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Paranoiac (1963)

 -  Drama | Horror | Mystery  -  15 May 1963 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,256 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 41 critic

Simon Ashby is a wealthy psychotic who is is coddled by his aunt in their palatial mansion outside of London. One day, Ashby's long lost brother mysteriously arrives at the house. But is ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Janette Scott ...
...
Sheila Burrell ...
Aunt Harriet
Maurice Denham ...
John Kossett
Alexander Davion ...
Tony Ashby
Liliane Brousse ...
Françoise
Harold Lang ...
RAF Type
Arnold Diamond
John Bonney ...
Keith Kossett
John Stuart ...
Williams
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Storyline

Simon Ashby is a wealthy psychotic who is is coddled by his aunt in their palatial mansion outside of London. One day, Ashby's long lost brother mysteriously arrives at the house. But is everything as it seems? Written by Wheeler Winston Dixon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When it comes to love or murder ... there's no one as dangerous ... as the ... Paranoiac! See more »


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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

15 May 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dyo matia gemata tromo  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was released on the bottom half of a double bill with Hammer's "The Kiss of the Vampire." See more »

Goofs

As Simon plays the congregational hymn on the organ in the opening scene at the church the music shown on his stand in the organ loft is an oratorio/anthem music score with SATB lines (soprano/alto/tenor/bass) and a two-stave orchestral/keyboard reduction, emphatically not a church hymn. See more »

Quotes

Simon Ashby: [stumbles through the door inebriated]
Aunt Harriet: Where have you been?
Simon Ashby: [smirk on his face] I've been drinking.
[Looks at the liquor on the bar in the entryway]
Simon Ashby: Now I need to drink some more.
See more »

Connections

Version of Brat Farrar (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not the usual Hammer Horror
12 October 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

I'm a big fan of Hammer Horror, and have seen a fair few of the films made by the studio. However, none of my previous viewings could prepare me for this film - it's absolutely nothing like the Hammer Horror we know! And luckily, that isn't a bad thing. Hammer are most famous for producing fun, colourful flicks - and this one is neither of those things. Shot in black and white, and without a slither of humour in sight; Paranoiac is an entirely serious horror-drama. It's a good one too, as Oliver Reed steps into the role of spoilt brat Simon Ashby brilliantly, and you can really believe his every motivation. The plot follows Simon and the rest of the Ashby family, which is thrown into disarray when Simon's long lost brother Tony turns up. Believed to have committed suicide eight years ago, Simon and his Aunt don't believe the man claiming to be Tony and think him to be an impostor. The only member of the family who does believe that it really is Tony is the sister, Eleanor, whom Simon has being trying to drive insane so that he can get his hands on the family fortune.

'Paranoiac' is a great title for this film, as it breathes a very paranoid atmosphere throughout. Oliver Reed's facial expressions and mannerisms help it to achieve this, and Paranoiac wouldn't be the film that it is had it not been for him starring in it. The beautiful Janette Scott stars alongside him, and makes up the rest of the central ensemble along with Alexander Davion and Sheila Burrell. The colours tend to be my favourite thing about most Hammer films, and thus I tend not to like the black and white ones as much. The lack of colour doesn't harm this film, however, as it makes up for it with a suburb atmosphere, much of which comes from the excellent black and white cinematography. The pace of the film can be a little slow at times, but it never becomes boring and Paranoiac always has enough up it's sleeve to compensate for it's less exciting moments. The plot has enough surprises entwined within it, and even though the film only has an eighty-minute running time - there's a lot of development, and the final twist is bound to catch you off guard. While this film isn't very well known - it is very good. I don't hesitate to call Paranoiac one of Hammer Horror's best little-known gems.


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