In World War II Italy, Count Montressor has watched with horror as his former stable boy became a powerful Nazi general. In the process, General Fortanato has murdered the Count's sister ... See full summary »

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(story) (as Edgar Allen Poe), (adaptation)
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Cast

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Gen. Fortunato
Romney Brent ...
Rex Marshall ...
Himself - Announcer
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Storyline

In World War II Italy, Count Montressor has watched with horror as his former stable boy became a powerful Nazi general. In the process, General Fortanato has murdered the Count's sister and stolen his wife. Knowing the General plans to murder him, Count Montressor lures him into the palace's catacombs to taste the rare cask of Amontillado he has procured. Written by Jay Phelps <jaynashvil@aol.com>

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11 October 1949 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

To give the impression of climbing down a long flight of stairs to the catacombs, Lugosi and Brent walk in circles around the same few steps. The effect is given away when their timing gets off and Brent, who's supposed to be ahead of Lugosi, is seen popping into frame behind him. See more »

Quotes

Count Montressor: Early in the war, when the Fascists were in full power, I had to give the property to a General Fortunato. Actually, Fortunato used to be a stable boy here, but he rose by devious means until he became one of Mussolini's favorites and after that a general.
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A trial to sit through, even for Lugosi fans.
24 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film deviates from Poe's work before it has really even begun: his story is called The Cask of Amontillado (with the definite article 'The') but this movie is called A Cask of Amontillado (with the indefinite article 'A'). Add on to that, the fact that the altered title is displayed in an odd font, more militaristic-looking than horror, and that gets things off to a weird start.

Blurry photography; with some deep blacks, and pure whites, but far too many blue/ grey tones make many of the scenes appear washed out. Some faces appear nothing more than blue/ grey blobs.

Lugosi, in his only dramatic television role, does well, the same cannot be said about Ray Walston, who clearly didn't remember his lines ("Now, uh, first we'll, uh, we'll uh, fill out some blanks") but material isn't therefor anyone involved; Halsted Welles' brief screen story has little in common with Poe's original writing.

For a fan of early television mystery/ suspense, like myself, the cheap sets, and stone-painted cardboard sets do have a certain charm and innocence about them. But when we see Lugosi and Romney Brent walking down the same couple of steps multiple times in quick succession, it loses its charm, and just looks extremely cheap, like the budget couldn't have been $100.

After firing a shot at an unseen man going past his balcony, Lugosi's subsequent maniacal laughter echoes off the walls supposed to be sky behind him. Furthermore, the end of the set is clearly visible throughout.

It would be difficult for me to rate this amateurish, bargain basement TV-movie more than a 3/ 10, but Lugosi's always towering presence lifts it slightly, to a 5 /10.

24 minutes total runtime, without commercials.


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