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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)
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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

The title sequence was designed and animated by future Python Terry Gilliam. 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: Oona. Of course. Once I showed her mercy. I should have killed her.... Burke. I don't care how you do it - bring Oona to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The original US release from AIP was a re edited and cut version. AIP created a new title sequence (dumping the Terry Gilliam animated titles) and removed some violence and nudity, as well as shuffling a few scenes around. This version was rated PG and was also released on VHS on the HBO / Thorn label as well as to TV in a version with even more cuts. In 1995, Orion released an EP speed VHS tape and went back to the original negative, releasing the original UK version, seen for the first time in the US. The DVD version is also uncut and has been rated R by the MPAA. See more »

Connections

Featured in Movie Macabre: Cry of the Banshee (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Price is burning witches again!
6 December 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

I'd seen two films from director Gordon Hessler prior to seeing this one, and they're both wildly different. One was the excellent Gothic horror The Oblong Box, while the other was the uneven and mostly terrible waste of a great of a cast, Scream and Scream Again. This film falls somewhere in the middle in terms of quality. Cry of the Banshee actually reminded me a lot more of the classic film Witchfinder General than either of Hessler's previous efforts, although it is nowhere near as good as that one. The plot features themes of witchcraft and witch hunts, as we focus on the evil Lord Edward Whitman, slaughterer of peasants and a man with an on-going war against a coven of local witches. He opts to murder a number of them in front of leader; a witch named Oona. However, this turns out to be a poor decision as Oona uses her magic powers to call up a magical being known as a 'Banshee', whom she uses - along with some members of Lord Whitman's own family - to bring a curse upon his entire household.

Obviously, my main reason for seeing this film was because of the fact that it features a starring performance from the great Vincent Price. This is not Vincent Price's greatest performance, but he still completely owns the film in every sequence that he's in (and he's in most of them). The character he plays in Cry of the Banshee isn't the most rounded character he's ever played, and therefore it isn't the most interesting - but hey! It's still Vincent Price. The way that the plot plays out is mostly good enough to hold the audience's interest; there isn't a great deal of suspense in the film, but director Gordon Hessler does a good job of creating the right atmosphere and setting up a suitable 'feel' for the film. The banshee isn't what you'd usually think of when that word springs to mind; which gives the film an element of memorability. The ending is decent enough, although it is rather predictable and overall, it has to be said that Cry of the Banshee is a more than passable. Sure, it's not brilliant - but Vincent Price fans are likely to enjoy it, and it gets a recommendation from me.


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