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The Skull (1965)

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


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


When the Skull strikes you'll Scream!


Horror | Thriller


See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 August 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Caveira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


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


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Ghosts (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

17 April 2001 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Plays on the imagination of the viewer with some psychological suspense and terror. Peter Cushing is good in the role of Dr. Maitland. Its too bad that Christopher Lee does not have a much more substantial role in The Skull(1965). The Skull(1965) is a chilling feature that is based on the Robert Bloch short story, THE SKULL OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE. The direction by Freddie Francis is one of his most skillful in a non Hammer motion picture. Nigel Green and Patrick Magee do a fine job in their supporting roles.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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