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Theater of Blood (1973)

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Director:

Douglas Hickox

Writers:

Anthony Greville-Bell (screenplay), Stanley Mann (idea) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Price ... Edward Lionheart
Diana Rigg ... Edwina Lionheart
Ian Hendry ... Peregrine Devlin
Harry Andrews ... Trevor Dickman
Coral Browne ... Chloe Moon
Robert Coote ... Oliver Larding
Jack Hawkins ... Solomon Psaltery
Michael Hordern ... George Maxwell
Arthur Lowe ... Horace Sprout
Robert Morley ... Meredith Merridew
Dennis Price ... Hector Snipe
Milo O'Shea ... Inspector Boot
Eric Sykes ... Sergeant Dogge
Madeline Smith ... Rosemary
Diana Dors ... Maisie Psaltery
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Storyline

Theatre of Blood (1973) Director: Desmond Hickox Vincent Price plays Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart, a matinèe favourite Shakespearean actor of the old school, finding difficulty coping with new theatre roles, who wreaks revenge on on the theatre critics who give their annual Guild's "Best Actor" award to a new, and upcoming actor rather than him. Incensed by their choice, he does this in the most ingenious and disturbing ways by imitating death scenes taken from his final repertoire of his beloved, bard's tales. Vincent Price is well supported by Diana Rigg, as his dutiful daughter Edwina, and a bevy of the cream of British character actors, including; Ian Hendry, Michael Hordern, Dennis Price, Robert Morley and Arthur Lowe. Written by Brian Carruthers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At your own risk See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Theatre of Blood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (title sequence)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Price biographer Iain McAsh, six gallons of Kensington Blood (stage blood) were used during production. See more »

Goofs

When Peregrine Devlin arrives at the fencing school you see him attach a cable to the back of his fencing kit (which would signal a hit with a buzzer), yet when the other fencer reveals himself to be Edward Lionheart and they start fencing the cable is no longer attached to Devlin's back. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
George Maxwell: That damn editor's cut the best part of my review!
Mrs. Maxwell: So I noticed, dear. You ought to have a chat with him.
George Maxwell: My most provocative comment, too, where I said the leading lady attacked her role with both hands and strangled it to death.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Despite the films spoofy nature the original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC and some of the close-up shots from the murders of Merridew and Miss Moon were slightly trimmed. All later video and DVD releases were fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Very creative death scenes, gory and funny - and absolutely beautifully acted by Vincent Price
17 July 2014 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

* Some mild spoilers ahead *

Vincent Price, the star of countless B-Movies from the fifties to the seventies, in his perhaps best role ever. This movie is wicked fun; a failed Shakespeare-actor brutally settles the score with all his critics - but they all meet their demise by having to "act" a part in the plays of the great bard. Very creative death scenes, gory and funny - and absolutely beautifully acted by Price and an ensemble of many greats of British cinema and theatre.

Funny enough, there are many parallels between Price's own career and his character's (maybe that's exactly why the director chose him for this part), for Price also failed to get the recognition he deserved until very late in his life and felt unfairly treated by critics. Although many of his films are now regarded as classics, for the most part of his life his films and his (indeed rather Shakespearian) approach to his roles was often ridiculed. Around the time of this film though, critics started to take Price seriously (probably out of fear, LOL).

But this film is also interesting for another reason: despite the obvious black comedy it looks almost like a blueprint for a certain category of horror films to come, and films like 'Seven' and 'Saw' owe perhaps a little debt to 'Theatre of Blood'. Highly recommended. 8 stars out of 10.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/


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