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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
When about to show his guests the cup of poison, Guy refers to this as the coup de grace, but mispronounces it as "coup de gras" (as in "foie gras" or "Mardi Gras"). It is very unlikely that a well educated English grandee such as Guy would make such a mistake. See more »
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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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 »
This is the only film in Corman's Poe cycle without Vincent Price. He chose instead Ray Milland as the man haunted by fear of being buried alive. In fact Milland portrays the protagonist more "seriously" than Price would have, or more "realisticaly". This is a good film for those who like the subject. Some critics have talked about films filled with fascination with death, quoting some times "Obsession" by Brian de Palma, for example. But if there is a "necrophiliac" film ever, this is "Premature Burial". Loosely based in Edgar Allan Poe's unfilmable tale, it has a magnificent plot and many hints and blinks. It is a disturbing film, too. Its atmosphere is perfectly gloomy. Milland seems genuinely tormented by his fears, and he delivers some modified Poe lines with intensity. I think that this picture is in the better half of the Poe cycle, and has a particular quality of its own.
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