6.3/10
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146 user 70 critic

The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Horror | 5 August 1960 (USA)
Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
A clumsy young man nurtures a plant and discovers that it's carnivorous, forcing him to kill to feed it.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writer:

Charles B. Griffith (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jonathan Haze ... Seymour Krelborn
Jackie Joseph ... Audrey Fulquard
Mel Welles ... Gravis Mushnick
Dick Miller ... Fouch
Myrtle Vail ... Winifred Krelborn
Karyn Kupcinet ... Shirley (as Tammy Windsor)
Toby Michaels ... Shirley's Friend
Leola Wendorff ... Mrs. Shiva
Lynn Storey Lynn Storey ... Mrs. Hortense Feuchtwanger
Wally Campo ... Sgt. Joe Fink / Narrator
Jack Warford ... Detective Frank Stoolie
Meri Welles ... Leonora Clyde (as Merri Welles)
John Herman Shaner John Herman Shaner ... Dr. Phoebus Farb (as John Shaner)
Jack Nicholson ... Wilbur Force
Dodie Drake Dodie Drake ... Waitress
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Storyline

When clumsy Seymour Krelborn spoils two of a client's flowers, his boss Gravis Mushnick is ready to fire him from his flower shop until Seymour says he has mixed two different breeds of plant at home to create the "Audrey Jr." hybrid. Mushnick agrees to give Seymour another chance, and the next day Seymour brings in Audrey Jr., which becomes Mushnick's pride and joy and draws interest from his other employee Audrey Fulquard and more and more of their clients. Suddenly the plant ails, and Seymour accidentally learns that she likes blood. Upset because he doesn't know how to feed her, he walks along the railroad track and throws a stone that accidentally hits the head of a man who falls on the track and a train runs over him. Seymour takes pieces of the body back to the shop and discovers that the plant likes human flesh. The next morning, Audrey Jr. has grown and become the attraction of the shop. But how will Seymour feed his plant again? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The funniest picture this year! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the trophy presentation, Winifred Krelborn is dressed like an aging showgirl. Myrtle Vail played an aging showgirl in Myrt and Marge (1933), which is based on a 1931-1942 radio program of the same name, which is largely based on her own experiences. See more »

Goofs

Mel Welles's character name is spelled as "Mushnik" in the end credits, but appears as "Mushnick" on the sign outside his shop. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sgt. Joe Fink: [voiceover over a panning shot of a drawing of a sleazy neighbourhood] My name is Sergeant Joe Fink, working the 24-hour shift out of homicide. And this is my workshop. The part of town that everybody knows about, but that nobody wants to see - where the tragedies are deeper, the ecstasy's wilder and the crime rate consistently higher than anywhere else. Skid Row... my beat.
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Alternate Versions

The film was colorized twice. The first colorized version of the film was authorized by Roger Corman in 1987. This version featured several continuity errors, including the color of Audrey's costume changing several times in the same scene. Although it was poorly received, this version carried over to the 2006 Corman-authorized DVD released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment (which featured no black and white version of the film). The second colorized version of the film was produced by Legend Films in 2006, and was better-received. The Legend Films edition is the only DVD release of the film to offer both black and white and colorized versions of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Howard (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls
(1843) (uncredited)
from "The Bohemian Girl"
Music by Michael William Balfe
Lyrics by Alfred Bunn
Sung off-screen and a cappella by Jonathan Haze
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User Reviews

A surprisingly funny piece of b-movie entertainment from Corman
25 July 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Mushnick's is a small florists in skid row – a dead end part of town that everyone knows about but nobody wants to know about. Business is not great, in fact it is awful – nobody wants to buy flowers when they can't be sure where their next meal is coming from. However the cleaning boy has nurtured a strange new plant up from seed and it seems to be getting interest. When he discovers it needs a few drops of blood to make it grow Seymour is the toast of the town with his employer very grateful for the increased revenue the visitors bring. However as it grows it begins to need more than a few drops and soon he is heading down a terrible, dark road.

Like many viewers I suspect, I came to this film after seeing the musical remake; as such I assumed that this would be a straight film in the b-movie genre that Corman is famous for. However I was taken by how amusing this film was because really this is as much a horror comedy as the musical is. From Seymour's alcoholic mother to the cop so hard that even the death of his son is met with a shrug, the whole film is full of darkly comic touches that drew some nice laughs from me. This comic approach helps the film because really it is a silly plot and the fact that the script was tongue-in-cheek meant it was easier to swallow, if you pardon the choice of words. As a horror it doesn't really work but it does have a slocky property that Corman films tend to have – not high quality but low budget, b-movie fun.

The cast match the material and all buy into the joke, watching them also shows that the cast in the musical are really pretty much just impersonate the actors here. Haze is enjoyably geeky and convinces throughout. Welles is funny and plays up to his ethnic caricature well. Corman regular Miller hasn't really got much to do but his face is always a ruggedly familiar and welcome sight. Joseph is not great but her performance suits the b-movie genre – likewise Campo and Warford (who are very funny as Dragnet style cops). Nicholson is pretty funny and was a curious find in a small cameo.

Overall this is not a great film but it is a great b-movie horror. Never taking itself seriously means that it can be darkly funny and take the audience along for the ride. To me it is just as funny as the musical even it is a different type of humour and it is worth checking out.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Passionate People Eater See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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