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Anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff that originally told ordinary tales of crime and mystery, but later became a showcase for gothic horror stories, many of which were based on works ... See full summary »
3,228 ( 5)




2   1  
1962   1961   1960  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Boris Karloff ...  Himself / ... 67 episodes, 1960-1962


Anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff that originally told ordinary tales of crime and mystery, but later became a showcase for gothic horror stories, many of which were based on works by authors such as Cornell Woolrich, Robert Bloch, and Charlotte Armstrong. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

13 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boris Karloff's Thriller See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(67 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Boris Karloff was a disappointing host for most critics, proving to be boring, not terrifying at all, and hardly entertaining, particularly when compared to Alfred Hitchcock, who excelled at these narrations. One critic even said he seemed uncomfortable. Nevertheless, after revamping the series after just eight episodes, and a change of personnel and direction, they kept Karloff, but merely for the name draw. See more »


Boris Karloff: And as sure as my name is Boris Karloff, this is going to be a thriller.
See more »


Featured in Classic Sci-Fi TV: 150 Episodes (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Thrilling throwback to the golden age of horror
7 July 2013 | by ArtimidorSee all my reviews

Never judge a book by its cover, and the same applies to TV programmes as well. Because what we've got here is not so much thriller fare in the traditional sense - this only applies to the early and mostly poor episodes of this 60s anthology series. From then on pure Gothic horror reigns, it's all about magic, mystery and supernatural happenings at their very best, typical thriller stuff just makes up the seasoning for the remainder of the show. And as a real treat it's all hosted by the great Boris "Frankenstein" Karloff himself, horror icon of the first hour - back then in the 30s, the golden age of horror, when Universal invented the monster movie. Karloff is also the reason why executives eventually went for the U-turn and gave the audience what they really wanted: sinister suspenseful drama in haunted castles, dubious figures crossing foggy moors, cemeteries that become alive, strange encounters in spooky old houses, skeletons in the closet all inclusive. Monsters, wizards, witches, ghosts, murderers, demons, even the devil and the grim reaper have gathered to send some shivers down your spine... The whole package comes in crisp black and white cinematography, complete with eerie shadows, thunder and lightning, and it's all about mood and atmosphere.

With all these tasty ingredients for an exquisite horror show at hand the likable grandfatherly Karloff himself isn't satisfied with just presenting, but joins the cast on several occasions. With him on the show starring in several episodes is one of the greatest unsung villains in film history, Henry Daniell, among other things in an unforgettable pairing with Ted "(Addams Family's) Lurch" Cassidy, also William Shatner shines twice, as does John Carradine, and there's always the character actor in perfection Edward Andrews to name just a few prime examples of audience favorites. In short: "Thriller" became a show inspired by the fans of classic horror, with everything that represents it, as is also made clear by listing some writing credits: Robert Bloch ("Psycho") contributes no less than ten episodes, there's Cornell Woolrich ("Rear Window") in the mix, Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont (both writers along with Serling on the "Twilight Zone"). Furthermore included are adaptations of classic Poe tales or e.g. another version of James M. Cain's classic "Double Indemnity". Head musician of the show and thus crucial for sustaining atmosphere is no other than the legendary Jerry Goldsmith in absolute top form. Sounds thrilling? It is! Guess in a way the title is not that misleading after all...

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