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Cry of the Banshee (1970)

R | | Horror | 22 July 1970 (USA)
In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Essy Persson ...
Lady Patricia Whitman
Hilary Heath ...
Maureen Whitman (as Hilary Dwyer)
Carl Rigg ...
Harry Whitman
...
Sean Whitman
...
Father Tom
Andrew McCulloch ...
Bully Boy
...
Burke
Pamela Moiseiwitsch ...
Maid
Joyce Mandre ...
Party Guest
...
Party Guest
...
Party Guest
...
Oona (as Elizabeth Bergner)
...
Roderick
...
Margaret Donald (witch) (as Pamela Farbrother)

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Storyline

In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to destroy the lord's family. (The "banshee" of this tale bears no resemblance to the normal usage of the term!) Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Edgar Allan Poe probes new depths of TERROR!

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Banshî no sakebi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Stephen Rea. See more »

Goofs

This film is set in the 16th century. But in the first scene, when the girl is branded, she opens her mouth to scream and shows a full set of teeth with amalgam fillings. See more »

Quotes

Lord Edward Whitman: [to the crowd partying at his castle, when they have been frightened by a wolf's howl] That mad dog that you all thought the product of sorcery is DEAD.
[glowering, he adds after a moment:]
Lord Edward Whitman: Now drink, dance, and be merry.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are divided into "The Establishment, "Witches", and "Villagers". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent period horror
3 October 2008 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Lord Edward Whitman(Vincent Price) is a wicked magistrate who why while not believing in Witchcraft, delights in accusing peasants of the crime. The punishments he dishes out are not always within the law though. Working On a tip off, his men kill many within a coven of witches, the witches leader Oona swears revenge and pleads with Satan to send her an Avenger who will smite him and his family. Such an avenger is the mild mannered stable hand Roderick(Patrick Mower), who was found as a child in the woods and brought up by the Whitmans, around his neck he wears a strange and ancient medallion of unknown origin.

Gordon Hessler has a mixed filmography in Horror, this on the face of it, is a production designed to take advantage of Michael Reeves's Witchfinder General, as wonderfully hammy Vincent Price and the beautiful Hilary Heath, both return, as does DP John Coquillon, who adds oodles of atmosphere and energy with his ever moving camera which captures the location work beautifully. Hessler learnt his trade with Hitchcock and to some extent it shows in this film, he knows when and where to provide the scares. The film itself was much rewritten and Hessler found himself getting further away from the theme of the title which had already been sold as a Banshee film before filming began, but he was reigned back in by the producers, the meddling doesn't quite ruin the film but it does have a lot going on plot-wise, as a result. The witches coven send a "Sidhe" an ancient derivative of the banshee in the form of Patrick Mower, (his make up none to convincing) to kill one by one, members of the Whitman family, not all of which are bad, some are very decent people, this effective ploy is also used with the witches, making it hard to take sides or see who the really bad guys are. Fans of period Brit Horror shouldn't be disappointed, there's copious nudity and plenty of buxom wenches that make for pleasant viewing, there's also an excellent sting in the tale.


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