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Stark Fear (1962)

A sadistic husband mentally tortures his wife, while eventually planning to murder her. Although no one believes her, she gets help from an unexpected source.

Directors:

Ned Hockman, Skip Homeier (uncredited)

Writer:

Dwight V. Swain (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Beverly Garland ... Ellen Winslow
Skip Homeier ... Gerald Winslow
Kenneth Tobey ... Cliff Kane
Hannah Stone Hannah Stone ... Ruth
George Clow George Clow
Paul Scovil Paul Scovil
Edna Newman Edna Newman
John Arville John Arville
Bruce Palmer Bruce Palmer
Carey Mount Carey Mount
Cortez Ewing Cortez Ewing
Robert Stone Robert Stone ... (as Bob Stone)
Barbara Freeman Barbara Freeman
Darlene Dana Reno Darlene Dana Reno
Joseph Benton Joseph Benton
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Storyline

"Stark Fear" is the story of Ellen Winslow, who hungers for affection but finds herself chained to a hate-warped husband Gerald. Ellen gets a job, which is more than George seems to be able to do, but he disappears in a jealous rage, but Ellen's sense of loyalty and duty won't let her abandon him, so she goes looking for him in his home town. Gerald attacks her anew, and she is subjected to painful humiliation and abuse by Gerald's best friend, lecherous old Harvey Suggett, at a Comanche tribal dance. The hidden Gerald watches with sadistic delight. Ellen buries herself in her work, to forget her anguish, and falls in love with her employer, Cliff Kane, and they both take a business weekend at the "Little Switzerland" resort in Arkansas. Ellen tells Gerald that he is too emotionally warped for marriage and divorces him, and to prove she is wrong he tries to kill her. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I ain't gonna hurt you... I just want company... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beverly Garland says this is her least favorite of all the movies she's made. She also said that first-time director Ned Hockman walked off the set after disagreements with the cast and producers, and that co-star Skip Homeier finished directing the picture. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fun sleazy-B with a debt to "Psycho".
3 March 2018 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Beverly Garland is winning in the role of Ellen Winslow, a young woman married to a vile, insecure man named Jerry (Skip Homeier), who doesn't like that she got a job when he seemingly made enough money to support both of them. Jerry soon disappears, and poor Ellen is obliged to search for the bum when his boss demands that SHE do something about it! Ellen then runs into a variety of sordid, unsavoury characters while falling in love with her new boss, Cliff Kane (the great Kenneth Tobey).

Ellen is the kind of character that would surely anger feminists, as she tends to blame herself for everything. That said, Beverly may have singled out this flick as her least favourite, but there's no denying that she still deeply commits herself to this performance. Ellen IS sympathetic, enough so that you wish she'd have more moments where she got tough and stood up for herself. At her lowest point, she gets raped by Jerry's old friend Harvey Suggett while combing his hometown.

After disagreements with cast & crew, credited director Ned Hockman walked off the picture, leaving it to be finished by co-star Homeier, who's excellent at making his character truly despicable. Within seconds of meeting him, we're hoping he comes to a bad end. Tobey is as engaging as he's ever been, although even his character has a "history" that may have coloured his actions. The supporting cast consists of unknowns, although the guy playing Suggett is suitably creepy, and Hannah Stone has an effective presence as Ruth, Ellens' friend.

Although "Stark Fear" may wear its influence right on its sleeve (right down to leading lady Garland resembling Janet Leighs' Marion Crane), it does have a very seedy atmosphere that helps to carry it through an amusing 86 minute run time. It's no lost classic, but it should entertain lovers of low budget cinema reasonably well.

Seven out of 10.


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