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The City of the Dead (1960)

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A young college student arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town to research witchcraft; during her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers a startling secret about the town and its inhabitants.

Director:

John Llewellyn Moxey (as John Moxey)

Writers:

George Baxt (screenplay), Milton Subotsky (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dennis Lotis ... Richard Barlow
Christopher Lee ... Alan Driscoll
Patricia Jessel ... Elizabeth Selwyn / Mrs. Newless
Tom Naylor Tom Naylor ... Bill Maitland
Betta St. John ... Patricia Russell
Venetia Stevenson ... Nan Barlow
Valentine Dyall ... Jethrow Keane
Ann Beach Ann Beach ... Lottie
Norman MacOwan Norman MacOwan ... Reverend Russell (as Norman Macowan)
Fred Johnson Fred Johnson ... The Elder
James Dyrenforth James Dyrenforth ... Garage Attendant (as Jimmy Dyrenforth)
Maxine Holden Maxine Holden ... Sue
William Abney William Abney ... Policeman
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Storyline

A young coed (Nan Barlow) uses her winter vacation to research a paper on witchcraft in New England. Her professor recommends that she spend time in a small village named Whitewood. He originally came from the village , he also recommends she stay at the "Raven's Inn," run by a Mrs. Newlis. When she arrives at Whitewood, she notices macabre happenings, Soon, things begin to happen in earnest, and she finds herself "marked" for sacrifice by the undead coven of witches. It seems that the innkeeper is actually the undead spirit of Elizabeth Selwyn, and the "guests" at the inn are the other witches who have come to celebrate the sacrifice on Candalmas Eve. As one of them said when Nan walked away, "HE will be PLEASED." Written by John A Kostecki <jak@wbst207v.xerox.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Horror Hotel, next to the graveyard See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of the Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£45,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Vulcan Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released in the U.S. on a double bill with The Head (1959) in June 1963. See more »

Goofs

When Richard Barlow starts to go down the cellar stairs there is a wire, possibly to power his flashlight, clearly visible just behind him to his left. See more »

Quotes

Richard Barlow: When I look into a microscope, Driscoll, I see bacteria swimming, fighting, existing, that's real. These witches that were persecuted and burned in the 17th century were real too, but they weren't witches. They were pitiful human beings, victims of hysteria.
Prof. Alan Driscoll: There are many imminent scholars who have documented proof of the actual practice of witchcraft.
Richard Barlow: Yeah but how effective was this practice? Did any of these imminent scholars ever meet a practicing witch? Did *you* ever meet a witch, ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

The original U.S print (titled "Horror Hotel") is around 2 minutes shorter than the "City Of The Dead" version, and is missing most of the cursing made by Elizabeth Selwyn to the villagers during the opening burning and some of the conversation between Driscoll and Barlow as they discuss belief in the supernatural. See more »

Connections

Featured in Fantastic Fantasy Fright-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Devil Worship in New England, Past and Present
18 February 2004 | by sol1218See all my reviews

******SPOILERS****** After listening to a lecture by Prof.Alan Driscoll, Christopher Lee, on the town of Whitewood Massachussetts back in 1692 where a local witch, Elizabeth Slwyn, was burned at the stake one of Prof. Driscoll's students Nan Barlow, Venetia Stevenson, decided to do a term paper on the subject. Nan drives to Whitewood to get whatever information she could get on the subject from whats available in the towns records dating back to the 17th Century about witchcraft in general and the Slwyn case in particular.

Getting instructions from a reluctant local living in the area Nan drives into the town of Whitewood and checks into the Raven Inn where she meets the owner Mrs. Newlis, Patricia Jessel, and her mute helper Lottie, Ann Beach. Nan, unknowing to her at the time, was to meet a fate reserved only for someone like her, an innocent girl, that was needed for the Witches Holiday of February 1, Candlemass Eve the Satanic mocking of the Church.

Early Witchcraft and devil movie that predated "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist" but despite it's small budget is as good as either of those movies and the dozens of imitations that followed them. Eerie and spooky film about Witchcraft in New England that covers some 300 years from the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 to the beginning of the Disco Swinging era of the 1960's.

The town of Whitewood is both in the dark and fog at all times in the movie with not a single ray of sunlight ever descending on it. This gives the town a really creepy look as well as unnerving everyone in the theater audience watching the film. It makes one feel that the movie was made in Northern Alaska during the time when it has six months of darkness instead of the state of Massachussetts.

Gripping as well as interesting movie with a great ending sequence where good overcomes evil despite the overwhelming odds against it.


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