5.4/10
1,088
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)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

Director: Elliott Nugent
Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal
The Bat (1959)
Horror | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A crazed killer known as "The Bat" is on the loose in a mansion full of people.

Director: Crane Wilbur
Stars: Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Gavin Gordon
13 Ghosts (1960)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A family inherits what proves to be a haunted house, but a special pair of goggles allows them to see their ghostly tormentors.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner
Homicidal (1961)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The brutal stabbing murder of a justice-of-the-peace sparks an investigation of dark family secrets in a sleepy small town in Southern California.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Eugenie Leontovich
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more ... See full summary »

Director: William Castle
Stars: Ronald Lewis, Audrey Dalton, Guy Rolfe
Adventure | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

While attending a school for diplomats' daughters, the teen-aged daughter of the American ambassador uses her access to various embassies to engage in espionage.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Murray Hamilton, Joyce Taylor, Hugh Marlowe
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Teenagers Libby and Kit innocently spend an evening making random prank calls. These calls lead to murderous consequences.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A champagne tycoon's (Furneaux) partner (Ronet) suspects his partner's gigolo husband (Perkins) of murders he's been framed for.

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Maurice Ronet, Yvonne Furneaux
Certificate: GP Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A painter and his wife move into a home and find themselves plagued by ghosts and spirits of his ancestors that used to be witches.

Director: Dan Curtis
Stars: David Selby, Grayson Hall, Kate Jackson
Winter Kills (1979)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The Pickering Commission concluded that a lone gunman killed US President Kegan in 1960, in Philadelphia. 19 years later a dying man confesses to be the real shooter hired to kill him. Kegan's brother and filthy rich father investigate.

Director: William Richert
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Huston, Anthony Perkins
Biography | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The movie chronicles the events of history's "man of mystery," Rasputin. Although not quite historically accurate and little emphasis is put on the politics of the day, Rasputin's rise to ... See full summary »

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Richard Pasco
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Velha Casa Assombrada  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original cinema release) (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The drawings in the title sequence were by Charles Addams, whose whole career was inspired by the 1932 version of The Old Dark House (1932) (of which this is a remake). See more »

Goofs

When Jasper claims his mother "never spent a penny!", the dubbed word we hear is 'penny', yet the word he clearly says with his mouth is 'shilling', probably because American audiences would not understand what a 'shilling' is. 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

 
A Dead-End "William Castle" Whodunit/Comedy.
3 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

Just like Castle's movie "Zotz!", The Old, Dark House was yet another inane farce that easily proved just how clueless this guy was at directing Comedy (more so than he was with directing Horror).

Once again (just like with "Zotz!") this less-than-funny, hare-brained story had the distinctive feel of being an imitation (a very poor imitation) of a typical Disney, family movie of the early 1960s. This film's targeted audience was that of children under 10 who obviously had very low expectations about what was entertaining and what wasn't.

This film certainly had all sorts of potential to be a really fun and humorous story for all ages. But it seemed that at the hands of such a clueless amateur like William Castle, its story just didn't come anywhere near to living up to that potential.

At every opportunity to generate some genuine laughs, Castle missed the mark, over and over again, and let its story fall flat on its face and flounder around in what seemed like a literal no-man's land of B-grade mediocrity.

I believe that The Old, Dark House was one of the few Castle films that was actually shot in colour.

This film's story is something of a "Whodunit". It involves the peculiar specifics of a family Will, the 7 eccentric relatives who all reside at Femm Hall (a grand, old, English mansion falling into ruin), and an American outsider who inadvertently gets dragged into an unpleasant family affair that goes way beyond his power of control.

One of this film's biggest downfalls was Castle's inability to build suspense, sustain drama and be humorous, all at the same time. Long before it's actually revealed, the viewer will have no trouble guessing the identity of the killer who's been bumping off all of the Femms at Femm Hall.

This is not a good movie. I don't even recommend it as entertainment for young children. Let's face it, William Castle just didn't have the knack for creating memorable Comedy.


9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 44 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page