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The Ghoul (1975)

R | | Horror, Thriller | 1 June 1975 (UK)
A former priest named Doctor Lawrence harbors a dark and horrible secret in his attic. The locked room serves as a prison cell for his crazed, cannibalistic adult son, who acquired his ... See full summary »

Director:

Freddie Francis

Writer:

Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Cushing ... Doctor Lawrence
John Hurt ... Tom Rawlings
Alexandra Bastedo ... Angela
Gwen Watford ... Ayah
Veronica Carlson ... Daphne
Don Henderson ... The Ghoul
Ian McCulloch ... Geoffrey
Stewart Bevan Stewart Bevan ... Billy
John D. Collins ... Young Man
Dan Meaden Dan Meaden ... Police Sergeant
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Storyline

A former priest named Doctor Lawrence harbors a dark and horrible secret in his attic. The locked room serves as a prison cell for his crazed, cannibalistic adult son, who acquired his savage tastes in India during his father's missionary work there. Lawrence fears that his son will escape to prey upon the effete guests at his rural English estate during a cross-country auto race. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hindu | estate | secret | priest | attic | See All (38) »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Night of the Ghoul See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The photograph of Doctor Lawrence's wife is a photograph of Peter Cushing's own wife. She died suddenly in 1971 and Cushing mourned for the twenty years he survived her, often commenting that his only real joy in life was contemplating being reunited with her after death. See more »

Goofs

At c. 27 minutes we see Peter Cushing tuning his violin but he is not playing the open strings that we hear. Furthermore, later shots of his violin playing are extremely badly mimed. See more »

Quotes

Tom Rawlings: Well, it can't be Human, can it? It feeds on Human flesh!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Ghoul was originally certified by the UK BBFC at 93m following cuts to (a) remove the third close-up of the knife embedded in Geoffrey's face (b) remove a knee to the groin delivered by Veronica Carlson to John Hurt. However, the subsequent theatrical version was only 87m following some last minute snipping by the distributors. The full 93m version, with BBFC cuts restored, was subsequently released on UK video on the Taste of Fear label. The differences are as follows:
  • the opening party sequence is extended by about 2m 30s via several additional dialogue extensions that largely serve to explain Carlson's character. In particular the conversation between her and Ian McCulloch when she is sitting in the car is nearly a minute longer and the subsequent three way conversation by another car involving Stewart Bevan is extended by about 40s.
  • About 35m into the film, directly after Peter Cushing asks Carlson whether there is anything she would like before dinner, the extended version has a new sequence lasting about 2m 30s in which Carlson is escorted upstairs to her bedroom and takes a bath (fans of the lady should note that her left breast is briefly visible). This sequence is missing entirely from the theatrical print.
  • After Bach's tocatta and fugue strikes up on the soundtrack the extended version has an extra 1m showing Carlson emerge from the bedroom, clothed again, and go down the stairs where she then peeks in on Cushing in his chapel. In the theatrical version it's a bit odd that Cushing is surprised by her given that in the previous scene they'd been together in his drawing room.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in House of the Long Shadows (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor, BWV 565
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Must-See For Hammer Fans
10 February 2012 | by josephbrandoSee all my reviews

"The Ghoul" was produced by Tyburn Films - one of the British Horror Companies that spurted up in response to Hammer Studio's worldwide Gothic horror movie success. This one should be of immediate interest to anyone who likes those films as it stars Hammer veteran Peter Cushing, Hammer starlet Veronica Carlson and is written and directed by Hammer stalwarts Anthony Hinds and Freddie Francis.

Ghoul begins at a roaring 1920's party where four bored guests decide to go drag racing and wind up at a strange mansion in the forest where a former priest (Cushing) resides with his creepy Indian housekeeper (brilliantly portrayed by Gwen Watford), and sadistic groundskeeper (a very early role by John Hurt). Now, I'm sure some of you may be raising your eyebrow and thinking "that tired story again?" - but as anyone who likes these kinds of movies knows, its all about the execution and this one's got it nailed down perfectly.

There are some gory surprises, nice Gothic stylings, and excellent performances nestled inside of this very vague, very familiar story. Alexandra Bastedo, is particularly wonderful as one of the feisty teenagers, ethereally beautiful Carlson is always a joy to watch and Cushing gives one of his finest turns ever here. Anyone who likes Hammer movies or Gothic horror in general would be well-advised in seeking out this lost treasure that for some reason, in spite of its stellar cast and production crew, has escaped a genuine DVD release in any country.


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