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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)
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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

After a long journey, Philip arrives at the Usher mansion seeking his loved one, Madeline. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Madeline and her brother Roderick Usher have been afflicted with a mysterious malady: Roderick's senses have become painfully acute, while Madeline has become catatonic. That evening, Roderick tells his guest of an old Usher family curse: any time there has been more than one Usher child, all of the siblings have gone insane and died horrible deaths. As the days wear on, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher and Nina <rocher@fiberbit.net><sinadone@hotmail.com>

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 »
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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

The rental studio left the small basement staircase set standing after production wrapped, so Roger Corman reused it in subsequent films. See more »

Goofs

As Phillip leaves his room to go to supper you hear the house start to rumble and it shows the hallway shaking,you can tell that this is done by having the camera moved around as the candles and other miscellaneous items in the hall don't move at all. See more »

Quotes

Roderick Usher: See to the crypt, will you?
See more »

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

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Atomic Brain (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

"I suggest you live, mr. Winthrop. No? Then perish with us".
5 October 2003 | by Grouchy2003See all my reviews

This is Roger Corman´s first Edgar Allan Poe-based movie and probably the best of them all in terms of direction, acting and script. It´s certainly the best adapted one, because it manages to build a larger story around the events of the tale without borrowing material from other tales and without making it seem obvious, unlike the sequels. Anyway, probably my favorite is still "Masque of the red death" which is also my favorite Poe tale. The rest deserves a look, of course, but it doesn´t get any better.

Vincent Price stars as Roderick Usher, a man obsessed with the tragic history of the Usher clan, filled with psychopats, murderers of all kinds and people who die of incurable illnesses. He forces his sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey) to stay in the house waiting for death to spare the world the horrors of the Usher family in years to come and even builds two separate coffins for them. Madeline´s fiancee (Mark Damon) goes looking for her to the house and is received by the obedient butler Bristol (Harry Ellerbe). From there on this four characters will go through a lot of arguing, running around the House (which, like in the Poe tale, is a character itself, one of a really menacing nature) and digging on ancient secrets. Any Corman or Poe afficionado can figure out the rest of the story by himself, but it´s a joy to watch it evolve here.

The star of the show is Vincent Price, of course. He puts in a black robe or a red silk suit and speaks in a low, soft, modulated voice, throwing his overwrought dialogue while the others just stare at him with surprise and fear. He has a special weakness of the hearing (I have the same problem, BTW, although not to this extent) and in one scene the fiancee screams at him hard enough to make him twitch in pain. In that scene you realize just what a genius he is. The set decoration is also to be noted (you won´t forget easily the paintings of the Usher family members by Burt Schonberg), as is the music and practically everything that sets the unbelievable mood this movie has.


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