5.4/10
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The Old Dark House (1963)

An American who sells cars in England receives a mysterious invitation from an old, eccentric millionaire to visit his house in which he lives with his twin brother.

Director:

William Castle

Writers:

Robert Dillon (screenplay), J.B. Priestley (based on "The Old Dark House" by)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tom Poston ... Tom Penderel
Robert Morley ... Roderick Femm
Janette Scott ... Cecily Femm
Joyce Grenfell ... Agatha Femm
Mervyn Johns ... Potiphar Femm
Fenella Fielding ... Morgana Femm
Peter Bull ... Caspar & Jasper Femm
Danny Green ... Morgan Femm
John Harvey John Harvey ... Club Receptionist
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Storyline

An American who sells cars in England receives a mysterious invitation from an old, eccentric millionaire to visit his house in which he lives with his twin brother. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll Die Laughing! It Runs Riot! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hammer Films

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Velha Casa Assombrada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original cinema release) (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally passed as an uncut 'X' by the BBFC in April 1963 and an accompanying poster produced, though for various reasons the film was not released in the UK until 1966. It was then passed with heavy cuts to remove some of the darker elements with an 'A' certificate and released in September 1966. The 1996 Encore video version (now rated PG) featured the original uncut print. See more »

Goofs

When Caspar loses at cards in the opening scene, he pushed four stacks of chips towards the old lady who won; the stacks fall over. In the next shot the croupier is pushing the now upright stacks towards the lady and one falls over. In the next shot the lady pulls four upright stacks towards her. See more »

Quotes

Tom Penderel: You, uh... why, you must be very lonely. Well, I mean, uh, all alone...
Morgana Femm: Oh, you have no idea. Every night in this house, with just a whole family of Femms.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was filmed in Eastmancolor, however it was released in American theaters in black and white. Color prints were released to American television, however. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Oranges and lemons...
1 June 2008 | by JweybrewSee all my reviews

Owing little to either James Whale's 1932 chiller, or to J.B. Priestly's original source novel, "Benighted", THE OLD DARK HOUSE is a small, off-beat and pleasantly daffy scare-comedy, a change-of-pace for director William Castle. Filmed and set in England, Tom Poston stars as a hapless American who, on a visit to a curious roommate's even curiouser family home, is caught up in a murderous merry-go-round of mayhem, nursery rhymes, love and (very possibly) the end of the world (including an Ark!). British stalwarts Robert Morley, Joyce Grenfell, Mervyn Johns, and Peter Bull have a charming good time playing the various members of the Femm family, along with Janette Scott and an unforgettably slinky Fenella Fielding as romantic interests. None of the usual Castle gimmicks for this release--just a bit of eccentricity and a pleasant, creepy, multi-murder mystery, with a puzzle to solve, a couple of surprises, and some good solid chuckles.

A note to fans of Charles Addams--the film's poster and its main titles contain some choice Addams artwork.

An additional note: the film was shot in color, but released in a very faintly tinted black-and-white version. The color version of the film was only seen on subsequent television release.

This movie really does deserve a DVD release, not only for its place in the William Castle canon, but for the performances and the fun.


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