Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), Pathécolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Roger Corman. Production began on 4 January 1960.

Plot Summary

Francis Barnard travels to Spain to investigate the death of his sister Elizabeth and learns from her husband Nicholas Medina that she has died from some ill-defined blood disease. Francis is suspicious and is horrified to learn that Elizabeth may have died of fright after being


Director: Roger Corman
Alta Vista Productions, AIP
Executive Producers: Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson
Producer: Roger Corman
Script: Richard Matheson
Story: Edgar Allan Poe
Director of Photography: Floyd Crosby
Editor: Anthony Carras
Music: Les Baxter
Sound Recordist: Roy Meadows
Make Up: Ted Coodley
Special Effects: Pat Dinga
Photographic Effects: Ray Mercer, Butler-Glouner Inc
Production Designer/Art Director: Daniel Haller

Vincent Price (Don Nicholas Medina/Sebastian Medina)
John Kerr (Francis Barnard)
Barbara Steele (Elizabeth Barnard Medina)
Luana Anders (Catherine Medina)
Antony Carbone (Dr Charles Leon)
Patrick Westwood (Maximillian)
Lynette Bernay (Maria)
Larry Turner (Nicholas Medina as a child)
Mary Menzies (Isabella)
Charles Victor (Bartolome)

Alternative Titles

Brønden og pendulet – Denmark
La Chambre des tortures – France
Dödspendeln – Sweden
Kuilu ja heiluri – Finland
Das Pendel des Todes – West Germany
El péndulo de la muerte – Spain
The Pit and the Pendulum – alternative title
El pozo y el péndulo – Argentina, Venezuela
Il pozzo e il pendolo – Italy
Le Puits et le pendule – France

Extracts included in
Afterglow (1997)
Creepy Classics (1987)
Madhouse (1974)

See also
Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)
Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001)
House on Haunted Hill (1999)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.1 pp.52, 53
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.22 p.41


  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig p.290
  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson p.74 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.145
  • A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series by Ken Hanke pp.216-218; 223
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.248, 290
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.93, 125-26, 130, 146
  • Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures by Mark Thomas McGee pp.190-194, 240; 319
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.352
  • The Films of Vincent Price by Iain F. McAsh pp.17; 41
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis pp.386-387
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.28 – credits, review
  • I Was a Monster Movie Maker by Tom Weaver – interview with John Kerr
  • Kinematograph and Television Year Book 1963 p.123 – credits (Films trade shown 1961-1962)
  • Merchant of Menace: The Life and Films of Vincent Price by Denis Meikle pp.138-152; 359-360
  • by Walt Lee p.372 – credits
  • Richard Matheson on Screen: A History of the Filmed Works by Matthew R. Bradley pp.89-94
  • Rock ‘n' Roll Monsters: The American International Story by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.125-127; 290
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester pp.168-169
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.323-324
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani pp.96-97 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Vincent Price: The Art of Fear by Denis Meikle pp.76-82; 223
  • Vincent Price Unmasked by James Robert Parish and Steven Whitney pp.104-105; 209-210
  • Women in the Horror Films of Vincent Price by Jonathan Malcolm Lampley pp.54-62; 192