Cry of the Banshee (1970)

35mm film, colour
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Gordon Hessler.

Plot Summary

In 16th century rural England, suspected are hunted down and killed by the ruthless magistrate Lord Edward Whitman. But the leader of the persecuted coven, Oona, gets her when she summons up a ‘banshee' (no relation to the creature of Irish mythology) in the shape of a lycanthropic young man, Roderick, who slaughters the Whitman family one-by-one…


Director: Gordon Hessler
© American International Productions MCMLXX [1970]
American International Productions. Samuel Z. Arkoff & James H. Nicholson present
Exec. Producer: Gordon Hessler
Produced by: Louis M. Heyward
Associate Producer: Clifford Parkes
Screenplay by: Tim Kelly & Christopher Wicking
Story by: Tim Kelly
Assistant Director: Ariel Levy
Continuity: Zelda Barron
Lighting Cameraman: John Coquillon
Camera Operator: Les Young
Editor: Oswald Hafenrichter
Assistant Editor: Ean Wood
Color by: Rank Film Labs
Music Composed by: Wilfred Josephs
Conducted by: Philip Martell
Sound Mixer: Kevin Sutton
Dubbing Mixer: Peter Lodge
Dubbing Editor: Michael Redbourn
RCA Sound System
Wardrobe: Dora Lloyd
Make-up: Tom Smith & Betty Blattner
Hairdressing: Ivy Emmerton
Titles: Terry Gilliam
Art Director: George Provis
Set Dresser: Scott Simon
Construction Manager: Bill Miller
Locations: Middlesex, England, UK

Vincent Price (Lord Edward Whitman)
Essy Persson (Lady Patricia Whitman)
Hugh Griffith (Mickey)
Patrick Mower (Roderick)
Hilary Dwyer (Maureen Whitman)
Carl Rigg (Harry Whitman)
Stephen Chase (Sean Whitman)
Marshall Jones (Father Tom)
Andrew McCulloch (bully boy)
Michael Elphick (Burke)
Pamela Moiseiwitsch (maid)
Quinn O'Hara (Maggie)
Jan Rossini (Bess)
Sally Geeson (Sarah)
Robert Hutton (party guest)
Godfrey James (head villager)
Gertan Kaluber (tavern keeper)
Peter Benson (Brander)
Guy Deghy (party guest)
Richard Everett (Timothy)
Louis Selwyn (apprentice)
Mickey Baker (rider)
Ann Barrass (villager)
Jane Deady (naked girl)
Carol Desmond (girl)
Joyce Mandre (party guest)
Elizabeth Bergner as Oona
Pamela Farbrother (Margaret Donald)
Nancy Meckler, Hugh Portnow, Stephen Rea, Maurice Colbourne, Dinah Stabb, Tony Sibbald, Neil Johnston, Rowan Wylie, Tim Thomas, Ron Sahewk, Maya Roth, Philly Howell, Guy Pierce (villagers)

Alternative Titles

Cry of the Banshees – early title 1This is the title given in a full page ad from AIP in Today's Cinema no.9647 (12 March 1969) p.10
Satana in corpo – Italy
Der Todesschrei der Hexen – Germany
Zwiastun smierci – Poland


Fangoria no.224 (July 2003) p.66
Banshee is deadly dull for the most part, an uninteresting rehash of witchcraft and werewolf themes that wastes Vincent Price and Essy Persson. It's best element is easily Terry Gilliam's original opening credits. – from an illustrated review (DVD Dungeon: Cry of the Banshee/Murders in the Rue Morgue) by Matthew Kiernan



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.17 p.13
  • The Dark Side no.206 (2019) pp.42-48 – illustrated article (The Wicking man by Christopher Koetting)
  • Fangoria vol.7 no.68 (October 1987) pp.18-19 – review (The Video Eye of Dr Cyclops)
  • Fangoria no.224 (July 2003) p.66 – illustrated review (DVD Dungeon: Cry of the Banshee/Murders in the Rue Morgue by Matthew Kiernan)
  • Film Bulletin vol39 no.15 (17 August 1970) p.10 – review
  • Film Score Monthly vol.3 no.9 (October/November 1998) pp.36-37 – article (Citadel's heraldry in Lukas Kendall)
  • Flesh and Blood no.2 pp.18-19 – credits, review
  • Halls of Horror no.27 p.19 – note
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.208 no.17 (24 October 1969) p.13 – credits
  • The House of Hammer vol.1 no.1 (October 1976) p.4 – note (Stop press: Late news)
  • Kine Weekly no.3293 (21 November 1970) p.10 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.38 no.444 (January 1971) p.6 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Today's Cinema no.9720 (8 September 1969) p.3(UK) – illustrated note (Arkoff shakes hands on 3 picture deal by John Deighton)
  • Today's Cinema no.9744 (3 November 1969) p.9 – credits
  • Today's Cinema no.9647 (12 March 1969) p.10 – advert
  • Today's Cinema no.9799 (28 April 1970) p.10 – credits (Post production)
  • Today's Cinema no.9862 (4 December 1970) p.10 – review
  • Variety 5 August 1970 p.20 – credits, review
  • Video Viewer June 1983 – review


  • LA Times 18 September 1970 – review


  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig  pp.103-104
  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson p.189-190 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.219
  • Chopped Meat: British Horror of the 1970s by Darrell Buxton p.unpaginated – note
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.192-94, 193, 208, 226
  • Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures by Mark Thomas McGee pp.279-280; 306
  • Film Review 1971-72 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.220
  • The Films of Vincent Price by Iain F. McAsh pp.26, 28; 44
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.84 – credits, review
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir p.53 – credits, note
  • Merchant of Menace: The Life and Films of Vincent Price by Denis Meikle pp.269-275; 373-374
  • by Walt Lee p.81 – credits
  • Rock ‘n' Roll Monsters: The American International Story by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.233; 292
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.61-62
  • Vincent Price: The Art of Fear by Denis Meikle pp.164-167; 230
  • Vincent Price Unmasked by James Robert Parish and Steven Whitney pp.128; 237-238
  • Women in the Horror Films of Vincent Price by Jonathan Malcolm Lampley pp.134-138; 191