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.
Did You Know?
In the U.S., this film has been released as "Night of the Ghoul" and "The Thing in the Attic". Contrary to belief in some quarters, the film is not in the public domain, the rights holder is still Tyburn Film Productions. See more
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
[after Dr. Lawrence mentions his wife's suicide
Daphne Welles Hunter
I'm sorry, I shouldn't be so inquisitive. It must be very painful for you to talk about it.
The pain is there, whether I talk about it or not.
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.
Nocturne No. 2, Op. 9 in E-Flat Major
Music by Frédéric Chopin See more