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The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Horror | 18 May 1971 (USA)
A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rabbi
...
...
...
Derek Godfrey ...
Crow
Norman Jones ...
Sgt. Tom Schenley
John Cater ...
Aubrey Woods ...
...
Maurice Kaufmann ...
Dr. Whitcombe
Barbara Keogh ...
Mrs. Frawley
Sean Bury ...
Lem Vesalius
...
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>

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Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

18 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Phibes  »

Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rat curse was originally intended to take place on a boat. Robert Fuest changed it to inside a plane, as he felt the boat could have been escaped from. See more »

Goofs

When the nurse is killed, the color of her hair changes dramatically from a beautiful red to a horrible gray (obviously to increase the horror). 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 »


Soundtracks

The Darktown Strutters' Ball
Written by Shelton Brooks
Sung by Paul Frees
Courtesy of The Big Three Music Co.
(played during a murder scene)
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User Reviews

 
Tongue-in-cheek horror and lots of Art Deco...
31 August 1999 | by (East Lansing, MI) – See all my reviews

This film would have probably been horrible had they taken themselves seriously. Fortunately, they didn't and, consequently, created a fascinating and entertaining festival of murder, revenge, and Art Deco set design. Vincent Price is Phibes, a brilliant organist and acoustic expert who's wife dies during an operation. He seeks to avenge her death by killing all 9 members of the operating team in creative and extravagant ways. You know the murders will take place, but you're fascinated at how they are done. It's like watching a master at work and all of the murders are works of art. By the end of the movie you'll find yourself rooting for Phibes.

Price is at his best at Phibes. Phibes requires a machine to speak, so Price is effectively miming to the dialog, but he does it so well. The performance of Virginia North as the silent, yet deadly, Vulnavia is particularly interesting. She plays the murderer's sidekick and is always beautiful and mysterious.

One of the most wonderful elements of this film is the Art Deco set and costume design. Every scene just oozes with elegance.

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. No, it's not Gone With the Wind, but it's fun and fascinating just the same, sort of a candy movie. I highly recommend it.


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