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Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 12 August 1961 (USA)
In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writers:

Richard Matheson (screenplay), Edgar Allan Poe (story "The Pit and the Pendulum")
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Nicholas Medina / Sebastian Medina
John Kerr ... Francis Barnard
Barbara Steele ... Elizabeth Barnard Medina
Luana Anders ... Catherine Medina
Antony Carbone Antony Carbone ... Doctor Charles Leon
Patrick Westwood ... Maximillian
Lynette Bernay Lynette Bernay ... Maria (as Lynne Bernay)
Larry Turner Larry Turner ... Nicholas as a Child
Mary Menzies Mary Menzies ... Isabella
Charles Victor Charles Victor ... Bartolome
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Storyline

Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died of a blood disease, but Francis finds this hard to believe. After some investigating he finds out that it was extreme fear that was fatal to his sister and that she may have been buried alive! Strange things then start to happen in the Medina castle. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Betrayal cuts both ways! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 August 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allan Poe's Pit and the Pendulum See more »

Filming Locations:

Palos Verdes, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alta Vista Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To increase the pendulum's sense of deadly menace, director Roger Corman took out every other frame during the editing stage making the blade appear to move twice as fast. See more »

Goofs

When Elizabeth Medina starts to open her coffin you see her hand reach out and grab the side edge but in the next shot her hand is gone. See more »

Quotes

Don Nicholas Medina: The atmosphere is heavy in here.
[opens the curtains in Elizabeth's room]
Francis: Why have you brought me here?
Don Nicholas Medina: It is her room, sir. I've had it kept exactly as she left it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

2 shots of a corpse's face in a coffin were cut by the BBFC from the original UK cinema version. All later versions were uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beverly Hills, 90210: The Pit and the Pendulum (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the Best Roger Corman's Movies
6 February 2014 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

After the mysterious death of Elizabeth Barnard Medina (Barbara Steele), her brother Francis Barnard (John Kerr) travels from London to Spain and without previous notice he arrives at the castle of her husband Nicholas Medina (Vincent Price). He is received by Nicholas' sister Catherine Medina (Luana Anders) that invites Francis to have dinner with her brother and her.

Francis learns that their father Sebastian Medina was a cruel torturer of the Spanish Inquisition and Nicholas is a traumatized man that has witnessed the murder of his uncle Bartolome (Charles Victor) and his adulterer mother Isabella (Mary Menzies) being tortured and killed by his father when he was a kid. During the dinner, the family's friend Doctor Charles Leon (Antony Carbone) unexpectedly arrives and Francis discovers that his sister died of heart attack after visiting the torture chamber in the dungeons. Soon the place is haunted by strange events and Nicholas suspects of his servants Maximillian (Patrick Westwood) and Maria (Lynette Bernay) but Francis is convinced that Nicholas is the responsible for the death of his sister.

"Pit and the Pendulum" is one of the best Roger Corman's movies despite the poor scenario that shakes in many scenes. The last time that I saw this movie was on 16 November 1999 on cable television and today I have just watched it again on DVD. The creepy story of Edgar Allan Poe is still engaging even when the viewer watches more than two times. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A Mansão do Terror" ("The Manor of Horror")


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