MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,767 this week

The Oblong Box (1969)

 -  Horror  -  11 June 1969 (USA)
6.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 1,491 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 31 critic

Aristocrat Julian Markham keeps his disfigured brother, Sir Edward, locked in a tower of his house. Occasionaly Sir Edward escapes and causes havoc around the town.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (additional dialogue), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video + 1 more

Editors' Spotlight

Venice Film Festival

See the latest from the 2014 Venice Film Festival


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 26 Dec 2010
 
a list of 34 titles
created 22 Feb 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 27 May 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 14 Nov 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Oblong Box" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Oblong Box (1969)

The Oblong Box (1969) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Oblong Box.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charles Dexter Ward arrives at a small village to visit the house he inherited from his ancestor who died there 100 years ago.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr.
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher
Horror | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

3 horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the 1st story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of three elderly friends. In "... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Salkow
Stars: Vincent Price, Joyce Taylor, Sebastian Cabot
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Waldo Trumbull, an undertaker who hasn't had any 'customers' in a long time is forced the pay one year's back-rent. To get money he starts to kill people in order to get new clients.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff
Drama | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American writer goes to a remote Welsh manor on a $20,000 bet: can he write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" in twenty-four hours? Upon his arrival, however, the writer discovers... See full summary »

Director: Pete Walker
Stars: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three tales of terror involve a grieving widower and the daughter he abandoned; a drunkard and his wife's black cat; and a hypnotist who prolongs the moment of a man's death.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Maggie Pierce, Leona Gage
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Gilbert de Quincey is an early 19th-century adventurer involved with helping runaway slave girls and victims of a tong war in San Francisco. Garbed in black from head to toe, de Quincey ... See full summary »

Director: Albert Zugsmith
Stars: Vincent Price, Linda Ho, Richard Loo
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man, upon entering his fiancées's family mansion, discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Dr. Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Stars: Stephanie Beacham, Andrew Keir, Vincent Price
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Julian
...
Dr. Newhartt
Rupert Davies ...
Kemp
Uta Levka ...
Heidi
Sally Geeson ...
Sally
Alister Williamson ...
Edward
Peter Arne ...
Trench
Hilary Heath ...
Elizabeth (as Hilary Dwyer)
Maxwell Shaw ...
Hackett
Carl Rigg ...
Norton
Harry Baird ...
N'Galo
Godfrey James ...
Weller
James Mellor ...
Holt
John Barrie ...
Franklin
Ivor Dean ...
Hawthorne
Edit

Storyline

Sir Edward Markham is the victim of a voodoo curse which has caused his face to become horribly disfigured. He is kept captive in the attic of his house by his brother Julian. Sir Edward escapes, moves in with an unscrupulous doctor who hires grave robbers to steal bodies for his research, wears a red hood over his face, and kills a good number of townspeople before the surprise ending. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Edgar Allan Poe's Classic Tale Of The Living Dead! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and sexual content | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 June 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dance, Mephisto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$175,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Reeves was originally chosen to direct this movie, but was replaced by Gordon Hessler during the pre-production. Shooting began November 18, and was completed in December, two months before Reeves died in February 1969. See more »

Goofs

When Sir Edward murders Heidi the prostitute, the special effects knife clearly sprays blood onto the actresses' neck well before it actually touches her. See more »

Quotes

Trench: Sir Edward. I thought you've been-
Sir Edward Markham: Buried. Yes. Waking up in that horrible oblong box, no air to breathe, trapped and no escape. Earth raining down on the lid, every shovel full burying you more deeply.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Fantastic Fantasy Fright-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Gypsy Music
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Harry Robertson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

THE OBLONG BOX (Gordon Hessler, 1969) **
10 October 2004 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I had long wanted to watch the four horror films Gordon Hessler directed for AIP. While hardly classics of the genre, they were relatively well regarded by film critics who appreciated both their visual aspects (scenery, camera-work) and the director's own stylish and often inventive mise-en-scene.

Though I don't usually purchase bare-bones DVDs, the fact that here we get two features for the price of one - and a very affordable price at that - made this disc a happy exception to the rule!

I had never watched THE OBLONG BOX before purchasing the DVD. Its reputation is rather mixed and, in fact, the film lived up to it as it is indeed something of a mixed bag! Still, it has enough good points to make it a film to look forward to again in future, perhaps for a better appreciation.

Actually, the film was quite enjoyable initially – as I've already mentioned, thanks in great part to Hessler's elegant direction which clearly delineates setting (where John Coquillon's photography is particularly notable) and characterization (especially Vincent Price and his ambiguous relationship with both his brother Alistair Williamson and the shady 'body snatcher' played by Peter Arne). In fact, Price is quite good in what he has to do where his confrontation scene with Arne (perhaps our first hint that he is not as benign as he seems) is a particular highlight. However, Christopher Lee is pitifully wasted, despite receiving second billing. His character is not very interesting to begin with, and it certainly does not stretch the actor's range in any way. His brief scene with Price is basically a throwaway, which results in a major disappointment!

But when the film should have turned more interesting - after Sir Edward (the disfigured brother) goes on the rampage – it becomes just plain silly instead, and never recovers. Sir Edward seems to have an inordinate penchant for throat slashing (a device which is done to death throughout the film). Also, the much-hyped mystery surrounding the reason for Sir Edward's disfigurement at the hands of the African tribesmen is really too lame to have warranted such 'gruesome' retribution! Furthermore, the would-be hideous appearance of Sir Edward's scarred face is not exactly skin-crawling and a veritable cop-out (granted that the budget allocated to the film must not have been immense, but such an important detail required a great deal more imagination, or if you like, shock value). Overall, the make-up effects utilized throughout are incredibly tacky, particularly a wound on a man's head which looks very unrealistic - as if he had dropped a can of red paint on his hair!

The film's least effective moments are certainly the endless tavern scenes, where Sir Edward (usually a figure of menace) is put upon by everybody – severely diminishing his 'mystique' in the process. The (predictable) twist ending, then, arrives too abruptly as if the makers were in a hurry to wrap things up; it's appropriate for all that, but not particularly striking.

As I have said, THE OBLONG BOX is a good-looking film that is very watchable in an unassuming way. We should also be thankful to MGM for having provided the restored original British version. However, with a little more attention and a better use of the resources at hand it could have been a work of considerably greater and more lasting value.


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

Message Boards

Discuss The Oblong Box (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?