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The Dunwich Horror (1970)

R | | Horror | 14 January 1970 (USA)
Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
Wilbur Whateley travels to the Arkham Miskatonic University to borrow the legendary Necronomicon. But, little does anyone know, Whateley isn't quite human...

Director:

Daniel Haller

Writers:

Curtis Hanson (screenplay) (as Curtis Lee Hanson), Henry Rosenbaum (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sandra Dee ... Nancy Wagner
Dean Stockwell ... Wilbur Whateley
Ed Begley ... Dr. Henry Armitage
Lloyd Bochner ... Dr. Cory
Sam Jaffe ... Old Whateley
Joanne Moore Jordan Joanne Moore Jordan ... Lavinia Whateley (as Joanna Moore Jordan)
Donna Baccala ... Elizabeth Hamilton
Talia Shire ... Nurse Cora (as Talia Coppola)
Michael Fox ... Dr. Raskin
Jason Wingreen ... Sheriff Harrison
Barboura Morris Barboura Morris ... Mrs. Cole
Beach Dickerson Beach Dickerson ... Mr. Cole
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes ... Guard
Toby Russ Toby Russ ... Librarian
Jack Pierce Jack Pierce ... Reeger
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Storyline

H.P. Lovecraft meets Hollywood: Wilbur Whateley wants to help the Old Ones break through by consulting the Necronomicon, and Armitage must stop him. Written by Brian Bixby <barbix@tiac.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

H.P. Lovecraft's Classic Tale Of Terror And The Supernatural! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"A.I.P" productions originally announced the making of "The Dunwich Horror" in 1963. See more »

Goofs

Every person in the movie pronounces the town's name as "Dun-witch"; in fact, it is pronounced "Dun-itch", with a silent 'W' as in "Greenwich village". See more »

Quotes

Wilbur Whateley: Come back, Old Ones... Princes of Darkness... and repossess the earth.
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Connections

Version of The Dunwich Horror (2010) See more »

User Reviews

 
Calling it 'The Dullwich Horror' would be too easy...
5 September 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

The writings of the great H.P. Lovecraft have lead to some truly great films, but unfortunately his stories aren't always enough to carry a film through, and despite the fact that this film features all the elements of a successful Lovecraft adaptation - The Dunwich Horror is a sadly lacklustre movie. It has to be said that the film does look very nice - for a low rent early seventies production, the cinematography is surprisingly crisp and the locations look good - but this isn't matched by the story, which is always intriguing but director Daniel Haller lets the suspense build and build and then makes the cardinal blunder of not giving his audience a worthwhile payoff at the end. The plot revolves around one of Lovecraft's most famous creations - the Necronomicon, a book which can supposedly summon alien Gods to Earth. Wilbur Whateley wants this book so that he can complete some ancient rite, and in order to do so he needs the services of Nancy Wagner - a young University student that offered him a lift home when he unfortunately missed his bus.

The film is packed with provocative imagery (for the time), and includes a nude scene for Sandra Dee and a whole host of trippy psychedelic scenes. However, while he was doing all this stuff, the director forgot that he was actually filming a horror film - and because of that, there's barely any horror on display at all and the closest we really get to anything horrifying is a vibrating door with a bolt on it. Naturally, it's not long before all this starts to get more than a little bit boring as you can only watch a bunch of meaningless characters swan around for so long. However, the way that the director builds suspense is sometimes intriguing, and I have to admit that I did want to know what was going on - the fact that the ending is so pithy pretty much cancels that out, however. There is a good sequence mid-way through in which we find about the birth of the main character and some other scenes are interesting (like the fight between our warlock and a library security guard...), but overall there really isn't much to recommend this film for and I don't doubt that my fellow Lovecraft aficionados will be disappointed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scarlet Friday See more »

Filming Locations:

Mendocino, California, USA

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$446,400
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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