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Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.


Freddie Francis


Milton Subotsky (screenplay), Al Feldstein (stories) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Richardson ... The Crypt Keeper (as Sir Ralph Richardson)
Geoffrey Bayldon ... Guide
Joan Collins ... Joanne Clayton (segment "And All Through the House")
Martin Boddey ... Husband (segment "And All Through the House")
Chloe Franks ... Daughter (segment "And All Through The House")
Oliver MacGreevy Oliver MacGreevy ... Maniac (segment "And All Through the House")
Ian Hendry ... Carl Maitland (segment "Reflection of Death")
Susan Denny Susan Denny ... Wife (segment "Reflection of Death")
Angela Grant Angela Grant ... Susan (segment "Reflection of Death") (as Angie Grant)
Peter Cushing ... Grimsdyke (segment "Poetic Justice")
Robin Phillips ... Elliot (segment "Poetic Justice")
David Markham ... Father (segment "Poetic Justice")
Robert Hutton ... Neighbour (segment "Poetic Justice")
Richard Greene ... Jason (segment "Wish You Were Here")
Barbara Murray ... Enid (segment "Wish You Were Here")


Five people come upon a catacomb and take the tour. After they get lost, they find they're trapped, and they see The Crypt Keeper (Sir Ralph Richardson). He asks them each to see why they're there: (1) And All Through the House: Christmas Eve, Joanne Clayton (Dame Joan Collins) kills her husband (Martin Boddey) expecting to receive his insurance. She hears on the wireless that the police are seeking an escaped homicidal maniac posing as Santa. When the man knocks on her door, she can't phone the Police, and she has a Christmas surprise. (2) Reflection of Death: Carl Maitland (Ian Hendry) leaves his wife (Susan Denny) and children for his mistress, but something happens during his journey. (3) Poetic Justice: the widowed janitor, Arthur Edward Grimsdyke (Peter Cushing) is a good man who spends his leisure time with the children from the neighborhood. His heartless neighbor doesn't like him and destroys his life, leading Grimsdyke to commit suicide on Valentine's Day. A year later, ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


DEATH LIVES in the Vault of Horror!


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Peter Cushing is said to "act as himself" in this movie. Cushing's wife had died recently, and he was very depressed. His character is a widower who uses a ouija board to talk with his dead wife. See more »


When a close-up is shown of the skeletal motorcyclist following Ralph Jason in the "Wish You Were Here" segment, his facial features can clearly be seen behind the skeletal mask. See more »


Father: [reading Arthur Grimsdyke's revenge letter written in the dead James Elliot's blood] "You were cruel and mean right from the start, now you can truly say you have no... heart".
See more »

Alternate Versions

A version of Tales From The Crypt played on the Fox Movie Channel when during the three wishes sequence, a man's intestines are shown while his wife chops him up with a sword. See more »


References Outward Bound (1930) See more »


Silent Night
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
See more »

User Reviews

A Quintet of Grisly Shudders
7 November 2008 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

"Tales From the Crypt" (1972) is one of seven horror anthology pictures released by Hammer rival Amicus over an eight-year period. "Tales" had been preceded by "Dr. Terror's House of Horrors," "Torture Garden," "The House That Dripped Blood" and "Asylum," and would soon be followed by "Vault of Horror" and "From Beyond the Grave." The five stories dished out in the "Tales" omnibus have as their linchpin Sir Ralph Richardson as the urbane Crypt Keeper (a far cry from the cackling HBO demon so many folks might be expecting), who looks into the minds of a group of lost tourists and sees their gruesome stories: In "And All Through the House," a particularly gorgeous Joan Collins plays cat & mouse with an escaped psycho Santa. "Reflection of Death" shows us what happens to philandering husband Ian Hendry after he and his mistress are involved in a nasty car wreck. Horror icon Peter Cushing, in "Poetic Justice," plays a kindly old man victimized by his neighbors, but who manages to deliver one horrible Valentine's Day surprise. In "Wish You Were Here," a variation of the old "Monkey's Paw" tale, a widow learns that it really is imperative to be careful for what you wish. And in "Blind Alleys," Patrick Magee and the other sightless residents of an old-man's home take a particularly grisly vengeance on their new martinet superintendent, played by Nigel Patrick. All five of these tales feature some startling and horrific bit of business; indeed, the film is memorably shocking in parts, and I was amazed at how much of the picture I recalled, after not having seen it for over 35 years. The impressive cast of British actors seems to be enjoying itself immensely, and that spirit of fun is certainly communicated to the viewer. Indeed, while watching "Tales" for the first time in all those years, I found myself happily grinning from ear to ear. From the opening strains of horror-film standard Bach's "Toccata & Fugue in D Minor" to its creepy final query from the Crypt Keeper himself, the film is nothing deep, nothing demanding, nothing innovative; just good fun. And oh...look out for that fire poker!

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Release Date:

9 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tales from the Crypt See more »


Box Office


GBP170,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Amicus Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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