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The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  24 June 1964 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,838 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 85 critic

A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

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With a deadly plague ravaging his Renaissance kingdom, Prince Prospero invites his friends to retire to the protection of his castle for ongoing revels, leaving the peasantry to die. But ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Juliana
...
Francesca
David Weston ...
Gino
...
Ludovico
Patrick Magee ...
Alfredo
Paul Whitsun-Jones ...
Scarlatti
Skip Martin ...
Hop Toad
...
Guard
Julian Burton ...
Señor Veronese
David Davies ...
Lead Villager
Gaye Brown ...
Señora Escobar
Verina Greenlaw ...
Esmeralda
Doreen Dawn ...
Anna-Marie (as Doreen Dawne)
Brian Hewlett ...
Senor Lampredi
Edit

Storyline

The evil Prince Prosperois riding through the Catania village when he sees that the peasants are dying of Red Death plague. Prospero asks to burn down the village and he is offended by the villagers Gino and his father-in-law Ludovico. He decides to kill them, but Gino's wife, the young and beautiful Francesca, begs for the lives of her husband and her father and Prospero brings them alive to his castle expecting to corrupt Francesca. Propero worships Satan and invites his noble friends to stay in his castle that is a shelter of depravity against the plague. When Prospero invites his guests to attend a masked ball, he sees a red hooded stranger and he believes that Satan himself has attended his party. But soon he learns who his mysterious guest is. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | prince | plague | castle | refuge | See All (66) »

Taglines:

LOOK INTO THIS FACE - SHUDDER... at the blood-stained dance of the Red Death! TREMBLE... to the hideous tortures of the catacombs of Kali! GASP... at the sacrifice of the innocent virgin to the vengeance of Baal! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La máscara de la muerte roja  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an in-depth interview in the cult Cinema Retro magazine (Issue #18), Corman nominated The Masque of the Red Death (1964) alongside _The Intruder_ and X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) as his personal favorites among his own films. See more »

Goofs

When Francesca (Jane Asher) wakes up there is a green candle on the bedside table that she uses to light her way. Despite the heavy wind blowing in from the open balcony the candle doesn't blowout. See more »

Quotes

Prospero: Somewhere in the human mind, my dear Francesca, lies the key to our existance. My ancestors tried to find it. And to open the door that separates us from our Creator.
Francesca: But you need no doors to find God. If you believe...
Prospero: Believe? If you believe you are gullible. Can you look around this world and believe in the goodness of a god who rules it? Famine, Pestilence, War, Disease and Death! They rule this world.
Francesca: There is also love and life and hope.
Prospero: Very little hope I assure you. No. If a god of love...
See more »

Crazy Credits

"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."- the final line of the original Poe story. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A brilliant tale of `intellectual' evil. Probably Corman's finest achievement!
3 March 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Who ever said Roger Corman is a no-good director, only capable of shooting sleazy quickies??? All the amateur-critics who live by this statement should urgently watch `The Masque of the Red Death' and reconsider. True, Corman depended on a magnificent and professional crew here.but it remains his achieving mostly. First and foremost, the most thrilling Edgar Allen Poe short story sets the right tone. Out of his entirely brilliant oeuvre, this fable is probably the most horrifying one. The over-talented Charles Beaumont adapted this into a compelling and intense script and the wholesome is wonderfully cinematographed by Nicolas Roeg. The same Roeg who went on making cool movies himself like `Don't Look Now' or `Track 29' to only name a few.Last but certainly not least, the legendary Vincent Price gives away one of the most stunning performances in his rich career.

The Masque of the Red Death is the greatest and most ambitious film in Corman's Poe cycle and therefore it should get all the credit and praising it can possibly get. The atmosphere this film breathes is the most horrifying one I ever witnessed and the fable's theme is pure terror! Vincent Price is the absolute top as the wealthy servant of Satan who thinks his safely locked away in his castle while the plague of the Red Death crosses through the countryside.killing all the poor villagers. Inside the walls of his ghoulish castle (with the scariest cellars you'll ever see), Price entertains a group of rich and spoiled bastards by thinking up diabolical games and throwing eccentric parties. He's convinced that Satan protects him and that the plague of the Red Death can't do any harm. `The Masque of Red Death' does something here that is practically unique! There where all other horror movies can't fulfill in telling a satanic tale without showing a huge amount of bloodshed, Corman's film achieves this effect easily thanks to its atmosphere, its intelligent structure and side plots, the costumes and scenery and the beautiful use of colors. There's a genius scene in which a possessed Hazel Court walks from chamber to chamber.each of them shown in a different color. In short.The Masque of Red Death belongs to the absolute top of horror cinema ever! One of the most fascinating films of the sixties and the ideal proof that horror will never see highlights like this anymore.


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