6.7/10
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107 user 81 critic

The Tingler (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror | 29 July 1959 (USA)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
An obsessed pathologist discovers and captures a parasitic creature that grows when fear grips its host.

Director:

William Castle

Writer:

Robb White
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Dr. Warren Chapin
Judith Evelyn ... Mrs. Martha Ryerson Higgins
Darryl Hickman ... David Morris
Patricia Cutts Patricia Cutts ... Isabel Stevens Chapin
Pamela Lincoln Pamela Lincoln ... Lucy Stevens
Philip Coolidge ... Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins
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Storyline

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Do you have the guts to sit in this chair? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

29 July 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tingler See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)| Stereo (partial)

Color:

Color (one scene)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film marked the return of William Castle to this home studio, Columbia Pictures. It also marked the first film for Castle's own production company. See more »

Goofs

At 36 minutes, as Dr. Chapin is dictating his experimental protocol into a tape recorder, he states that the average injection of LSD will be 50 micromilligrams. Experienced researchers would not use a double metric prefix of "micro-" (one millionth) plus "milli-" (one thousandth). They would simply combine them into "50 nanograms" for the overall 50 billionths of a gram being administered. See more »

Quotes

Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins: It isn't as though I'd taken out a pistol and shot her or taken a knife and stabbed her, is it doc?
Dr. Warren Chapin: If you kill anybody deliberately, it's murder. No matter how you do it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally had a short sequence filmed partially in color. It was the scene when the deaf-mute Mrs. Higgins (Judith Evelyn), terrified by unknown forces, runs into a bathroom to hide and sees blood coming from the faucets of her sink and her bathtub filled with blood. Everything else in the scene is black and white except for the blood, which appears in garish red color - a typical William Castle gimmick. The USA home video release and the Turner Classic Movies print shown on Oct. 31, 2008 include the restored partial-color sequence. The short sequence is grainy and appears to have been inserted from an old deteriorated copy, or possibly a 16 mm print, as the rest of the movie's quality is crisp and sharp. Or possibly the image quality jump is due to an optical process or however the color was achieved, adding a generation of grain. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Gem for Castle and Price!
8 February 1999 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

William Castle was a great filmmaker. Many people would disagree because no one Castle film stands out as being great. Yet Castle was a great innovator that made going to the movies more than just a way to spend time to an experience. His gimmicks, although not usable today, are not what his movies are about. His films are about stories, pretty good ones at that. The Tingler is no exception. It is a tale of horror and science. It concerns itself with a doctor trying to prove that each of us has a tingler within us that gets bigger when we are in a state of fear and is repelled by our screaming. Although the scientific merit of this story seems somewhat implausible, Castle makes it seem very credible through his story-telling techniques. Some scenes in the movie are just wonderful. Vincent Price is excellent as the doctor questing for answers and then faced with a moral dilemma as to what should be done with his newly found knowledge. If you like science fiction, Vincent Price, or just a good old-fashioned horror yarn....The Tingler is for you!


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