IMDb > Twisted Nerve (1968)
Twisted Nerve
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Twisted Nerve (1968) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.1/10   1,419 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 25% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Leo Marks (screenplay) and
Roy Boulting (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Twisted Nerve on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
December 1968 (UK) See more »
Cleaver. Cleaver. Chop. Chop. First the mom and then the pop. Then we'll get the pretty girl. We'll get her right between the curl.
Martin is a troubled young man. With a mother who insists on treating him like a child, a stepfather who can't wait to see the back of him... See more » | Full synopsis »
Won BAFTA Film Award. See more »
(26 articles)
Crypt of Curiosities: Boundary-Pushing British Psychological Thrillers of the 1960s
 (From DailyDead. 7 July 2017, 3:22 PM, PDT)

Win Mandy on Blu-ray
 (From HeyUGuys. 5 June 2017, 12:00 AM, PDT)

Directors' Trademarks: Quentin Tarantino
 (From Cinelinx. 27 December 2015, 5:24 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
"There is no established scientific connection between Mongolism and psychotic or criminal behavior" See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Hayley Mills ... Susan Harper

Hywel Bennett ... Martin Durnley (Georgie Clifford)

Billie Whitelaw ... Joan Harper

Phyllis Calvert ... Enid Durnley

Barry Foster ... Gerry Henderson

Frank Finlay ... Henry Durnley

Salmaan Peerzada ... Shashie Kadir (as Salmaan Peer)

Christian Roberts ... Philip Harvey
Gretchen Franklin ... 'Clarkie'
Thorley Walters ... Sir John Forrester
Russell Napier ... Professor Fuller

Timothy Bateson ... Mr. Groom

Timothy West ... Superintendant Dakin

Brian Peck ... Det-Sgt Rogers
Richard Davies ... 'Taffy' Evans
Basil Dignam ... Doctor
Robin Parkinson ... Shop Manager
Mollie Maureen ... Lady Patient
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Cadman ... Mac (uncredited)
Clifford Cox ... Inspector Goddard (uncredited)
Larry Guardino ... Man in Shop (uncredited)
Marianne Stone ... Store Detective (uncredited)
Russell Waters ... Hospital Attendant (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy Boulting 
Writing credits
Leo Marks (screenplay) and
Roy Boulting (screenplay)

Roger Marshall (story)

Roger Marshall (idea) and
Jeremy Scott (idea)

Produced by
John Boulting .... executive producer
George W. George .... producer
Frank Granat .... producer
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
Cinematography by
Harry Waxman (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Martin Charles 
Casting by
Thelma Graves 
Art Direction by
Albert Witherick 
Makeup Department
Joan Carpenter .... hair stylist
George Partleton .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jack Rix .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Hermes .... assistant director
Joe Marks .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Michael Guyett .... trainee scenic painter (uncredited)
Michael Pickwoad .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Sound Department
David Bowen .... sound
Jack Davies .... sound (as Jack Davis)
Nolan Roberts .... dubbing
Stanley Smith .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Gerry Anstiss .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hazel Graeme .... wardrobe designer: Hayley Mills
Bridget Sellers .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Barbara Cohen .... assistant editor
Music Department
Howard Blake .... music arranger: jazz version of Georgie theme
Howard Blake .... musician: synthesizer (uncredited)
Bernard Herrmann .... composer: Georgie theme whistled version (uncredited)
Bernard Herrmann .... conductor (uncredited)
Other crew
Arthur Cleaver .... production accountant
Morton Lewis .... titles
Jack Rix .... production administrator
Phyllis Russell .... production secretary
Philip Shipway .... production administrator
Phyl Russell .... production secretary (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
112 min | Australia:113 min | Germany:104 min | Germany:104 min (cut version) | USA:118 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:M | Australia:SOA (original rating) | Netherlands:18 (1970) | Norway:16 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) | USA:Unrated (certificate #108) | USA:M (certificate #108) (original rating) | West Germany:16 (f) (cut)

Did You Know?

The lines of poetry quoted by the professor, "No puppet master pulls the strings on high / Proportioning our parts, the tinsel and the paint / A twisted nerve, a ganglion gone awry / Predestines the sinner or the saint" come from "Slaves" by George Sylvester Viereck.See more »
Narrator:Ladies and gentlemen, in view of the controversy already aroused, the producers of this film wish to re-emphasize what is already stated in the film, that there is no established scientific connection between Mongolism and psychotic or criminal behaviour.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Story of 'Frenzy' (2001) (V)See more »
MadeleineSee more »


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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
"There is no established scientific connection between Mongolism and psychotic or criminal behavior", 11 August 2010
Author: ackstasis from Australia

In 1960, two respected British directors debuted shocking psychosexual thrillers, to mixed critical and commercial receptions: Alfred Hitchcock with 'Psycho,' and Michael Powell with 'Peeping Tom.' Both films were shocking in their time, and their influence on low-budget 1960s horror can't be overstated. Roy Boulting's 'Twisted Nerve (1968)' is a typical Hitchcock rip-off, but of the serious, stylish Brian De Palma mould, rather than the schlocky comic-horror of William Castle. The film introduces us to Martin Durnley (Hywel Bennett), the younger brother of a man suffering from "mongolism," the condition now known as Down Syndrome. Though seemingly healthy a birth, it seems that young Martin has developed some psychopathic, psychosexual tendencies, inextricably linked to a chromosomal mismatch at conception. Martin pretends to be mentally-challenged in order to get into bed with the virginal Susan (Disney favourite Hayley Mills, later the director's much-younger wife), only to instead capture the attentions of Susan's lonely mother (Billie Whitelaw) – did I mention this film was rather twisted?

Though the film treats its absurd, gloriously un-PC narrative with the utmost seriousness, it is nevertheless startlingly effective at capturing the main character's psychoses. Bennett's performance is menacing and pathetic in equal degree, playing a sort of introverted Alex DeLarge, whose wicked intentions are always bubbling beneath an otherwise honest exterior. 'Twisted Nerve' also features a maddeningly catchy musical theme, memorably recycled in Tarantino's 'Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2004),' composed by Bernard Hermann, who by this time was estranged from Hitchcock on account of his rejected score for 'Torn Curtain (1967).' Nevertheless, it's clear that Alfred Hitchcock himself both saw and enjoyed 'Twisted Nerve,' as he cast both Barry Foster and Billie Whitelaw in his own back-to-basics British shocker 'Frenzy (1972).' Due to controversy surrounding its depiction of Down Syndrome, the film opens with a spoken announcement that attempts to shirk responsibility for its political incorrectness, but without much luck. I probably wouldn't have it any other way.

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