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
Opened in London at the Compton Cinema, Old Compton Street, on 26 December 1960 and ran for four weeks. This was unusual since the Compton was a cinema club showing uncensored films for members only. It changed its status to public cinema for the duration of the Usher run. See more »
Early in the film, Winthrop leans with his hand on the banister, and the banister swings out precariously, nearly sending him to the floor below. When he pulls the banister back into place, he examines what appears to be sawdust on the top of it, in a very thick layer and showing no signs of disturbance from the near-fall or from his hand. See more »
You can almost see popular culture shift by watching the work of Roger Corman. He starts the 60s making films like this, and by the end of the decade was making films like "Bloody Mama".
But this film was part of his early 60s formula - get a bankable horror star - in this case Vincent Price, make the film a period piece and borrow at least the theme from Poe, have at least one beautiful lady who has an affliction or is in danger or both, and have some handsome knight in shining armor show up who feels he just has to save the girl. This film has only a loose association with the Poe story - siblings Madeleine and Roderick (Price), their strange physical afflictions of an unnamed origin, and their decaying house.
Price is always fun to watch in these late 50s early 60s horror films. His character Roderick Usher has menace, but he is just so interesting it is impossible to dislike him. Even though these Corman films have a low budget, they always seem to deliver plenty of atmosphere. I'd recommend it.
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