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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:

It's curtains for his critics! 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

Over six gallons of fake blood were used to produce the eight ghastly murders. 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 Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The film which sends poodles into a total funk!
17 June 2002 | by uds3See all my reviews

"Reasonbran 234" (Nov 6 2001) takes out the award here for the most literate, apt and concise review of Theater of Blood. This WAS Vincent Price's finest screen moment and I recall clearly at the time, one particular UK critic who suggested "This brilliant film will probably require a generation before it can ever be held in the esteem to which it is entitled!"

Way too literate for mainstream horror fans' taste - it was so much more. Few had the theatrical flourish of Vincent Price and he was just so perfectly cast as the acting-legend-in-his-own-mind disfavored by a cross section of critics that may otherwise have steered his career on to the rocks. Taking "tragedy" to a new level, he REALLY silencies his critics once and for all, taking them out one by one in escalatingly appropriate Shakespearean circumstances.

Black black dialog with the Bard's turn of a phrase pervades the entire film. Yeah its gory - so's Macbeth! It is also one of the greatest horror comedies ever devised, with A-List acting credits.

Quite simply, NOT to be missed!


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