6.5/10
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53 user 71 critic

Premature Burial (1962)

Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 22 August 1962 (Italy)
An artist grows distant from his new wife as an irrational horror of premature burial consumes him.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writers:

Charles Beaumont (screenplay by), Ray Russell (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Guy Carrell
Hazel Court ... Emily Gault
Richard Ney ... Miles Archer
Heather Angel ... Kate Carrell
Alan Napier ... Dr. Gideon Gault
John Dierkes ... Sweeney
Dick Miller ... Mole (as Richard Miller)
Clive Halliday Clive Halliday ... Judson
Brendan Dillon ... Minister
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Storyline

Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father's tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Within the Coffin I Lie...ALIVE! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Guy has several sticks of dynamite in case he needs to blast his way out the tomb. Dynamite was invented in 1868, 19 years after Edgar Allen Poe died. Since there is no definite year set for this film, it's more a curiosity than a goof. See more »

Goofs

When Kate tells Guy that it's time for his medicine, she's holding the tray in her hands. In the next shot it's gone, and it is nowhere to be seen when the three of them leave the crypt. See more »

Quotes

Guy Carrell: Can you possibly conceive it. The unendurable oppression of the lungs, the stifling fumes of the earth, the rigid embrace of the coffin, the blackness of absolute night and the silence, like an overwhelming sea.
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Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove shots of maggots being poured from a cup and to edit scenes of Emily's body being covered with earth. The Optimum DVD is the uncut print. See more »

Connections

Featured in Masters of Fantasy: Roger Corman (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Molly Malone
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User Reviews

 
Midnight in the garden of good and evil
12 October 2005 | by ian-433See all my reviews

Intensely gloomy it may be, but an impressive example how a determined cinematic stylist can make a real virtue of a low budget. This was the third of director Roger Corman's AIP chillers based on Poe stories, and the only one not to star Vincent Price. Here, Ray Milland is the protagonist whose family history of catalepsy makes him fear burial alive.

Entirely shot on the sound stage, Corman and his regular art director Danial Haller have created a wonderfully expressionist garden of gnarled trees and shrubs wreathed with dry ice. Even the interior of Milland's mansion seems like a grave, notably in the scene where Hazel Court and Richard Bull take tea in a drawing room with wood-panelled walls, dark green wallpaper, with the dead tree pressing oppressively against the windows.

A number of other directorial touches make even this relatively minor Corman effort a winner. Court's shadow passing phantom-like over the sleeping Milland. The sudden shock moments when the sinister gravediggers Sweeny and Moe appear. And the blue-suffused dream-sequence in which Milland hallucinates the fate he fears most is quite masterfully shot, cut and scored (Ronald Stein).

A dark, dank little gem.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

22 August 1962 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Premature Burial See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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