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The Woman Who Wouldn't Die (1965)

Catacombs (original title)
An astute businesswoman is completely devoted to her faithless husband, who must kill her to carry on with her pretty young niece. It turns out that the dead don't die so easily.


Gordon Hessler


Jay Bennett (novel), Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay) (as Dan Mainwaring)


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Cast overview:
Gary Merrill ... Raymond Garth
Jane Merrow ... Alice Taylor
Georgina Cookson ... Ellen Garth
Neil McCallum Neil McCallum ... Richard 'Dick' Corbett
Rachel Thomas Rachel Thomas ... Christine Glynn
Jack Train Jack Train ... Solicitor
Frederick Piper Frederick Piper ... Police Inspector Merkot


An astute businesswoman is completely devoted to her faithless husband, who must kill her to carry on with her pretty young niece. It turns out that the dead don't die so easily.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"[The Woman Who Wouldn't Die]"... will live forever as a masterpiece of suspense! See more »


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Release Date:

1966 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Woman Who Wouldn't Die See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The estate of £1M would be worth about $2.8M at the time or the equivalent of $21.5M in 2016. See more »


When Raymond puts Ellen on the bed after killing her in the bathroom, you can clearly see she is still breathing. See more »


Richard 'Dick' Corbett: Where does she get all that energy?
Raymond Garth: You're not so badly off.
Richard 'Dick' Corbett: Yeah - at least I'm not married to her. She frightens me, you know? The way she can read minds. Uncanny.
Raymond Garth: Yes, it is.
Richard 'Dick' Corbett: Something to do with her religion, isn't it? What do you call them - Sophianites?
Raymond Garth: Sophianists.
Raymond Garth: Yeah. Sorta yogi.
Raymond Garth: Something like that.
Richard 'Dick' Corbett: She does it at the office sometimes. It's queer. Puts herself into a trance, like hypnotism.
Raymond Garth: Helps her with her pains.
See more »


Featured in Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Sensational! Low budget ... High quality ... Near classic thriller
15 April 2018 | by GodeonWaySee all my reviews

Great script, brilliant casting, fine direction and excellent black and white camera-work make The Woman Who Wouldn't Die (aka Catacombs) one of the most compelling low-budget thrillers of the 1960s. It received only a limited release back in 1965, when I first saw it (three or four times). And though I've kept my eyes peeled ever since, I've never encountered it on TV.

So I was very happy to finally find it on DVD (excellent HD print) -- and it is as gripping as ever.

Jane Merrow has the ingenue role and she was never as alluring. Georgina Cookson is truly terrific as her domineering rich aunt. The two main men in this story, Gary Merrill and Neil McCallum, are just perfect .

Will not give away ANY of the plot here and adamantly advise you not to read any synopses. But believe me, if you enjoy old-time low-budget thrillers in the William Castle or Roy William Neill vein, you shouldn't miss this one. A treat from start to finish.

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