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The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Not Rated | | Horror | 30 October 1964 (Ireland)
A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writers:

Charles Beaumont (screenplay), R. Wright Campbell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Price ... Prince Prospero
Hazel Court ... Juliana
Jane Asher ... Francesca
David Weston ... Gino
Nigel Green ... Ludovico
Patrick Magee ... Alfredo
Paul Whitsun-Jones Paul Whitsun-Jones ... Scarlatti
Robert Brown ... Guard
Julian Burton ... Señor Veronese
David Davies David Davies ... Lead Villager
Skip Martin ... Hop Toad
Gaye Brown Gaye Brown ... Señora Escobar
Verina Greenlaw ... Esmeralda
Doreen Dawn Doreen Dawn ... Anna-Marie (as Doreen Dawne)
Brian Hewlett Brian Hewlett ... Senor Lampredi
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Storyline

The evil Prince Prospero is riding through the Catania village when he sees that the peasants are dying of Red Death plague. Prospero asks to burn down the village and he is offended by the villagers Gino and his father-in-law Ludovico. He decides to kill them, but Gino's wife, the young and beautiful Francesca, begs for the lives of her husband and her father and Prospero brings them alive to his castle expecting to corrupt Francesca. Propero worships Satan and invites his noble friends to stay in his castle that is a shelter of depravity against the plague. When Prospero invites his guests to attend a masked ball, he sees a red hooded stranger and he believes that Satan himself has attended his party. But soon he learns who his mysterious guest is. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Horror has a face. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last words spoken in this film (by the Red Death character) are "sic transit gloria mundi" which translates into English as "thus goes the glory of the world". See more »

Goofs

Clearly a child playing what should be a woman with dwarfism. See more »

Quotes

Alfredo: Wherever did you find her?
Prospero: Pretty toy isn't she?
Alfredo: I wonder...
Prospero: I'm sure you do, Alfredo. I'm sure you wonder about every woman in my household... everyone with the appearance of innocence, that is.
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Crazy Credits

The closing credits play over high-contrast monochrome footage, tinted bright red, of a hand laying down rows of cards, one by one, from a medieval Tarocchi deck. Tarocchi was a card-playing game that evolved centuries later into the occult Tarot. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was heavily cut by the BBFC to edit lines of implied sexual dialogue, the killing of Juliana by the falcon, and scenes of burning people (including Alfredo in the ape costume), and to completely remove the entire black mass dream sequence. Video and DVD releases fully restore the BBFC cuts though the print used is an edited U.S version which misses some dialogue as well as a shot of Francesca being slapped across the face by one of Prospero's soldiers. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Two Masters' Eyes (2003) See more »

User Reviews

 
Jane Strikes Out Vincent
29 May 2004 | by Dan1863SicklesSee all my reviews

Baseball writers like to say that while fans pay to see home runs, it's actually pitching that wins ball games. The great teams are always strong up the middle, whether a power hitter is in the line-up or not.

Vincent Price was the Babe Ruth of horror. Always at his chilling best, he gave hundreds of brilliant performances, but made only a handful of good movies. Why? He always hit home runs, yet most of the time he had to be the whole show. Evil was alive in his movies but good was either shadowy or non-existent.

THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is a masterpiece because for once Vincent is up against goodness that is rich, alluring, attractive and unique. Jane Asher gives an indelible performance as Francesca, the village girl who refuses to be cowed or corrupted by the suave, satanic lord. Though so waif-like and fragile that she could almost be a child, the beautiful redhead has the courage of her convictions and the real dignity of innocence.

Watch the early scene where she is roughly undressed by handmaidens and forced into a hot bath in order to become more ladylike. Evil Count Prospero comes in to leer at her, of course, and she confronts him. While the steamy sensuality is certainly there, the astonishing thing is the dignity with which Francesca conducts herself. Once the evil lord is gone, she rises from her bath (discreetly wrapped in a towel) and announces to Prospero's jaded mistress Juliana, "I will do what I must to save my men. But if they die, I will die -- and so will Prince Prospero."

For once Vincent Price has something to work against, and the result is the richest, most colorful and rewarding film of his career. In the story line Jane strikes out Vincent, as Prospero is ultimately defeated -- but for once the slugger is playing on a World Series team.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

30 October 1964 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Masque of the Red Death See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alta Vista Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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