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House of Usher (1960)

Approved | | 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:

I heard her first feeble movements in the coffin... we had put her living in the tomb! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roger Corman learned that there was an old barn in Orange County, CA that was about to be demolished. He was able to strike a deal that would allow him to burn the barn at night and film it. The resulting footage was so good that it was used not only in the climax of this film but in later "Poe" films as well. See more »

Goofs

In the church, Roderick has the head of Madeline's coffin, but while going down the stairs he has the foot of the coffin. In the next shot, entering the crypt, Roderick has the head of the coffin again. See more »

Quotes

Roderick Usher: Last night you asked me about the singular aridity of the land around this house. Once this land was fertile, farms abounded. Earth yielded her riches at harvest time. There were trees and plant life, flowers. Fields of grain. There was great beauty here. At that time this water was clear and fresh. Swans glided upon its crystal surface. Animals came to its bank, trustingly, to drink. But this was long before my time.
Philip Winthrop: Why do you tell me these things?
Roderick Usher: And then something crept across the land and ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

A new version premiered on August 6, 2010 at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn, New York, with a live score by Marco Benevento commissioned by BRIC / Arts / Media / Bklyn. This version, presented on DVD, featured numerous psychedelic overlays and superimposed and inserted flash-forwards, including an early appearance of the famous blood-covered hands shot and other moments from the climax earlier in the film. See more »

Connections

Version of Zánik domu Usherú (1982) See more »

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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