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Diary of a Madman (1963)

Approved | | Horror | 6 March 1963 (USA)
3:22 | Trailer
An evil spirit leaves the body of his human host, a criminal on death-row, and sneaks into the body of his next human host, a French magistrate.


Reginald Le Borg


Guy de Maupassant (stories), Robert E. Kent





Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Price ... Magistrate Simon Cordier
Nancy Kovack ... Odette Mallotte
Chris Warfield Chris Warfield ... Paul Duclasse
Elaine Devry ... Jeanne D'Arville
Ian Wolfe ... Pierre
Stephen Roberts Stephen Roberts ... Police Captain Robert Rennedon
Lewis Martin Lewis Martin ... Father Raymonde
Mary Adams ... Louise
Edward Colmans ... Andre D'Arville
Nelson Olmsted ... Dr. Borman
Harvey Stephens ... Louis Girot
Dick Wilson ... Martin
Wayne Collier Wayne Collier ... Arguing Cafe Couple
Gloria Clark Gloria Clark ... Arguing Cafe Couple
Don Brodie Don Brodie ... Marcel the Postman


Simon Cordier's a well-respected magistrate who visits a condemned prisoner, Louis Girot, just before his execution. Girot pleads his innocence insisting he's been taken over by a spirit which forced him to commit the crimes. Cordier doesn't believe him and the man suddenly dies. In the following days, Cordier must face a number of strange occurrences iand begins to wonder if he's now dealing with those same spirits. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Most Diabolical Pages Ever Written Become The Most Terrifying Motion Picture Ever Created! See more »




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Did You Know?


Final theatrical film of Lewis Martin. See more »


When the magistrate hands Odette his calling card there is not any writing on the back of it but when Paul looks at it there is the time and day written there. See more »


[first title card]
Title Card: "... the vulture has eaten the pigeon; the wolf has eaten the lamb; the lion has devoured the sharp-tongued buffalo; man has killed the lion with an arrow, with spear, with gun-powder; but the *"Horla"* will make of man what man has made of the horse and of the ox; His chattel, His slave, and His food, but the mere power of His will. Woe to us!"... Guy de Maupassant
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are revealed by a knife cutting through red fabric. See more »


Featured in Creature Features: Diary of A Madman (1970) See more »

User Reviews

surprisingly good Price vehicle
18 January 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

During the 1960s, Vincent Price became super famous as a horror actor--starring in countless low budget horror flicks. Many of them were very cheap and rather forgettable but he also did a few dandies that were quite watchable. In that latter category I would place this film. It's very enjoyable and despite the plot being awfully far-fetched, it is carried off well. Price plays a nice judge who visits a madman about to be executed. At this meeting, the evil spirit controlling the maniac jumps into Price's body and as a result, he goes from a saintly life of a life of evil and depravity. The acting and writing are good, but I must admit this sort of fare isn't going to be for everyone--deep intellectual stuff this isn't! But, if you like a good scare, give the film a viewing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

6 March 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Horla See more »


Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Admiral Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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