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The Old Dark House (1963)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Mystery  |  31 October 1963 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 848 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 18 critic

An American who sells cars in England receives a mysterious invitation from an old, eccentric millionaire to visit his house in which he lives with his twin brother.

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Title: The Old Dark House (1963)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Janette Scott ...
Cecily Femm
Joyce Grenfell ...
Agatha Femm
Mervyn Johns ...
Potiphar Femm
Fenella Fielding ...
Morgana Femm
...
Caspar Femm / Jasper Femm
Danny Green ...
John Harvey ...
Club Receptionist
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Storyline

An American who sells cars in England receives a mysterious invitation from an old, eccentric millionaire to visit his house in which he lives with his twin brother. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

READY! SET! LAUGH! Join the fun in a nut-house of terror! (movie poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Velha Casa Assombrada  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original cinema release) (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boris Karloff, who played the sinister butler Morgan in The Old Dark House (1932), was offered a role in this one as well but turned it down because he didn't like the script and considered it too biased towards comedy instead of horror. See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits, William Castle is credited as director twice: first "Written and directed by William Castle" followed immediately by "Directed by William Castle." See more »

Quotes

Agatha Femm: [Knitting] I capture time and space in my stitches. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I stopped.
Tom Penderel: Happen? To you?
Agatha Femm: No, no. To the world.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Old Dark House (1932) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Amusing and entertaining camp horror-thriller!
15 August 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews

In this creepy horror-comedy directed by William Castle we meet Tom Penderel (Tom Poston), an American residing in England from where he sells cars. During a visit to a casino, where he informs his eccentric flatmate Caspar Femm (Peter Bull) that Tom has now acquired for Caspar a brand new American car, Tom is invited to Femm House, home of Caspar and his family. Reluctantly he accepts the invitation and makes his way to Femm House, only to find murder and very creepy family.

The rating on IMDb for 'The Old Dark House' (1963) simply is not an accurate assessment of this films quality in my opinion. Though quite obviously camp and with a unique charm all of its own this movie delivers an entertaining storyline and amusing comic scenes from beginning to end. Upon encountering the oddball charm of Caspar it becomes apparent that this horror movie is not going to be an all out scarefest, in fact its quality lies in the intermingling of a tight `whodunit' thriller with so many humorous sequences.

Tom Poston is cast perfectly as the nervous American trying desperately to make sense of the madness going on around him and his continuing encounters with overprotective and psychotic father Morgan Femm (Danny Green) make for some of the best comedy I have seen in a horror movie for a long time. The whole Femm family have a distinctly creepy charm to them from the gun-nut Uncle Roderick (an inspired performance from Robert Morley) to the charmingly deranged Petiphar (Mervyn Johns). Also worth noting is the performance from Janette Scott (The Day of the Triffiads) as the sweet and innocent Cecily Femm.

'The Old Dark House' is a wonderfully accomplished camp, horror-thriller in my opinion. The storyline is entertaining throughout and the comedy does not seem forced but instead works as a light-hearted diversion from what was actually an interesting and slightly complex plot. All this is complimented by a beautifully arranged and often apt musical score. While not really delivering any scares 'The Old Dark House' delivers entertainment and is certainly worth watching in my opinion. Despite some rather suspect special effects (though considering the year it was made one can hardly hold poor effects against it) and camp quality I recommend this to horror fans. My rating for 'The Old Dark House' (1963) - 7.5/10


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