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The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Horror | 18 May 1971 (USA)
A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director:

Robert Fuest
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Price ... Dr. Anton Phibes
Joseph Cotten ... Dr. Vesalius
Virginia North ... Vulnavia
Terry-Thomas ... Dr. Longstreet
Sean Bury ... Lem Vesalius
Susan Travers ... Nurse Allen
David Hutcheson David Hutcheson ... Dr. Hedgepath
Edward Burnham ... Dr. Dunwoody
Alex Scott ... Dr. Hargreaves
Peter Gilmore ... Dr. Kitaj
Maurice Kaufmann ... Dr. Whitcombe
Peter Jeffrey ... Inspector Trout
Derek Godfrey Derek Godfrey ... Crow
Norman Jones ... Sgt. Tom Schenley
John Cater ... Superintendent Waverley
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Storyline

Doctors are being murdered in bizarre manners - bats, bees, a killer frog mask, etc. - which represent the nine Biblical plagues of Egypt. The crimes are orchestrated by an organ-playing, demented madman (from his home base, replete with a clockwork orchestra and help from a beautiful, mute assistant). Detectives are stumped until they find that all the slain doctors once assisted a Dr. Vesalius on an unsuccessful operation involving the wife of organist Dr. Phibes, killed in a car crash upon learning of his wife's death. He couldn't be the culprit, could he? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nine Gruesome Curses! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some horror violence/gore | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

18 May 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Phibes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Cotten would grumble on the set that he had to remember and deliver lines, while Vincent Price's were all to be post-dubbed. Price responded, "Yes, but I still know them, Joe." In fact, Price was well-known in Hollywood for his ability to memorize all of the characters' lines in a given production, not just his own. See more »

Goofs

The Ten Plagues of Egypt are wrongly depicted, both in order of appearance and what they actually were. According to the book of Exodus, the Ten Plagues were: 1. Water to blood, 2. Frogs, 3. Gnats, 4. Flies, 5. Pestilence (upon the beasts of Egypt), 6. Boils, 7. Hail, 8. Locusts, 9. Darkness, and 10. Death of the Firstborn (Exodus 7:14 - 12:36). The correct names are written in Hebrew but the rabbi reads "pestilence" as "bats" and "gnats" as "rats". The first and second plagues on the scroll are moved down to be the fifth and sixth plagues. Finally, the rabbi incorrectly reads the plagues from left to right instead of right to left as is normal for Hebrew thus changing the order of the plagues even more so. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Butler - Ross: Good morning, sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Phibes is heard laughing after the song and the credits end. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Spanish language version features an almost completely different music soundtrack. The French version also features some subtle differences. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Love Story (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

You Stepped Out of a Dream
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Courtesy of The Big Three Music Co.
(played during Dr. Phibes' dinner date with Vulnavia)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Campy cult classic with perfect performance...
11 December 2004 | by dwpollarSee all my reviews

1st watched 12/11/2004 - 7 out of 10(DIr-Robert Fuest): Campy cult classic with perfect performance and role by Vincent Price who does most of the job through his facial expressions and presence. The story revolves around a dead-like "Dr. Phibes" playing his organ, directing music, dancing and ceremoniously killing off the surgeons who failed to fix his wife after a car accident. He uses the Pharoah's curses as the basis for each killing and he inventively makes each one unique and grins and even applauds himself after one demise. Some subtle British humor is also thrown in for extra but all that's needed with this one is Price and this role to make it classic horror-camp.


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