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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

Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) stars as an actor overlooked for a critics' acting award, despite producing a season of Shakespeare plays. After confronting the Critics' Circle, an attempted suicidal dive into the Thames results in Lionheart being rescued by your typical paraffin/meths/turps swigging tramps. Lionheart then (presumed dead) exacts his grizzly, and quite amusing revenge on the critics who denied him his finest hour. Written by Paul Batey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vincent Price has reserved a seat for you in the "theatre of blood." 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:

Theater 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

Two of the leads, Ian Hendry and Diana Rigg, starred alongside Patrick Macnee in the TV series "The Avengers." 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Easily one of Price's best
27 July 2005 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Vincent Price plays Edward Lionheart, a Shakesprean actor that the critics hate (one calls him a "ham sandwich"). Enraged by their reviews of his works he commits suicide. But, unknown to everybody else, he survives and decides to kill off his critics one by one using methods described in Shakespeare's plays.

A lot of people have called this "The Abominable Dr. Phibes Part 3". They're not too off the mark--the plot lines are very similar. Still this is better than the Phibes films. It moves quickly, has a large cast of excellent British actors (unknown over here) and some of the deaths are much gorier (this has an R rating--Phibes was PG). If you look very closely at the plot there are huge loopholes and some unlikely situations but it still is a huge amount of fun. There's also a truly incredible saber fight between two men.

This must have been a dream role for Price--he gets to preform Shakespeare and wear a variety of disguises to become different characters. He's just great (as always). Diana Rigg pops up as his daughter--she's not given much to do but looks fantastic. The critics are all well-played by a very talented roster of British actors--I really do wonder how they got some of them to do this (it's pretty bloody). The most outlandish portrayal is by Robert Morley as a gay critic with (sigh) two poodles. It might be offensive if this were a serious movie. Also Price met Coral Browne here and married her in 1974--and stayed married till she passed away.

This, oddly, remains unknown even to Price fans. That's a shame--it's one of his best. Horror, humor and Shakespeare--what more do you need? A 10 all the way.


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