5.8/10
7,091
71 user 59 critic

Gothic (1986)

The Shelleys visit Lord Byron and compete to write a horror story.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writer:

Stephen Volk (screenplay by)
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Byrne ... Byron
Julian Sands ... Shelley
Natasha Richardson ... Mary
Myriam Cyr ... Claire
Timothy Spall ... Dr. Polidori
Alec Mango ... Murray
Andreas Wisniewski ... Fletcher
Dexter Fletcher ... Rushton
Pascal King Pascal King ... Justine
Tom Hickey ... Tour Guide
Linda Coggin Linda Coggin ... Turkish Mechanical Woman
Kristine Landon-Smith Kristine Landon-Smith ... Mechanical Woman
Chris Chappell Chris Chappell ... Man in Armour (as Chris Chappel)
Mark Pickard Mark Pickard ... Young William
Kiran Shah ... Fuseli Monster
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Storyline

Story of the night that Mary Shelley gave birth to the horror classic "Frankenstein." Disturbed drug induced games are played and ghost stories are told one rainy night at the mad Lord Byron's country estate. Personal horrors are revealed and the madness of the evening runs from sexual fantasy to fiercest nightmare. Mary finds herself drawn into the sick world of her lover Shelley and cousin Claire as Byron leads them all down the dark paths of their souls. Written by Susan Southall <stobchatay@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Conjure up your deepest, darkest fear... now call that fear to life.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Polidori's line "Sleep is nature's balm" comes from a poem by Keats, a contemporary and close friend of both Shelley and Byron. See more »

Goofs

Claire Clairmont (Myriam Cyr) falls out of the rowboat in the opening scene, but just a few seconds later, as she's running with Percy toward the house, her clothes and hair are totally dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tour Guide: And there, ladies and gentlemen, on the other side of the lake we have the famous Villa Diodati where Lord Byron, greatest living English poet, resides in exile. Romantic, scholar, duelist, best-selling author of Childe Harold, he was forced to leave his native land after many scandals including incest and adultery with Lady Caroline Lamb. "Mad, bad and dangerous to know" she called him.
[the guide squeezes a lady's hand and points]
Tour Guide: Bedroom - top right.
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Alternate Versions

American versions contain a title-card before the credits. This title card contains Mary Shelley's quote from the foreword to Frankenstein where she discusses the night the movie centers around. A brief explanation is then provided mentioning that both Frankenstein and Dracula were born on that night. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Soul of Shelley with Actor Julian Sands (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata in D Major (L463)
(uncredited)
Music by Domenico Scarlatti
Arranged and Performed by Gaynor Sadler and Tony Sadler
See more »

User Reviews

 
Style at the expense of substantive storytelling
25 December 2014 | by brchthethirdSee all my reviews

Gothic, directed by Ken Russell, is a rather interesting film that deals with, among other things, the dark side of creativity and imagination. More specifically, it's about the night when Mary Shelley came up with the idea that she would later turn into the novel "Frankenstein." By and large, the performances are quite good, although I didn't really care for Julian Sands. However, the story was almost non-existent and ephemeral, existing merely to have a bunch of people go around saying stuffy lines and get scared out of their wits by creatures borne of their imaginations. Granted, some of these sequences and images were haunting and surreal, but it all added up to a lot of style with very little substance. As far as the score is concerned, I thought that the work Thomas Dolby did was impeccable as far as its musical quality, but some of the cues didn't really fit (to me) with this kind of period piece. The story takes place in the early 19th century, but a lot of the music sounded very 1980's with synthesizers and programmed drums. It's a score that I'd buy, but I'm not too sure that it completely fit the film. From a technical standpoint, I thought it was very well-made, i.e., it was well-lit and the shot composition was varied. There were also some Dutch angles that accentuated the disorienting feel the filmmakers seemed to be going for. Overall, if you're looking for a well-told story that has characters you care about and identify with, this might not be the best choice for you. However, if you like heavily stylized and surreal horror, this will probably suit your fancy.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gothic See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,061, 12 April 1987

Gross USA:

$916,172

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$916,172
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Virgin Vision See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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