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The Skull (1965)

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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,196 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 57 critic

A collector comes into possession of the skull of the Marquis de Sade and learns it is possessed by an evil spirit.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christopher Maitland
Patrick Wymark ...
Marco
Jill Bennett ...
Jane Maitland
...
Inspector Wilson
Patrick Magee ...
Police Surgeon
Peter Woodthorpe ...
Travers
...
Auctioneer
George Coulouris ...
Dr. Londe
April Olrich ...
French Girl
Maurice Good ...
Pierre, Phrenologist
Anna Palk ...
Maid
Frank Forsyth ...
Judge
Paul Stockman ...
First Guard
Geoffrey Cheshire ...
Second Guard
George Hilsdon ...
Policeman
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Storyline

A collector of esoterica, Dr. Maitland, buys an unusual skull from his ordinary source of artifacts. The skull is what remains of marquis De Sade. Much too soon he discovers how the skull affects him: by turning him into a frenzied killer. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When the Skull strikes you'll Scream!

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 August 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Caveira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The heirs of Donatien Alphonse François de Sade pressed charges to prevent any use of his name on the advertising material. The changes on posters and lobby-cards were made at the very last minute by sticking the new title "Le Crâne Maléfique" (meaning "The Evil Skull") on top of the former, "Les forfaits du Marquis de Sade" (meaning "the Infamies of Marquis de Sade"). Only on that condition the film could finally be released in the French territory. See more »

Goofs

In the first minute, the gate to the graveyard is swinging wildly, but the trees and bushes all around are still. (One random twig is plying about...) The phrenologist shuts the gate firmly. In the next shot, the gate is still and ajar, but the trees and bushes are moving about as if 'blown'. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pierre: What are you doing here?
French Girl: Aren't you pleased to see me?
See more »

Connections

Edited into Out of this World Super Shock Show (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A skull holds a diabolical influence over its owners.
27 December 1999 | by (Drums, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

Based on the Robert Bloch's story "The Skull of the Marquis de Sade", this film really thrills and chills. The Skull is an unassuming title, but this little gem does has a lot to offer on a cold winter afternoon. Peter Cushing stars as Dr. Maitland, a demonologist who comes across the skull after it has been stolen from his friend Christopher Lee. Death or possession has come upon the past owners but Maitland is unconcerned with such superstitions. He must have this occult rarity to add to his large collection. Dr. Maitland has no idea what lies in store for him... I feel that "The Skull" is one of the finest films Cushing and Lee have ever done together, and the best horror film that Freddie Francis has directed. At a glance, one would almost definitely think it is a Hammer film. It was actually made by Amicus, but features such Hammer characteristics as a foggy opening scene portraying grave robbers, occasional bloodletting, a dreary score, and canyons of cleavage. Even by today's standards, The Skull is exciting. Highlights include a very inventive dream sequence, a harsh game of Russian roulette, and the riveting climax. Believe it or not, The Skull even has a few scenes where you tense up expecting someone to jump out and scare you. You don't often see that type of thing in the Hammer/Amicus flicks. The major thing that brings the movie down, though, are the fake-looking scenes where the skull floats in the air to terrorize Dr. Maitland. They could have been done better using shadows or long-distance shots. Also, the "camera inside the skull" scenes looked juvenile and took away some of the film's integrity. Bottom line: definitely worth a viewing. Thanks nm!


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