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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 ... 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:

Consult your doctor! Bring your seat belts! 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 popular theme music originally had haunting lyrics by Richard Kayne, but only the orchestral version was used in the final film. For the record, the lyrics went as follows: There's a house on Haunted Hill / Where ev'rything's lonely and still / Lonely and still / And the ghost of a sigh / When we whispered good-bye / Lingers on / And each night gives a heart broken cry / There's a house on Haunted Hill / Where love walked there's a strange silent chill / Strange silent chill / There are mem'ries that yearn / For our hearts to return / And a promise we failed to fulfill / But we'll never go back / No, we'll never go back / To the house on Haunted Hill! See more »

Goofs

Recognizably, the following was intended to be a spooky special effect, but delivered rather awkwardly... Annabelle had faked her hanging death to fool her husband and the guests, and to obviously scare Nora to the point of hysteria. Which explains why "ghost" Annabelle 'floats' to Nora's window, but doesn't materialize inside the room as an actual ghost would. However, that sequence does not explain how the rope managed to creep through the window and *wrap* itself around Nora's ankles, and then retract out the window again. It may have worked better, if the rope had physically pulled on Nora's ankles, leaving her screaming as she grabbed onto to something, and then simply retracted back out the window again. See more »

Quotes

Annabelle Loren: [about Frederick's previous wives] All his doctors said heart attacks. Two girls in their 20s. Lance... I don't want to join them.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The VHS release of the movie cuts out a small scene when Watson Pritchard shows everybody the stain in the ceiling and he says to them 'see that stain? Blood.' See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Sci-Fi Boys (2006) 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

 
Vincent Price is outstanding
25 July 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Vincent Price plays Frederick Loren, an eccentric millionaire that invites five very different people to a haunted house for a party, and offers them $10,000 if they can stay the night... This film benefits emphatically from the presence of the legendary Vincent Price. As usual, Price gives a commanding performance and completely steals every scene he's in. Price is undoubtedly the star of the show, but he's not the only star in the show; Elisha Cook in particular gives excellent support playing the wimpy owner of the house; much the same character that he played in the Kubrick masterpiece; 'The Killing'. The rest of the cast is largely made up of unknowns and b-grade actors, but they also all perform to relatively high standards in their respective roles.

House on Haunted Hill's best feature other than the legendary Vincent Price, is undoubtedly the atmosphere of the house. Throughout the movie, there is an abundant sense of dread that is perpetually present and it serves the film well in that it brings the house to life; at every point in the movie, the audience is made to believe that there is something unseen in the house that will cause bad things to happen; and this is obviously exactly what a haunted house film needs. The film is very creepy in that way. That's not to say that this film is without its flaws; at times, the plot meanders and as the film only has a 75 minute running time, that's not good. It can also become a little dull at times as there isn't always a lot going on. This is, however, somewhat combated by the acting performances and defined characters as they usually manage to keep it at least interesting, if not enthralling throughout. House on Haunted Hill is topped off by a brilliant double twist, and it is also given certain originality by that also, although the twists do beg the question of whether or not the film has an appropriate title. The walking skeleton is hilarious, though and worth watching film for alone.

Overall, House on Haunted Hill is a lovely little b movie; it's creative, it's atmospheric and it stars Vincent Price. Highly recommended viewing, especially for horror fans. Definitely not recommended for anyone though, is the dire 1999 remake of this film, and the equally appalling remake of William Castle's other ghost story; '13 Ghosts'.


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