5.2/10
503
15 user 19 critic

Crescendo (1970)

A young American woman Susan Roberts goes to the south of France to do her thesis research on a recently deceased composer, staying with his eccentric relatives.

Director:

Alan Gibson

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Alfred Shaughnessy (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stefanie Powers ... Susan Roberts
James Olson ... Georges Ryman / Jacques Ryman
Margaretta Scott ... Danielle Ryman
Jane Lapotaire ... Lillianne
Joss Ackland ... Carter
Kirsten Lindholm Kirsten Lindholm ... Catherine (as Kirsten Betts)
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Storyline

New York based graduate student Susan Roberts has just arrived in France to do research for her Masters thesis on the works of the late composer, Henry Ryman. She is staying indefinitely at the rural isolated estate of Ryman's widow, Danielle Ryman, on her invitation. There, Susan will have access to Henry's materials. Beyond Danielle, Carter the valet, and Lillianne the maid, the only other person living at the estate is Henry and Danielle's son, Georges Ryman. Georges is wheelchair-bound from an accident suffered six years ago, which ended what looked to be the start of a promising tennis career. Georges admits that he probably disappointed his parents by not being musically inclined like most people in their family. Susan learns that she has a strong resemblance to Georges' ex-girlfriend Catherine, who left him after the accident. Susan can see that Georges suffers both from physical and emotional pain, the latter more than just the emasculation he admits he feels from being in a ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The night the loving ended and the killing began! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

29 November 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Concierto inacabado See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Carreras unsuccessfully pursued Joan Crawford for the role ultimately played by Margaretta Scott. See more »

Alternate Versions

After being released with an "R" rating, film was edited and re-rated "PG" for wider release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing Hammer thriller
24 March 2008 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Hammer studios were obviously most famous for their horror flicks, but they did produce some work in other genres; and the thriller genre was one of their strongest outside horror, especially during the sixties with films such as Paranoiac and A Taste of Fear. I had rather high hopes for this one going into it despite its poor reputation simply for the fact that Hammer produced it and they have produced some good thrillers; such as those mentioned, but unfortunately it would seem that the studio's success in this genre didn't continue into the seventies as Crescendo, despite some good moments and positive elements, is a largely lacklustre thriller. The plot focuses on a young girl who goes to stay at a house in France to help her with a thesis. The house used to belong to a famous music composer but is now owned by his wife and son after the composer's death. The girl soon gets to meet the family as well as the staff and soon it becomes apparent that not everything is as it should be; mostly because everyone in the house is a weirdo!

The film's main problem is that it largely fails to be interesting; the story is derivative and not all that interesting anyway, and this isn't compensated for by the characters (who are also largely uninteresting) so we end up with a film that doesn't fit the 'thriller' bill very well. Most of the film takes place in an old, large house; although director Alan Gibson doesn't really make best use of this in terms of atmosphere. The director would go on to make the latter two films in the popular Dracula series - the fun Dracula A.D. 1972 and the disappointing Satanic Rites of Dracula and both of these lacked atmosphere too. Crescendo was apparently made for TV and this is pretty obvious as it's all quite tame; there are actually a few murders in this film but we never get to see much blood and they're not very brutal. Nobody in the cast particularly stands out either; Stefanie Powers is the biggest standout in the lead role, though not particularly for her performance. There is a twist at the end which comes as something of a surprise, but as the build up to it is quite dull; the twist doesn't come off all that well. Overall, I can't say I enjoyed this film much and I'd only recommend it to Hammer Horror completists.


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