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Theatre of Blood (1973)

 -  Comedy | Horror  -  5 April 1973 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,843 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 80 critic

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

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Title: Theatre of Blood (1973)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Peregrine Devlin
...
Trevor Dickman
Coral Browne ...
Miss Chloe Moon
Robert Coote ...
Oliver Larding
...
Solomon Psaltery
...
George William Maxwell
...
Horace Sprout
...
Meredith Merridew
...
Hector Snipe
...
Inspector Boot
...
Sergeant Dogge
Madeline Smith ...
Rosemary
...
Maisie Psaltery
Edit

Storyline

Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) stars as an actor overlooked for a critics' acting award, despite producing a season of Shakespeare plays. After confronting the Critics' Circle, an attempted suicidal dive into the Thames results in Lionheart being rescued by your typical paraffin/meths/turps swigging tramps. Lionheart then (presumed dead) exacts his grizzly, and quite amusing revenge on the critics who denied him his finest hour. Written by Paul Batey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's curtains for his critics! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Much Ado About Murder  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(title sequence)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture of the handsome Elizabethan young man in black cape and white tights shown during the opening credits, and later used as the model for the film's Critic's Circle Award is a painting entitled Young Man Among Roses by Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), and is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. See more »

Goofs

When Edward Lionheart carries his dead daughter's body over the rooftops of London, you can see her hand clutching his neck to keep from falling. See more »

Quotes

[before stabbing Snipe to death with a spear]
Edward Lionheart: The dragon wing of night o'erspreads the earth. My half-serp spear that frankly would have fed, pleased with this dainty bait, thus goes to bed!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This comic horror (or horrific comedy) really made my stomach turn even as I brushed up my Shakespeare.
13 August 2000 | by (Castro Valley, California) – See all my reviews

This movie is hilarious but disturbing. I found it in the local video store while searching for a copy of Kind Hearts and Coronets, and I'm afraid that at first, it suffered from invidious comparison. There are several graphic and prolonged death scenes that I really found repelling. Not only were they very ugly and presumably realistic, but the characters that were killed had become very dear to the audience, that is, me. Each of the ten victims is played by a veteran British or Australian character actor, each one a master at engaging the audience in a short amount of film time.

This said, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, and the references to Shakespeare actually had me combing through our collected works at 12:30 a.m. Diana Rigg is perfect as Edwina--she's a Shakespeare pro, but perfectly captures several feminine ideals of the late sixties. Her appearance in mini and white platform boots is a shining example of mod glory, circa 1970.

I appreciated this film more when I remember that it was probably made as cheap horror film with added wit, rather than a clever comedy that went over the top with graphic violence. I believe my stomach actually turned at a few of the murders, even though I laughed out loud soon after.

Coral Browne was particularly funny, and there were definite sparks between her and Vincent Price in the beauty shop scene. (I remember reading about their real-life romance with glee, since they were both over 60 at the time.) I wish her scenes could have lasted longer.

I loved the wit, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Vincent and Diana acting out snippets of scenes from some of the great plays. I also enjoyed the writer's skill at contemporary comedy and sly wordplay. Each character, played by a talented veteran, makes an indelible impression in their too-brief "hour upon the stage" before they depart and are seen no more. This film needed a curtain call at the end, just as in Shakespeare's time, so we could see the company of players one last time. I suppose the producers wouldn't go for it.

Although I enjoyed this movie, I couldn't bring myself to sit through the film a second time, even for the performances and dialogue. I just couldn't bear to watch all those death throes again.


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