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House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror , Mystery | 1959 (Austria)
A millionaire offers $10,000 to five people who agree to be locked in a large, spooky, rented house overnight with him and his wife.

Directors:

William Castle, Rosemary Horvath (uncredited)

Writer:

Robb White
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Frederick Loren
Carol Ohmart ... Annabelle Loren
Richard Long ... Lance Schroeder
Alan Marshal ... Dr. David Trent
Carolyn Craig ... Nora Manning
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Watson Pritchard (as Elisha Cook)
Julie Mitchum Julie Mitchum ... Ruth Bridgers
Leona Anderson ... Mrs. Slydes
Howard Hoffman Howard Hoffman ... Jonas
Skeleton ... Himself
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Storyline

Eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren and his 4th wife, Annabelle, have invited 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a "haunted House" party. Whoever will stay in the house for one night will earn ten thousand dollars each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors. Written by Tony Mayer <tones120c@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First Film With the Amazing New Wonder EMERGO: The Thrills Fly Right Into The Audience! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1959 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

The House on Haunted Hill See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's opening was something of a jump scare gimmick. The total darkness accompanied by horrible noises echoing in a large movie theater would have been very terrifying in those days. The effect is most likely lost today on modern viewer's watching the film on a smaller television screen without the theatrical sound system, volume and total darkness. See more »

Goofs

Frederick Loren announces at the start of the challenge that if any of the contestants dies, the deceased's heirs will get his/her $10,000. Later, he says that if any of the five contestants dies, the total $50,000 will be split evenly among the survivors. However, the initial statement is spoken directly to the film's audience, is not part of the actual plot line, and therefore, does not really contradict the terms subsequently described to the genuine characters. See more »

Quotes

Frederick Loren: Don't stay up thinking of ways to get rid of me, it makes wrinkles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end title credits list "Skeleton - By Himself" See more »

Alternate Versions

The 20th Century Fox DVD edition contains a new computer-colorized version and a restored black and white print. See more »

Connections

Featured in Halloween (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
House on Haunted Hill"
by Richard Kayne and Richard Loring
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Enjoyable campy fun.
6 December 2002 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

Of the many William Castle directed shockers of the '50's and '60's, this one is probably the most traditional in terms of being a "ghost story". The set up is irresistible (derivative of "Ten Little Indians" in a way.) Five unrelated people are chosen to spend the night in what is purported to be a haunted house. Several murders have taken place in the house in the past. If the participants stay the night, their host (Price) will give them each $10,000 (a nice chunk of change in 1958!) The house is surprisingly non-Gothic on the outside. It more closely resembles a piece of the 1937 "Lost Horizon" set. Inside, it has the more expected old woodwork, creaky doors, curtained alcoves, etc... Price is wonderful, as always, as the sardonic, mysterious host. His wife is played by a former beauty queen (Ohmart) who is attractive, if a bit frosty. They have some interesting repartee which reveals their mistrust and hatred for one another. The guests include leading man-type Long, ingenue Craig, nervous Cook, crusty Mitchum and debonair Marshal. Macabre Price gives the guests loaded guns as party favors! It doesn't take long for the unusual occurrences and minor creeps to begin. Soon, the inhabitants are locked in and couldn't leave even if they wanted to! Long and Craig play Fred and Daphne as they try to unravel the goings-on. Cook drinks and gets more paranoid. Marshal tends to the wounded, getting more involved as the story progresses. Mitchum (Robert's sister!) is given little to do and doesn't appear to be a very significant actress. The film is hokey, campy and illogical...full of contrivances and inanities. Yet, it is undeniably entertaining. All of the hallmarks of an old-fashioned scary movie are in place....the eerie music, the undependable lights, swinging doors, secret passages and without question the most hilarious, terrifyingly ugly housekeeper ever put on film!

Price is right at home in these surroundings and does much to make the film palatable. There are a couple of fun plot twists to keep it from being too stale and the running time is a very comfortable hour and fifteen minutes. It's just a fun, entertaining way to waste an hour or so. Sadly, Craig (who had a real set of lungs on her...one of the greatest screamers ever!) was felled by a gunshot in real life about twelve years after this film was made at age 36. In fact, Marshal was dead within three years of heart ailments at 56 and Long died 16 years after from a heart attack at 47! And they say "Poltergeist" was cursed!


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