Shocked by the death of her spouse, a scheming widow hatches a bold plan to get her hands on the inheritance, unaware that she is targeted by an axe-wielding murderer who lurks in the family's estate. What mystery shrouds the noble house?
Francis Ford Coppola
France, 18th century. Lieutenant Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson) has been accidentally separated from his regiment. He is wandering near the coast when he sees a young woman (Sandra Knight) and asks her for directions to Coldon, where he hopes to rejoin his regiment. But the woman doesn't answer, doesn't even greet him and walks away. Eventually she takes him towards the sea, where she disappears in rough water. Andre loses consciousness while trying to follow her, and is attacked by a bird and awakes in a house where an old woman (Dorothy Neumann) claims never to have seen the woman. After he leaves, he sees the woman again, and while trying to follow her, is saved by a man from certain death. Andre learns that in order to help the girl, he must go to castle of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff), and when he arrives, Andre sees the woman looking out of a window. However, Baron Von Leppe is old and seems reluctant to let Andre in. He claims there's no woman in the castle, but shows Andre...Written by
Arnoud Tiele (firstname.lastname@example.org) and subs111
The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove closeup shots of a bleeding face after the bird attack and a shot of a woman's rotting face during the climax. All later releases are uncut. See more »
This is, at times, a decent effort to tell a story. But when budgets get into the mix, things fall apart. I believe this was Nicholson's first film. Roger Corman is the director and how the two hooked up, I don't know. What I do know is that there are so many plots and subplots and errant visuals that half the time we don't know what is going on. I decided years ago that I would watch Karloff and Nicholson do their individual things and not worry about being fulfilled cinematically. They are both classic muggers for the camera. This is a ghost/witch story with people dying and the wrong people accused of killing them and a crazy castle. On and on and on. The film, which is normal length, seems about five hours long.
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