The Penthouse (1967)

96m, 2624.63 metres/8611 feet
35mm film, Eastmancolor
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Peter Collinson.

Plot Summary

Married estate agent Bruce Victor and his lover Barbara are terrorised by a trio of sadistic visitors to the penthouse apartment that they use for their illicit meetings.


* = uncredited

Director: Peter Collinson
Compton Films, Tahiti Films, Twickenham Film Studios
Executive Producers: Michael Klinger, Guido Coen
Producer: Harry Fine
Script: Peter Collinson
Play: The Meter Man by C. Scott Forbes
Assistant Director: Barry Langley
Director of Photography: Arthur Lavis
Camera Operator: Ron Robson
Stills: Aubrey Dewar
Editor: John Trumper
Music: John Hawksworth
Song: John Hawksworth, Harold Shaper (World Full of Lonely Men – uncredited)
Song Performed by: Lisa Shane (World Full of Lonely Men – uncredited)
Sound Recordist: Stephen Dalby
Sound Mixer: Laurie Clarkson
Re-Recording Mixer: Gerry Humphreys
Make-up: George Partleton
Hair: Barbara Barnard
Costume Designer: Mary Gibson
Art Director: Peter Mullins *
Continuity: Betty Harley
Production Associates: Sam Waynberg, Barry Krost

Suzy Kendall (Barbara Willason)
Terence Morgan (Bruce Victor)
Tony Beckley (Tom)
Norman Rodway (Dick)
Martine Beswick (Harry)

Alternative Titles

Un attico sopra l'inferno – Italian title
Mittarinlukija – Finnish title
Takvåningen – Swedish title


Variety vol.24 no.7 (5 July 1967)
“[A] trim entry in the horror-thriller stakes […] It's one of those happy commercial films in which the money invested comes out many times multiplied thanks to a simple but often absent ingredient: talent. Peter Collinson's script and direction work hand-in-hand like a precision watch in milking a situation or line to the utmost before seguing, after a pause for breath, to the next crescendo build-up. Admittedly, there's plenty of very sick stuff around. The sexual characteristics of the two, and ultimately three intruders are to say the least blurred, and there are at least two open references to “real” cigarettes that help people “fly,” as well as some rather over-graphic symbol sin. And there's some nudity, too, albeit tasteful, on the part of Miss Kendall, which shouldn't hurt the film's chances any. But, apart from fact that the pic, especially in its two closing plot twists, makes some telling points about human frailty and selfishness, it's as noted the quality of the lines and their subtle yet powerful impact of their contents, plus the superbly controlled delivery by the cast, that makes this a compelling – if at times inevitably distasteful – glimpse at some of the seamier characteristics of the human being.” – from a review by Hawk

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.3 no.406 (November 1967) p.169
“[N]othing in The Penthouse manages to convince us that its events have any internal, psychological justification or that they could possibly have occurred if Tom had not owned a flickknife: What we are offered smacks of pornography in Pinter's clothing. And there is somethmg particularly distasteful about a double that takes place before breakfast. For if the film is lacking in subtlety, it is still more lacking in taste. And for those unable to share Collinson's morbid fascination with his subject matter, the. close-ups of Norman Redway caressing Barbara's underwear in the empty bedroom, or biting on a piece of salami before proceeding to rape her will be merely embarrassing. Suzy Kendall gives a suitably ambiguous performance as the violated heroine (is she supposed to enjoy it?) while Terence Morgan fails utterly to convince as her stuffed shirt lover.” – from a review by J.A.D.


Cahiers du Cinéma no.195 (November 1967) p.77 – review
Daily Cinema no.9424 (22 September 1967) p.6 – review (by Margaret Hinxman)
Kine Weekly no.3128 (23 September 1967) p.11 (UK) – credits, review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.3 no.406 (November 1967) p.169 (UK) – credits, synopsis, review (by J.A.D.)
Music from the Movies no.43 (2004) pp.61-62 – soundtrack review
Variety vol.24 no.7 (5 July 1967) (USA) – credits, review (by Hawk)

by Walt Lee p.362 – credits