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Cry of the Banshee (1970)

GP | | Horror | 22 July 1970 (USA)
In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ... See full summary »

Director:

Gordon Hessler

Writers:

Tim Kelly (screenplay), Tim Kelly (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Price ... Lord Edward Whitman
Essy Persson Essy Persson ... Lady Patricia Whitman
Hilary Heath ... Maureen Whitman (as Hilary Dwyer)
Carl Rigg ... Harry Whitman
Stephan Chase ... Sean Whitman
Marshall Jones ... Father Tom
Andrew McCulloch ... Bully Boy
Michael Elphick ... Burke
Pamela Moiseiwitsch Pamela Moiseiwitsch ... Maid
Joyce Mandre Joyce Mandre ... Party Guest
Robert Hutton ... Party Guest
Guy Deghy ... Party Guest
Elisabeth Bergner ... Oona (as Elizabeth Bergner)
Patrick Mower ... Roderick
Victoria Fairbrother ... Margaret Donald (witch) (as Pamela Farbrother)
Edit

Storyline

In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to destroy the lord's family. (The "banshee" of this tale bears no resemblance to the normal usage of the term!) Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Edgar Allan Poe probes new depths of TERROR!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Banshî no sakebi See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Selected by Quentin Tarantino for the First Quentin Tarantino Film Fest in Austin, Texas, 1996. See more »

Goofs

This film is set in the 16th century. But in the first scene, when the girl is branded, she opens her mouth to scream and shows a full set of teeth with amalgam fillings. See more »

Quotes

Lord Edward Whitman: H is for heretic.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are divided into "The Establishment, "Witches", and "Villagers". See more »

Alternate Versions

The differences between the cut AIP version and the original edit (released on DVD in the US) are significant:
  • The AIP re-edit repositions the coven massacre scene (that occurs about half an hour into the film in the original version) as a pre-credits scene. The sequence is also slightly trimmed to eliminate some nudity and also remove the shots of Hugh Griffith observing the action.
  • The original credits are Pythonesque animations by Terry Gilliam. These animations were replaced in the AIP re-edit by stills of some of the winged creatures.
  • The music score was changed - the new music was composed by Lex Baxter. Wilfred Joseph did the original score.
  • All topless nudity was removed from the AIP re-edit. This involved trimming several scenes and re-framing others (zooming in on the "unoffensive" part of the frame). This chopped about 3m off the running time.
  • The death of Essay Persson was abridged
  • In the middle section of the film some other scenes were re-positioned in the narrative with the intent of bringing forward the appearance of the coven (in order to speed up the narrative). The version on DVD runs 91m whereas the old AIP version runs only 87m.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Planet Terror (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Needs More Banshee
28 October 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

This is a nasty bit of business made by AIP during that dreary period where the colorful, fun horror movies of the '60s were giving way to the darker, grittier movies of the '70s. It stars Vincent Price, easily the biggest name in horror in the '60s. Despite the title, there's no banshees in this movie. It's about an evil magistrate (Price) who abuses and kills people in his village in the name of witch hunting. Similar at this point to another (better) Price vehicle from around this time called The Conqueror Worm. But the similarities end there as the main plot is about some witches summoning a demon or something to seek revenge on Price and his wicked children. No banshees to be found. Lots of sexual stuff, though, and not all of it consensual. There's even a song about rape in the movie. So...yeah...more banshees and less rape, please. This is an ugly, cheap, and unpleasant exploitation movie. It's not fun enough to be entertaining and, as for horror, it couldn't scare a five year-old. One interesting little bit of trivia is that Terry Gilliam did the opening credits. They're done in that same style Monty Python was famous for.


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