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Two on a Guillotine (1965)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Horror | 13 January 1965 (USA)
The spitting image of her mother at that age, early twenty-something Cassie Duquesne never really knew her parents, Duke and Melinda Duquesne, having been sent to live with her aged ... See full summary »

Director:

William Conrad

Writers:

Henry Slesar (screenplay), John Kneubuhl (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Connie Stevens ... Melinda Duquesne / Cassie Duquesne
Dean Jones ... Val Henderson
Cesar Romero ... 'Duke' Duquesne
Parley Baer ... 'Buzz' Sheridan
Virginia Gregg ... Dolly Bast
Connie Gilchrist ... Ramona Ryerdon
John Hoyt ... Carl Vickers
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Storyline

The spitting image of her mother at that age, early twenty-something Cassie Duquesne never really knew her parents, Duke and Melinda Duquesne, having been sent to live with her aged maternal aunt in Wisconsin after Melinda abandoned the family when Cassie was an infant, Melinda's whereabouts since unknown. Twenty years ago, Duke and Melinda were at the top of the profession as a magician - The Great Duquesne - and his on-stage assistant respectively, they specializing in illusions of the macabre and gore. Cassie reenters the realm of her father's life when she returns to Los Angeles to attend his funeral, which is as theatrical as his life in that he vowed in his life to emerge from the dead. Beyond this issue, Cassie learns that she is the sole beneficiary of her father's $300,000 estate, with which those arguably closest to him, Buzz Sheridan and Dolly Bast, his longtime manager and housekeeper respectively, are outwardly all right in Duke's want to bring Cassie back, she who they ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We don't mind sticking our necks out...but the screen will BE HEADING for a new high in good clean-cut fun! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dos en la guillotina See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The melody of the song 'Devotion' composed by 'Max Steiner' and sung by Irene Dunne in the 1931 film entitled Consolation Marriage is used throughout this movie as its soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

Connie Stevens character opens the front door of her fathers home and leaves the key in the door. After screams and Dean Jones character runs to her aid he too leaves the keys in the door. And nothing is ever said again about the keys. See more »

Quotes

John Harley 'Duke' Duquesne: [Speaking to an imaginary audience, while Cassie Duquesne, unconscious, is strapped into his stage-show guillotine] Ladies and gentlemen, behold one of the most tragic and malign figures in... in all the... the annals of recorded history. The beauteous Marie Antoinette. Doomed by the... by the... by the... bestial malevolence of the revolutionary mob, to end her glorious life upon this... this cruel instrument of bloody torture. La Belle Dame sans Merci. And why did she have to die? For ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

What Is This Thing Called Love?
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Sung by Connie Stevens
See more »

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User Reviews

 
''And Plenty On The Aisle...
4 December 2010 | by phillindholmSee all my reviews

A title like ''Two On A Guillotine'' leaves one expecting some first-class horror. Alas, in this glossy Warner Brothers programmer, that's not what you get. The plot, which is as old as the hills, deals with the long-estranged daughter of a magician (Connie Stevens, star of Television's ''Hawaiian Eye'') who is left her deceased father's fortune, with one stipulation-she must spend one week in his mansion in order to collect it. Years before, Dad's wife (Stevens again) disappeared without a trace, leaving his daughter to be raised by relatives. At her father's funeral, she is reunited with her one-time Nursemaid (Virginia Gregg) and her father's business manager (Parley Baer) both of whom will split the inheritance should Connie split before the week is up. Quickly befriended by an incognito reporter, (Dean Jones) Connie makes her way to the house for what should have been a living nightmare. But it goes (slowly) downhill from there.Producer/Director William Conrad had quite a showbiz career-he played Marshall Dillon on radio long before James Arness played the part on the TV series ''Gunsmoke''. In the 70's Conrad was ''Cannon'' the star of his own successful TV show, and he ended his run starring in another successful detective series ''Jake And The Fatman''.As the director of this film, however,( as well as the following year's ''My Blood Runs Cold''), he started with practically nothing, and did little more with it.Max Steiner contributes a suitably eerie score (his last) and the black and white photography is excellent. But neither can disguise the fact that very little is actually happening.Stevens and Jones are given insipid characters to play but do what they can with them which, sadly, isn't much. Poor Connie is also victimized by her unflattering hairstyles-including one that looks like she's wearing a raccoon (complete with tail)on her head. Both spend what feels like forever, plodding around the sadly unthreatening house, dodging an occasional plastic skeleton, and the usual rubber head bouncing down the stairs. Except for one or two ear-splitting shrieks from Stevens, neither seems all that concerned. Gregg (as usual) and Baer at least manage to make their parts interesting, even though they are merely red herrings. Connie Gilchrist is wasted in a bit as a housekeeper. Caesar Romero is properly pathetic as the mad magician, but he's not on screen enough.Worst of all, this film cries out for (but doesn't get) much more suspense, deeper characterizations and imaginative direction. Instead, Conrad tosses in a dull romantic subplot for Stevens and Jones,a visit to a local disco, an excursion to an amusement park and a song (?) from Stevens,who WAS recording for Warner Brothers Records at the time. But all this does is make an already overlong film that much longer. Even the supposedly ''shocking climax'' is dragged out unmercifully. Needless to say, this was a pretty weak wrap up to 50's starlet Steven's Warner Brothers contract.Incidentally, both she and Romero made personal appearances on behalf of the film (to no avail) when it opened in New York. Jones fared a bit better, going on to star in a few popular Walt Disney comedies. Romero, however, really triumphed the following year when he was perfectly cast as the flamboyant '' Joker'' in the ''Batman'' Television Series. Yes, there are so-called ''Horror Films'' out there a lot worse than this one. But there are much better ones as well.


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