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Tales That Witness Madness (1973)

R | | Horror | 31 October 1973 (USA)
A psychiatrist tells stories of four special cases to a colleague.

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Writer:

(as Jay Fairbank)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Auriol (segment 4 "Luau")
...
Fay Patterson (segment 1 "Mr. Tiger")
...
Bella Thompson (segment 3 "Mel")
...
Dr. Nicholas
...
Sam Patterson (segment 1 "Mr. Tiger")
...
Brian (segment 3 "Mel")
...
Ann / Beatrice (segment 2 "Penny Farthing")
...
Timothy Patrick (segment 2 "Penny Farthing")
Michael Petrovitch ...
Kimo (segment 4 "Luau")
...
Prof. R.C. Tremayne
Russell Lewis ...
Paul Patterson (segment 1 "Mr. Tiger")
Lesley Nunnerley ...
Vera (segment 4 "Luau")
...
Keoki (segment 4 "Luau")
...
Ginny (segment 4 "Luau")
David Wood ...
Tutor - Phillipe (segment 1 "Mr. Tiger")
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Storyline

Dr Tremayne is an enigmatic Psychiatrist running a Futuristic asylum housing four very special cases. Visited by colleague Nicholas, Tremayne explains his amazing and controversial theories as to why each of the four patients went mad... cue four distinct tales each with a different set of characters: 'Mr Tiger' tells of Paul, the sensitive and troubled young son of prosperous but constantly bickering and unlovely parents, and the boy's 'imaginary' friend, a tiger. 'Penny Farthing' tells of Timothy, an antique store owner propelled backwards in time by a penny-farthing bicycle in his shop, all the while being watched over by the constantly changing photograph of Uncle Albert, which endangers the lives of both Timothy and his beautiful wife, Ann. 'Mel' tells of Brian, a man who brings home an old dead tree and prominently displays it in his living room as a work of art. His fiery wife Bella soon becomes jealous of the tree, which the husband has lovingly named Mel, and it seems to be ... Written by R Lindsay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Witness Madness  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Hawkins's voice was dubbed by Charles Gray. See more »

Connections

Referenced in HauntedWeen (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some good moments, but a mostly uninspired anthology.
5 October 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Dr. Nicholas (Jack Hawkins) arrives at the insane asylum run by the eminent Prof. Tremayne (Donald Pleasence) to hear his absolutely bizarre theories as to how four of his patients ended up there.

The first is young Paul (Russell Lewis), who lived with quarrelling parents Sam and Fay (Donald Houston, Georgia Brown), and who had concocted an imaginary friend dubbed Mr. Tiger. Or is he imaginary?

Next is Timothy (Peter McEnery), whose newly acquired penny farthing - it's a sort of bicycle - is able to transport him back in time, all while a leering portrait of his uncle Albert (Frank Forsyth) watches over him.

Then we meet Brian (Michael Jayston), who frustrates his wife Bella (Joan Collins) by bringing home - and falling in love with (I kid you not) - a tree. A creepy looking tree that seems to be named Mel.

Finally, in the tale that takes up most of the movies' running time, the story of Auriol (Kim Novak) is told. She's having to deal with a rebellious daughter, Ginny (Mary Tamm) while entertaining a writer named Kimo (Michael Petrovitch).

Only the fourth tale, "Luau", has any real kick to it. And it's an appreciably twisted tale indeed. But overall, the segments of "Tales That Witness Madness" are bland and lack style. A shame, given that director / cinematographer Freddie Francis *could* do solid work in this format. Things get a little too silly a little too often, especially in the sequence with Brian and Bella, and the endings are rather predictable. Certainly this excellent cast of familiar faces does some good work; Pleasence is a pleasure to watch as always. And the movies' final moments come complete with yet another twist before the end credits start rolling.

However, if you're looking for a good horror anthology from this period, check out "Asylum" or "Tales from the Crypt" instead.

Five out of 10.


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