6.6/10
207
23 user 9 critic

The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (1964)

Terrified of being buried alive by mistake, a woman puts a phone in her crypt to be able to call home if she needs help. She dies and nothing happens. One day, the phone suddenly rings. Paranormal investigator Nelson Orion (Martin Landau) is brought in.

Director:

Joseph Stefano

Writers:

Joseph Stefano (creator), Joseph Stefano
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Martin Landau ... Nelson Orion
Judith Anderson ... Paulina (as Dame Judith Anderson)
Diane Baker ... Vivia Mandore
Tom Simcox ... Henry Mandore
Nellie Burt ... Mary Finch
Leonard Stone ... Benedict Sloane
Priscilla Morrill ... The School Teacher
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Storyline

Terrified of being buried alive by mistake, a woman puts a phone in her crypt to be able to call home if she needs help. She dies and nothing happens. One day, the phone suddenly rings. Paranormal investigator Nelson Orion (Martin Landau) is brought in.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Drew Barrymore was originally cast as Henry Mandore. See more »

Connections

Featured in Frightful Movie: The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (1968) See more »

User Reviews

 
Very fine made-for-TV horror film.
16 June 2019 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

In the mid 1960s, a pilot titled 'The Haunted' was shot in the hopes of launching a new series that would be something like 'The Twilight Zone' and 'The Outer Limits', but would concentrate more on flat-out horror. The series was not picked up, so what we now have is a stand-alone TV movie that is good and interesting, and a notable entry into genre television. (There also exists the version 'The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre', which includes some additional scenes, and which this reviewer will be referring to.) Robert Stevens, a veteran of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' and TZ, started directing, but fell very ill, and directing chores were then turned over to writer-producer Joseph Stefano, who of course had adapted Robert Blochs' novel "Psycho" for Hitchcock.

Martin Landau stars as Nelson Orion (a neat name, that), an architect who fights for the preservation of historical buildings. He also dabbles in the supernatural, because it's an interesting subject for him. He investigates hauntings, yet doesn't automatically reach for the most outlandish explanation. He grants that a good number of them can be no more than pranks, or otherwise have a reasonable explanation. He comes to the aid of blind rich man Henry Mandore (episodic TV veteran Tom Simcox), who thinks he's being haunted by his late mother. The plot thickens in intriguing ways, as Nelson meets Henry's wife Vivia (the pretty Diane Baker, "Strait-Jacket") and mysterious housekeeper Paulina (Dame Judith Anderson, "Rebecca").

'The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre' can legitimately claim to be genuinely spooky. It has the kind of wonderful atmosphere that the best "old dark house" movies possess. Two of the people responsible for its great look are the renowned cinematographers Conrad L. Hall ("Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid") and William A. Fraker ("Rosemary's Baby"). (The latter was the camera operator here.) And Dominic Frontiere did the shuddery score.

The movie doesn't miss opportunities for humour, considering the relationship that Nelson has with his witty housekeeper, Mary Finch (Nellie Burt, another TV veteran). She professes not to believe in the supernatural, while he prefers to be open to all possibilities. This leads to an interesting conversation between the two of them.

This is sort of done in the tradition of great black & white horror like "The Haunting" (1963), except that this time we do get to see the spirit, and it's a pretty good effect for a TV movie shot over 50 years ago. It's appropriately gnarly-looking.

More people should be made aware of this one. At the least, it's a good candidate for a cult favourite.

Eight out of 10.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 1967 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Haunted See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Villa Di Stefano See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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