IMDb > The Old Dark House (1963)
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The Old Dark House (1963) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
5.4/10   813 votes »
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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Robert Dillon (screenplay)
J.B. Priestley (book)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Old Dark House on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 October 1963 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
READY! SET! LAUGH! Join the fun in a nut-house of terror! (movie poster) See more »
Plot:
An American who sells cars in England receives a mysterious invitation from an old, eccentric millionaire... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
New on DVD This Week
 (From The Flickcast. 20 October 2009, 1:00 PM, PDT)

William Castle Film Collection Comes To DVD October 20th!
 (From Icons of Fright. 17 August 2009, 11:17 PM, PDT)

Stacked William Castle Box Set on the Way
 (From Dread Central. 17 August 2009, 3:32 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Dead-End "William Castle" Whodunit/Comedy. See more (38 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Tom Poston ... Tom Penderel

Robert Morley ... Roderick Femm
Janette Scott ... Cecily Femm
Joyce Grenfell ... Agatha Femm
Mervyn Johns ... Potiphar Femm
Fenella Fielding ... Morgana Femm

Peter Bull ... Caspar Femm / Jasper Femm
Danny Green ... Morgan Femm
John Harvey ... Club Receptionist
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Addams ... Hand in Title Sequence (uncredited)
Amy Dalby ... Gambler (uncredited)

Directed by
William Castle 
 
Writing credits
Robert Dillon (screenplay)

J.B. Priestley (book "The Old Dark House")

Produced by
William Castle .... producer
Dona Holloway .... associate producer (as Donna Holloway)
Anthony Hinds .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Benjamin Frankel 
 
Cinematography by
Arthur Grant (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
James Needs 
 
Production Design by
Bernard Robinson 
 
Makeup Department
Roy Ashton .... make-up artist
Frieda Steiger .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
John Draper .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Hermes .... assistant director
Dominic Fulford .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Eric Hillier .... prop buyer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jim Groom .... sound editor (as James Groom)
Jock May .... sound recordist
 
Special Effects by
Les Bowie .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Moray Grant .... camera operator
Wally Byatt .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Molly Arbuthnot .... wardrobe supervisor (as Molly Abbuthnot)
Rosemary Burrows .... wardrobe mistress
 
Editorial Department
James Needs .... supervising editor
 
Music Department
Benjamin Frankel .... conductor
 
Other crew
Charles Addams .... drawings: title backgrounds (as Chas Addams)
Pauline Harlow .... continuity (as Pauline Wise)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:86 min | UK:77 min (original cinema release) (cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (1964) | UK:A (original rating) (cut) | UK:PG (video rating) | USA:PG | USA:TV-PG | USA:Approved (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although filmed with a color negative, the film was released in black-and-white.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Many of Uncle Potiphar's animals are stuffed mounts, with the live "hyena" being an obvious wolf or dog.See more »
Quotes:
Tom Penderel:You, uh... why, you must be very lonely. Well, I mean, uh, all alone...
Morgana Femm:Oh, you have no idea. Every night in this house, with just a whole family of Femms.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Are there major differences between this, the novel and the 1932 film?
When was this made - 1962 or 1966?
Is The Old Dark House available on DVD?
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
A Dead-End "William Castle" Whodunit/Comedy., 3 September 2014
Author: Dalbert Pringle from New Zealand

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (38 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Old Dark House (1963)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why does Castle not mention this film at all? 35541m
Correct aspect ratio? Richy75
Now available On DVD in the U.K. PeterDawson
Hammer + Wm. Castle should equal a DVD release! onnanob2
The Old Dark House basebosox
On TCM Oct 20, 2009 02:30AM sam913
See more »

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