6.7/10
5,298
76 user 55 critic

The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Horror | 22 January 1964 (USA)
Dishonest undertaker Waldo Trumbull and his sidekick Felix Gillie are creating their own customers when they cannot find willing ones.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writer:

Richard Matheson (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Waldo Trumbull
Peter Lorre ... Felix Gillie
Boris Karloff ... Amos Hinchley
Joyce Jameson ... Amaryllis Trumbull
Joe E. Brown ... Cemetery Keeper
Beverly Powers ... Mrs. Phipps (as Beverly Hills)
Basil Rathbone ... Mr. John F. Black
Alan DeWitt Alan DeWitt ... Riggs
Buddy Mason Buddy Mason ... Mr. Phipps
Douglas Williams Douglas Williams ... Doctor
Linda Rogers Linda Rogers ... Phipps' Maid
Luree Holmes Luree Holmes ... Black's Servant
Orangey ... Cleopatra (as Rhubarb)
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Storyline

Waldo Trumbull, an undertaker who hasn't had any 'customers' in a long time is forced the pay one year's back-rent. To get money he starts to kill people in order to get new clients. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They put new life in the undertaking business! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An article in the December 18, 1963 edition of Variety noted that the hydraulically-operated coffin specially built for this film cost $9,300 ($78,000 in 2020). See more »

Goofs

Peter Lorre's stunt double is quite obvious - he's clearly a younger man (with longer, darker hair), wearing a Lorre mask. See more »

Quotes

Waldo Trumbull: To... uh... paraphrase the venerable adage: we shall kill two birds, with one... pillow.
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User Reviews

Contains Basil Rathbone's finest moments in film!
17 August 2001 | by blue_somnambulistSee all my reviews

I just couldn't resist a film that boasts Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre all together, all in one film! Their chemistry is amazing, and they all come off as seasoned actors who are just having a really good time. Price and Lorre are the perfect duo of undertakers in search of their next job. Price consistently insults, threatens and demeans Lorre (and everyone else-he is so delightfully despicable!)

Peter Lorre, who I consider to be a neglected comic genius in his own right, plays the perfect bumbling and lovable assistant. The scenes between him and Joyce Jameson (an argument for hearing protectors if ever there was one) are beautiful and absurd in their ingenuousness, as if the 60 year old Peter Lorre was but a smitten schoolboy mooning over a damsel.

The scenes at the dinner table are perfect in their comic timing, the decrepit Boris Karloff sitting peacefully unaware of Vincent Price's palpable loathing of him and his daughter, occasionally coming out with gems like "The Egyptians used to pull the brains out through the nose with a hook!" before returning to drinking his milk in a charming and doddering manner.

Basil Rathbone, however, is the hammy fist of the production, so to speak. He plays the inflexible and imperious landlord who owns the establishment out of which the funeral home of Hinchley and Trumbull operates, and he plays it up to the hilt, using every ounce of overacting he saved up from his Shakespearian stage days to render Macbeth like it has never been heard before! This is perhaps Basil Rathbone's finest hour, and you must watch the film to see why. Trust me on this one!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Graveside Story See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alta Vista Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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