House of Usher (1960)

USA,
79m
35mm film, CinemaScope, colour, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Roger Corman. It was the first of Corman's eight adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories and was added United States National Film Registry in 2005 on the grounds of it being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Production began on 18 January 1960.

Plot Summary

Philip Winthrop arrives at the foreboding New England home of his fiancée Madeleine Usher and her family. He is told by her brother Roderick that Madeleine is sick and that Winthrop must leave. Refusing to leave, he learns that the Ushers live under a terrible curse which manifests itself as a mystery ailment that causes hyper-sensitivity of the senses. Madeleine dies of the illness and is buried family crypt. But Winthrop realises that Madeleine actually suffered from catalepsy and that she may have been

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Roger Corman
© MCMLX [1960] by Alta Vista Productions
An American International release. James H. Nicholson & Samuel Z. Arkoff present
Executive Producer: James H. Nicholson
Produced by: Roger Corman
Screenplay by: Richard Matheson
Based on Edgar Allan Poe's “The Fall of the House of Usher
Assistant Director: Jack Bohrer
Director of Photography: Floyd Crosby
Stills: Frank Tanner *
Film Editor: Anthony Carras
Music by: Les Baxter
Music Editor: Eve Newman
Sound: Phil Mitchell
Sound Editor: Al Bird
Sound Recorded by: Ryder Sound Services, Inc.
Wardrobe: Marjorie Corso
Makeup: Fred B. Phillips
Special Effects: Pat Dinga
Process Photography Directed by: Larry Butler
Photographic Effects: Ray Mercer
Production Design by: Daniel Haller
Properties: Dick Rubin
Paintings: Burt Schoenberg

Cast
Vincent Price (Roderick Usher)
Mark Damon (Philip Winthrop)
Myrna Fahey (Madeline Usher)
Harry Ellerbe (Bristol)
Eleanor LeFaber, Ruth Oklander, Géraldine Paulette [ghosts] *

Alternative Titles

La caída de la casa Usher – Argentine, Spain
La Chute de la maison Usher – France
Dom Usherów – Poland
The Fall of the House of Usher – UK
Gäst i skräckens hus – Sweden
The Haunted House of Usher – working title
Kirous – Finland
The Mysterious House of Usher – working title
Ondskabens slot – Denmark
Usherien talo – Finland
Usherin talon häviö – Finland (television)
Die Verfluchten – West Germany
Vieraana kauhujen talossa – Finland
I vivi e i morti – Italy

Extracts included in
Birth of the Living Dead (2013)
Bug Buster (1998)
Madhouse (1974)

Production Notes

Pre-production

On 4 January 1960, Daily Variety announced that Mark Damon and Myrna Fahey had been cast opposite the already announced Vincent Price 1Daily Variety vol.106 no.19 (4 January 1960) p.4

References

Periodicals

  • The Daily Cinema no.8368 (10 October 1960) p.3 – review
  • Daily Variety vol.106 no.19 (4 January 1960) p.4 – note (Set two for ‘Usher')
  • Entertainment Weekly no.599 (8 June 2001) p.54 – review (by Michael Flaherty)
  • Film Daily vol.117 no.121 (23 June 1960) p.6 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.160 no.37 (22 June 1960) p.3 – review
  • Kine Weekly no.2766 (6 October 1960) p.19 – review
  • The Listener vol.123 no.3164 (10 May 1990) p.35 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.27 no.322 (November 1960) p.151 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.219 no.13 (25 June 1960) p.749 – review
  • Perfect Vision vol.6 no.23 (October 1994) pp.144, 146 – review
  • Quarterly Review of Film and Video vol.17 no.3 (October 2000) pp.221-227 – article
  • Strange Adventures vol.2 no.7 (no.19 August 1990) p.7-10 – illustrated article (The curse of Corman by Tont Cotterell)
  • Variety 29 June 1960 – credits, review

Books

  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson pp.60-61 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.131-132 – illustrated credits, review
  • Classic Horror Films and the Literature That Inspired Them by Ron Backer pp.116-119
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.215-216; 223
  • An Edgar Allan Poe Companion: A Guide to the Short Stories, Romances and Essays by J.R. Hammond p.135
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.206
  • The Films of Vincent Price by Iain F. McAsh pp.14, 17; 41
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.130
  • Merchant of Menace: The Life and Films of Vincent Price by Denis Meikle pp.114-115, 117-130; 357
  • The Poe Cinema: A Critical Filmography by Don G. Smith pp.102-110
  • Poe, Corman and Price: A Tale of Terrors by Ron Haydock, in The Edgar Allan Poe Scrapbook edited by Peter Haining p.190
  • by Walt Lee p.205 – credits
  • Richard Matheson on Screen: A History of the Filmed Works by Matthew R. Bradley pp.78-85
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.167-168
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.224-226
  • Vincent Price: The Art of Fear by Denis Meikle pp.61, 63-71
  • Vincent Price Unmasked by James Robert Parish and Steven Whitney pp.102-104; 207-208
  • Women in the Horror Films of Vincent Price by Jonathan Malcolm Lampley pp.45-53; 191