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The Haunting (1963)

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A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Nelson Gidding (screenplay), Shirley Jackson (based on the novel: "The Haunting of Hill House")
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julie Harris ... Eleanor Lance
Claire Bloom ... Theodora
Richard Johnson ... Dr. John Markway
Russ Tamblyn ... Luke Sanderson
Fay Compton ... Mrs. Sanderson
Rosalie Crutchley ... Mrs. Dudley
Lois Maxwell ... Grace Markway
Valentine Dyall ... Mr. Dudley
Diane Clare ... Carrie Fredericks
Ronald Adam ... Eldridge Harper
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Storyline

Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SCREAM...no one will hear you! RUN...and the silent foosteps will follow, for in Hill House the dead are restless! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1963 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Haunting See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,616,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argyle Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the shoot, Julie Harris suffered from depression, and believed that her co-stars did not take the film as seriously as she did. At times, she would cry in her makeup chair prior to the day's shoot. Claire Bloom did not speak to Harris while filming continued, which worsened her depression. Afterward, Bloom told Harris that the lack of interaction had helped her build her own performance and the two women reconciled. Harris incorporated her own depression into her performance. See more »

Goofs

When the shaking mirror falls, you can clearly see the string through the hole in the wall that had been holding it up. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. John Markway: [voice-over] An evil old house, the kind some people call haunted, is like an undiscovered country waiting to be explored. Hill House had stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more. Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there... walked alone.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original cut of movie (shown 24/9/03 at Filmhouse, Edinburgh) has several differences from the general release print -
  • Alternate opening with voice-over by the Mrs Sannerson character in place of the Markway monologue.The titles prior to this scene are slightly different. The 'History of Hill house' scene continues into the meeting with Mrs Sannerson and Markway but in this version, it is Sannerson who is doing most of talking.
  • The following scene from the general release print of Markway listing his subjects on a blackboard is missing. In it's place is a scene where Theo throws her lover out her appartment and, next to a photo of her lover, writes "I Hate You!" on a mirror in lipstick, looks at her reflection and mutters "I hate you too...". She then receives her invitation from Markway. This is delivered to her by her landlady how requires the excess postage to be paid. Theo already knows this is to be paid and there is humourous exchange concerning her ESP or her 'gift'.
  • There are several extened scenes involving Eleanor's 'inner thoughts' - most of which tie into her thoughts on her possible relationship with Markway. The scene showing her travelling to Hill house is extended with more 'inner monlogue' material including a couple of shots of her turning onto 'route 238' and commenting on "Journey's end in lovers meeting...".
  • The Morning/Harp scene runs longer and contains more dialogue from both Eleanor and Markway. This print had a title card prior to the MGM logo - "This print is on loan from the National Film and Television Archive"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Watcher in the Woods (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

More faithful to the book
3 January 2003 | by To'kunSee all my reviews

After finding this gem at the public library's VHS section, I finally received the chance to watch the 'better' version of The Haunting. With what I could recall from reading the original novel (after seeing the modern version), I found this cinematic version infinately better and denser in character exposition than the 1999 version. In this 1963 version, the ending stayed closer to what happened in the novel and that was the definitive moment of The Haunting. I can't say much for the modern version, other than it was an effects film.

What I found original in this 1963 version is that there were some clever uses of lensing effects to heighten the strangeness of Hill House. By adjusting the props in the sets so that they are off by a few degrees, it helps to unsettle the viewer.

I'm hoping for a dvd release so that I can own both versions of the film. In the meantime, read the novel. There were a few details left out.


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