5.4/10
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44 user 24 critic

The Old Dark House (1963)

Approved | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 31 October 1963 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Joyce Grenfell ...
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Caspar Femm / Jasper Femm
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Morgan Femm
John Harvey ...
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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:

Scared stiff? Take a coffin-break!... to steady your nerves...and stifle your laughter! (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

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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

The film was originally passed as an uncut 'X' by the BBFC in April 1963 and an accompanying poster produced, though for various reasons the film was not released in the UK until 1966. It was then passed with heavy cuts to remove some of the darker elements with an 'A' certificate and released in September 1966. The 1996 Encore video version (now rated PG) featured the original uncut print. 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

Referenced in Password All-Stars: Peggy Cass vs. Tom Poston (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's supposed to make you laugh....I didn't.
26 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

As this film begins, you are bound to notice the wonderful opening credits done by Charles Addams. I do wonder if the hand is that of Addams, though! You have to see it to understand what I mean.

The film begins with an American (Tom Poston) being invited by his English friend to come to spend the weekend at his ancestral home in Dartmoor. However, once he arrives, he finds that his friend is dead--lying in state in the creepy old mansion. But, like any scary old house film, the car is damaged and unable to take him home AND the rain is so bad that he really can't leave. That is when the murders begin and it becomes obvious that the house is filled with a bunch of nuts.

The film is supposed to be a comedic remake of the classic 1932 film. However, I use the words 'supposed to' because rarely is the film particularly funny and the humor seems very, very forced. In many ways, it looks like a film that Sherwood Schwartz or Hanna-Barbera would have made--with perhaps the Brady kids or even Scooby Doo and Shaggy investigating. This combined with the fact that there have been too many old scary house films (such as AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, THE MONSTER, NUMBER SEVENTEEN, THE BLACK CAT and many, many others) make this one you don't need to rush out to see.

By the way, in one of the low-points of the film, a hyena is supposedly menacing Tom Poston. However, the camera shots of the hyena from the front clearly show it's a stuffed animal!! The rear shots are a dog!! Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.


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