is just the beginning: the screenplay by Ray Russell also takes elements from other horror films and comedies, from "Frankenstein" and "The Old Dark House", to Oscar Wilde's "The Canterville Ghost", frequently making little jokes about Boone's nationality. All the members of the cast seem to enjoy what they are doing, especially Andrée Melly as the resident vamp lady and Jack Bligh as Uncle Percy, an inventor completely out of his time in reverse. Fisher was an efficient director and here he proves it once again, handling everything in an adequate manner and never pretending he was making anything grand. If as Terence Fisher you take it for what it is, "The Horror of It All" works just fine.
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