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House of the Long Shadows (1983)

PG | | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | April 1984 (USA)
An American writer goes to a remote Welsh manor on a twenty thousand dollar bet: can he write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" in twenty-four hours? Upon his arrival, however, the ... See full summary »

Director:

Pete Walker

Writers:

Michael Armstrong (screenplay), Earl Derr Biggers (novel) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Lionel Grisbane
Christopher Lee ... Corrigan
Peter Cushing ... Sebastian Grisbane
Desi Arnaz Jr. ... Kenneth Magee (as Desi Arnaz)
John Carradine ... Lord Elijah Grisbane
Sheila Keith ... Victoria Grisbane
Julie Peasgood ... Mary Norton
Richard Todd ... Sam Allyson
Louise English ... Diana Caulder
Richard Hunter Richard Hunter ... Andrew Caulder
Norman Rossington ... Station Master
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Storyline

An American writer goes to a remote Welsh manor on a twenty thousand dollar bet: can he write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" in twenty-four hours? Upon his arrival, however, the writer discovers that the manor, thought empty, actually has several, rather odd, inhabitants. Written by Jack Witzig <tomveil@interstat.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A murderously funny mystery with a twist... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

House of Long Shadows See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London-Cannon Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Final significant role in a major theatrical movie for Richard Todd (Sam Allyson). See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Stationmaster: It is a cursed place.
Kenneth Magee: I'm sure it's drenched in evil.
Stationmaster: A cursed place.
Kenneth Magee: Filled with things best not spoken of. Yes, I saw the movie. You do know how to get there?
See more »

Connections

References The Oblong Box (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Pace, pace mio Dio!
(uncredited)
From "La Forza del Destino" by Giuseppe Verdi
Murdered by Sheila Keith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS (Pete Walker, 1983) **1/2
18 October 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This proved to be the last film of British horror director Walker (in the accompanying DVD interview for his THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW [1972], which followed this in short order, he states that this was his only 'assignment' – all his other work he personally financed) as well as the final teaming of that prolific and (for fans, hugely rewarding) iconic duo of Peter Cushing (complete with endearing speech impediment) and Christopher Lee (a complex characterization, albeit characteristically boorish).

Having mentioned the two Hammer stars, some reviewers mistakenly believed the film intended to recapture that studio's Gothic tradition but it actually hearkens back to the comedy-thrillers of the Silent and early Talkie era. In fact, it was the sixth filmization – scripted by Michael Armstrong, whose own directorial career was curtailed following the notoriety of his MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970) – of "Seven Keys To Baldpate", a novel by Earl Derr Biggers (creator of Charlie Chan) that was adapted for the stage by George M. Cohan (yes, the songwriter played by James Cagney in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY [1942]!).

Besides, its plot about a dysfunctional Welsh family that includes a locked-up maniac and whose mansion is 'intruded' upon by innocent strangers is a virtual retread of James Whale's sublime THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932; one of my absolute favorites) – though with little of that film's style or wit. Another direct link to it is the fact that there is a Roderick involved – and let's not forget that Vincent Price (who co-stars here) had played a character by that name in Roger Corman's seminal Poe adaptation HOUSE OF USHER (1960)! The final revelation (which wasn't at all surprising nor, come to think of it, was the identity of the mysterious killer), then, is straight out of SEVEN FOOTPRINTS TO Satan (1929)…

The cast also highlights two other lesser horror stars – John Carradine (who's supposed to be the patriarch of the family when the difference in age from, at least, Price and Cushing is minimal!) and Walker regular Sheila Keith (replacing the ailing Elsa Lanchester). The young cast isn't in any way comparable obviously – however, both Desi Arnaz Jr. (from childhood sci-fi TV show AUTOMAN [1983]!) and Julie Peasgood prove reasonably engaging nonetheless. By the way, Richard Todd appears as novelist Arnaz's genial publisher – who makes a bet with his client that he won't stay the full-length of 24 hours in an ostensibly haunted house (which is the exact same premise of the Abel Gance/Max Linder short AU SECOURS! [1924] I've just watched and, I see, Michael Elliott did too!).

At the end of the day, the film is clearly old fashioned (despite the occasional gore) but undeniably fun – which makes the Leonard Maltin guide's *1/2 rating a genuine head-scratcher!


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