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Paranoiac (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 15 May 1963 (USA)
A man long believed dead returns to the family estate to claim his inheritance.


Freddie Francis


Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Janette Scott ... Eleanor Ashby
Oliver Reed ... Simon Ashby
Sheila Burrell ... Aunt Harriet
Maurice Denham ... John Kossett
Alexander Davion ... Tony Ashby
Liliane Brousse ... Françoise
Harold Lang Harold Lang ... RAF Type
Arnold Diamond ... Publican
John Bonney ... Keith Kossett
John Stuart ... Williams


Eleven years earlier, the wealthy Ashby family was shattered when Mr and Mrs Ashby died in an airplane crash and their grieving son Tony committed suicide. All that remains of the family is cruel Simon, an alcoholic in desperate need of funds; his mentally fragile sister Eleanor; and his protective aunt Harriet. Simon is just weeks away from receiving his inheritance, but there is a hitch in his plans when the long believed dead Tony Ashby suddenly arrives. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When it comes to love or murder ... there's no one as dangerous ... as the ... Paranoiac! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Liliane Brousse is dubbed by Christine Finn. See more »


As Simon plays the congregational hymn on the organ in the opening scene at the church the music shown on his stand in the organ loft is an oratorio/anthem music score with SATB lines (soprano/alto/tenor/bass) and a two-stave orchestral/keyboard reduction, emphatically not a church hymn. See more »


Simon Ashby: [stumbles through the door inebriated]
Aunt Harriet: Where have you been?
Simon Ashby: [smirk on his face] I've been drinking.
[Looks at the liquor on the bar in the entryway]
Simon Ashby: Now I need to drink some more.
See more »


Version of Brat Farrar (1986) See more »

User Reviews

A dandy little suspense film
4 January 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The film is about a dysfunctional English family who make the folks on the Jerry Springer show seem very normal in comparison! It seems that many years earlier, two rich parents were killed in a traffic accident--leaving their three children to be raised by a nutty aunt. However, only a few years later, one of the sons apparently kills himself--leaving a flaky and emotionally fragile daughter and a son who is a spoiled little monster. This spoiled monster is played by Oliver Reed and he looked like he was having fun with this vivid role--drinking, being emotionally unstable and being an all-around jerk! The sister, never the poster child for sound mental health, begins insisting that she's seen and heard the other brother--even though he is dead. When he actually turns up alive some time later, you are left wondering if this really is the dead brother or if it's a con man. Due to this return, however, Reed begins acting much more unstable and kooky--as this reappearance has apparently pushed him over the edge of sanity.

How all this is resolved will keep you guessing and the film is a lot of fun even though it isn't exactly subtle. And, when the mysteries are all unraveled, you probably will like the the nice twists and turns. In many ways, the movie seems inspired by films such as PSYCHO and PARANOIAC in turn seems to be, at least in part, the inspiration for future films like STRAIGHT-JACKET--all shrill but exciting suspense films.

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Release Date:

15 May 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Haus des Grauens See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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