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The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Horror  |  24 June 1964 (USA)
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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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Title: The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

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


The evil Prince Prospero is 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:

plague | castle | death | prince | village | See All (67) »


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Parents Guide:







Release Date:

24 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La máscara de la muerte roja  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Roger Corman and Daniel Haller were able to make this film look more opulent than earlier productions by using the sets left from Becket (1964). The two movies also share one actor: David Weston, who plays Gino here, played Brother John in "Becket". See more »


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 »


Francesca: [after Gino has been ordered to be removed from the castle] Prince Prospero let me go with him.
Prospero: You?
Francesca: Please.
Prospero: You , oh no my dear I couldn't bear to think of... No
[to the crowd]
Prospero: you will go to your rooms now and prepare for the masque, you will not appear in your costumes until... midnight.
Prospero: [turns to see Francesca following him] Why do you follow me?
Francesca: Bring Gino back and I will do whatever you wish.
Prospero: You would destroy yourself for him?
Francesca: Yes.
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 »


Referenced in Death Watch (1980) 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.

44 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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