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The City of the Dead (1960)

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1:39 | Trailer
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 ... 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:

This key will answer your questions to these screaming mysteries...(next to a skeleton hand holding a key) 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:

GBP45,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie's US release under the title of "Horror Hotel" omitted the following lines during Elizabeth Selwyn's burning at the stake in the first scene, which are critical to fully understanding the plot, but apparently offended American censors: Elizabeth Selwyn: "I have made my pact with thee O Lucifer! Hear me, hear me! I will do thy bidding for all eternity. For all eternity shall I practice the ritual of Black Mass. For all eternity shall I sacrifice unto thee. I give thee my soul, take me into thy service." Jethro Keane: "O Lucifer, listen to thy servant, grant her this pact for all eternity and I with her, and if we fail thee but once, you may do with our souls what you will." Elizabeth Selwyn: "Make this city an example of thy vengeance. Curse it, curse it for all eternity! Let me be the instrument of thy curse. Hear me O Lucifer, hear me!" See more »

Goofs

Patricia visits Whitewood on Candlemas, February 2. It is bitterly cold in New England at that time of year, but there is no snow on the ground. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Alan Driscoll: The basis of fairy tale is in reality. The basis of reality is fairy tales
See more »

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The City of the Dead: Oddly gripping stuff
1 October 2018 | by PlatypuschowSee all my reviews

The City of the Dead is a British made horror starring industry legend Christopher Lee.

It tells the story of a student studying witchcraft who decides to go to a sleepy town drenched in rich occult history. There she finds more than she could have ever expected.

The movie is years ahead of it's time, it looks great, it plays out perfectly and I walked away considerably more satisified than I expected.

It almost felt like a Hammer Horror except without any of the goofiness, in fact the film is really quite merciless by comparison and would have heavily stood out back in 1960.

A very enjoyable effort for all horror fans.

The Good:

Looks great

Very dark for its day

Perfectly paced

The Bad:

Ending is weaker than the rest

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

It's best to invite someone into your home after they're already in

Witches though bulletproof are vunerable to guns actually being thrown at them


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