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House of Usher (1960)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 23 September 1960 (Japan)
Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writers:

Edgar Allan Poe (based on "The Fall of The House of Usher"), Richard Matheson (screenplay)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Roderick Usher
Mark Damon ... Philip Winthrop
Myrna Fahey ... Madeline Usher
Harry Ellerbe ... Bristol
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Storyline

Philip Winthrop calls upon his fiancée, Madeline Usher, at her family home. His presence is unwelcome, especially to Madeline's brother, Roderick. Roderick explains that the Ushers are cursed, suffering from hereditary physical defects. By Madeline marrying Winthrop this would only likely continue the affliction. It soon becomes clear that something sinister is afoot: not only due to Roderick's determination to prevent Madeline from leaving but also due to the evil that seems to lurk in the house itself. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The House of Usher is no more - and the place whereon it stood is as if - it had never been. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1960 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fall of the House of Usher See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alta Vista Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Spain this hadn't a theatrical release until 1983, 23 years later. The film was only released - with 1 copy - at first in Barcelona (July/83, Casablanca 2) for 33 days and later, in Madrid (August/83, Alphaville 3) for 4 weeks, only projected in a subtitled version. Also there was a re-release in Madrid in 2003 (Pequeño Cine Estudio) for 23 days, only in a subtitled version. The dubbed version was for VHS premiere (1984) and later was broadcast on TV premiere (1989). See more »

Goofs

Moments after Madeline's coffin is left in the family grave, camera focuses the coffin's name and she screams waking up of her catalepsy. The scream should be warmed Philip about her. See more »

Quotes

Roderick Usher: I suggest you leave, Mr. Winthrop. No? Then perish with us.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove a shot of Madeline's bloodstained hands held to her face. All later versions were uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Usher (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece of Gothic Horror Cinema
7 May 2004 | by squeezeboxSee all my reviews

Roger Corman's brilliant adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's chilling tale is one of the greatest achievements in cinematic horror. It's hard to pick one of Corman's Poe adaptations as the best, but this, the first, might be it.

The movie is fairly faithful to the story, but extremely faithful to the tone of Poe's writing. No one but the team of Corman and writer Richard Matheson could pull it off like this. Poe's deranged sense of dread and sardonic humor are all here, in every shot.

Vincent Price turns in one of his finest performances as Roderick Usher, a man who is glad that he and his sister, Madeline (the wonderful Myrna Fahey) are the last of their bloodline, as he believes the family is doomed to all eventually go mad. He also suffers from hyper-sensitivity, and must have quiet, dim light, soft clothing and bland food, otherwise he suffers extreme pain. Whether this is a physical or psychological anomaly is never confirmed.

Madeline's fiance Philip (Mark Damon) comes to the house to claim Madeline as his wife. Roderick forbids it, believing he and his sister should die together, thus ending the Usher line of insanity. But it may be too late, as Madeline is already showing signs of flipping out, and Roderick has some pretty twisted ideas of how to stop that from happening.

The movie leads up to a spine-tingling finale that's as intense and scary a climax as anything I've seen. HOUSE OF USHER is a great horror movie, and perhaps the most faithful adaptation of Poe, both in content and style, ever filmed.


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