Paranoiac (1962)

35mm, CinemaScope, black and white, 2.35:1
mono (RCA Sound Recording), English

An American/British psychological horror film directed by Freddie Francis.

Plot Summary

Missing for eleven years, Tony Ashby suddenly turns up at the family estate. But as he tries ingratiate himself with his brother and sister, several attempts are made on his life. Who is the culprit – and is Tony really who he claims to be?


* = uncredited

Directed by: Freddie Francis
© MCMLXII [1962] Universal
A Hammer Film production
Produced by: Anthony Hinds
Associate Producer: Basil Keys
Production Manager: John Draper
Screenplay by: Jimmy Sangster
Novel: Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey *
Assistant Director: Ross MacKenzie
2nd Assistant Director: Hugh Harlow *
3rd Assistant Director: Ray Corbett *
Continuity: Pauline Wise [real name: Pauline Harlow]
Director of Photography: Arthur Grant
Camera Operator: Moray Grant
Focus Puller: Robin Higginson *
Camera Assistant: David Osborne *
Stills Cameraman: Curtis Reeks *
Supervising Editor: James Needs
1st Assistant Editor: Chris Barnes *
Assistant Editor: Alan Willis *
Laboratory: Denham Laboratories *
Music Composed by: Elisabeth Lutyens
Musical Supervisor: John Hollingsworth
Sound Recordist: Ken Rawkins
Sound Camera Operator: Al Thorne *
Boom Operator: Ken Nightingall *
Boom Assistant: Roy Mingaye *
Sound Maintenance: Charles Bouvet *
Sound Editor: Jim Groom
Wardrobe Supervisor: Molly Arbuthnot
Wardrobe Mistress: Rosemary Burrows
Make-up Artist: Roy Ashton
Assistant Make-up Artist: Richard Mills *
Hair Stylist: Frieda Steiger
Special Effects: Les Bowie; Kit West *
Production Designer: Bernard Robinson
Art Director: Don Mingaye
Assistant Art Director: Kenneth Ryan *
Scenic Artist: Burt Evans *
Production Secretary: Maureen White *
Transcription: H.C. Allen *
Publicity Director: Brian Doyle *
Produced at Bray Studios, England

Janette Scott (Eleanor Ashby)
Oliver Reed (Simon Ashby)
Sheila Burrell (Harriet)
Maurice Denham (John Kossett)
Alexander Davion (Tony)
Liliane Brousse (Françoise)
Harold Lang (RAF type)
Arnold Diamond
John Bonney (Keith Kossett)
John Stuart (Williams)
Colin Tapley [vicar] *
Laurie Leigh [1st woman] *
Marianne Stone [2nd woman] *
Sydney Bromley [tramp] *
Jack Taylor [sailor] *

Alternative Titles

El alucinante mundo de los Ashby – Spain
Lukitun kammion salaisuus – Finland
Il rifugio dei dannati – Italy


Variety 10 April 1963
Paranoiac is a tidy mystery-horror pic […] Lack of experience proves no handicap for Francis […] as he has sculpted a suspenseful and smartly-paced opus out of Jimmy Sangster's effective screenplay. His scenic plotting and the camera work of Arthur Grant work slickly to bring the scenes off with directness and good shock values when called for. […] Reed plays the scheming brother with demonic skill, blending bits of spoiled brat and sneaky madman for a menacing portrayal. – from a review by Kali



  • British National Film Catalogue vol.1 (1963) – credits, synopsis
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.4 p.5
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.5 p.5
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.22 p.38
  • The Daily Cinema no.8809 (6 September 1963) p.5 – review
  • The Daily Cinema no.8870 (31 January-1 February 1964) 2 – note (Commentary by Observer)
  • Dark Terrors no.9 (November 1994) pp.18-21 – illustrated article
  • Fangoria no.148 (November 1995) p.33 – illustrated note
  • Film Daily vol.122 no.69 (10 April 1963) p.5 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.175 no.18 (13 May 1963) p.3 – review
  • The House That Hammer Built no.4 (August 1997) pp.186-189 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Kine Weekly no.2919 (12 September 1963) p.9 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.30 no.357 (October 1963) p.146 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.229 no.9 (1 May 1963) p.803 – review
  • Variety 10 April 1963 – credits, review (by Kali)


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.149-150
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.110
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.343
  • The Films of Freddie Francis by Wheeler Winston Dixon pp.4-7, 16, 71-77, 173-178
  • The Films of Oliver Reed by Susan D. Cowie and Tom Johnson pp.53-58 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.616-618 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films by Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes 63; 184
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.24 – credits, review
  • by Walt Lee p.358 – credits
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.318-319
  • The Straight Story from Moby Dick to Glory by Freddie Francis with Tony Dalton pp.115, 117-121, 267-268 – notes; credits
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.173
  • What Fresh Lunacy Is This? The Authorized Biography of Oliver Reed – by Robert Sellers pp.84-85, 86; 481 – notes; credits

Other sources

  • press kit – credits