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 »
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 »
Did you know that I could hear the scratching of her fingernails on the casket lid?
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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 »
A Gothic classic and one of Roger Corman's best films.
Corman's first Poe film (out of eight) is one of the best adaptations of the familiar story (rivaled only by French director Jean Epstein's superb, yet completely different, 1928 version) and was a critical and commercial success in its day on a meager $125,000 budget. Vincent Price is superb as Roderick Usher, an eternally tortured soul who lives in a crumbling castle with his sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey) and faithful butler Bristol (nicely etched by Harry Ellerbe). When Philip Winthrop (bland Mark Damon) shows up to take Madeline away, Roderick's incestuous feelings come to surface and the terror begins. Highlights include Damon's colorful nightmare sequence and Price's explanation of the Usher family history.
HOUSE OF USHER is intelligent, subtle and effective, with good sets and costumes and excellent work from scripter Richard Matheson, composer Les Baxter, cameraman Floyd Crosby and art director Daniel Haller--all united by Corman's smart, stylish, fluent direction. Truly deserving of it's reputation as horror classic.
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