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The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  18 May 1971 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 9,235 users  
Reviews: 114 user | 121 critic

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

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Title: The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rabbi
...
Virginia North ...
Peter Jeffrey ...
Derek Godfrey ...
Crow
Norman Jones ...
Sgt. Tom Schenley
John Cater ...
Aubrey Woods ...
...
Maurice Kaufmann ...
Dr. Whitcombe
Barbara Keogh ...
Mrs. Frawley
Sean Bury ...
Lem Vesalius
Susan Travers ...
Nurse Allen
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Storyline

Doctors are being murdered in a bizarre manner: bats, bees, killer frog masks, etc., which represent the nine Biblical plagues. The crimes are orchestrated by a demented organ player with the help of his mute assistant. The detective is stumped until he finds that all of the doctors being killed assisted a Dr. Vesalius on an unsuccessful operation involving the wife of Dr. Phibes, but he couldn't be the culprit, could he? He was killed in a car crash upon learning of his wife's death... Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There are two sides to Dr. Phibes.....both of them EVIL! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some horror violence/gore | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Phibes  »

Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Former "The Who"-drummer, Keith Moon allegedly saw this movie just before he died in 1978. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1925. The automobiles, airplane, and film projector seem to be from the 1920s, but the house interiors, including the lights around Dr. Phibes' organ, and clothing appear to be early 1970s "mod" style. At the end Dr. Phibes plays "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" which was written in 1935. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Butler - Ross: Good morning Sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Phibes is heard laughing after the song and the credits end. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Sci-Fi Boys (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

You Stepped out of a Dream
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Courtesy of The Big Three Music Co.
(played during a murder scene)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the greatest of the Great
9 July 1999 | by (Iowa City, IA) – See all my reviews

This is one of Vincent Price's performance, and perhaps even his best (although Theatre of Blood is very close). Where to start...? The clever writing (which was lost in the sequel) revolving around Phibes' method of execution, based on the Biblical plagues of Moses. The grim-faced unstoppability of Phibes. Joseph Cotton in one of his best post-60's roles, here perfectly in character as a god-like doctor (particularly in the final operation sequence).

There's also the Art Deco set design which many have oohed and ahhed over in here and elsewhere.

The British cops are a bit too humorous, and there's not really a lot of background here. But the movie is a good example of the "Tales of the Crypt" macabre revenge line, with Phibes' scarred visage standing in for the Ghoul or the Crypt Keeper. Most of the doctors we see (particularly Terry-Thomas) are just the kind of elite arrogant snobs that so often got their one-uppance in such anthologies.

In any case, I would definitely recommend this movie. It's not really a "horror" movie, but more of a "grotesque serial killer" type flick in the lines of stuff like Se7ven.


15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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