6.4/10
1,853
42 user 31 critic

Diary of a Madman (1963)

Approved | | Horror | 6 March 1963 (USA)
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.

Director:

Reginald Le Borg

Writers:

Guy de Maupassant (stories), Robert E. Kent
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Cast

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
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Storyline

Simon Cordier is a well-respected magistrate who visits a condemned prisoner, Louis Girot, just before the man's execution. Girot again pleads his innocence insisting that he has been taken over by a spirit that forced him to commit his crimes. Cordier doesn't believe him and the man suddenly dies. Cordier does however note a rapid change in his personality during their short interview. In the following days, Cordier must face a number of strange occurrences in his home. He begins to wonder if he is sleepwalking but is soon hearing voices and begins to wonder about his sanity. It's recommended to him that he take up sculpting, something he once had an interest in. He develops a relationship with Odette, a gold digger married to a struggling artist, but the evil, invisible spirit soon drives him to murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He upholds the law, except when he murders. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Horla See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final theatrical film of Lewis Martin. See more »

Goofs

In one scene the Horla crushes a rose flat on a table, but in a subsequent scene, in a wider shot the rose on the table is visible and has not been flattened. See more »

Quotes

[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
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Demons (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Okay, though somewhat stretched out
18 February 2017 | by Wizard-8See all my reviews

Although I am a fan of Vincent Price, I only caught this particular effort of his today. Watching it, I think I know why it slipped past my attention for all of these years. Don't get me wrong - it is not a terrible or bad effort. Price is in top form as always, the low tech special effects are actually pretty good, and the script's basic idea is an intriguing (if a little familiar) one. However, the actual execution of this idea by the director and the screenwriter is kind of lacking. The main problem with the movie is that at 96 minutes it seems quite long and stretched out. It would have worked better at a much shorter pace; in fact, I think the story would fit very well as an episode of the television show "The Twilight Zone" than as a feature film. If you are a Vincent Price fan, the movie is adequate, though it doesn't match up to some of his other movies of this particular era like the Poe films directed by Roger Corman. For all other viewers, it passes the time painlessly, but that's about all.


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