The Skull (1965)

UK, 1965
35mm film, “photographed in Techniscope”, Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English
Reviewed at The EOFFTV Review

A British horror film directed by Freddie Francis.

Plot Summary

Professor Maitland is an obsessive collector of occult relics and feels compelled to buy the skull of the nefarious Marquis de Sade, despite being warned of its evil powers by fellow occult expert Sir Matthew Phillips. The skull has a macabre history of death and violence associated with it and it’s not long before Maitland is under its spell, hallucinating wildly and wielding a knife…


Directed by: Freddie Francis
© MCMLCV [1965] Amicus Productions Ltd.
An Amicus production. Paramount Pictures present
Produced by: Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg
Production Manager: Ted Lloyd
Screenplay by: Milton Subotsky
From the Story “The Skull of the Marquis de Sade” by Robert Bloch
Assistant Director: Anthony Waye
Continuity: Pamela Davies
Director of Photography: John Wilcox
Camera Operator: David Harcourt
Camera Grip: Ray Jones
Editor: Oswald Hafenrichter
Music Composed by: Elisabeth Lutyens
Conducted by: Philip Martell
Sound Recordist: Buster Ambler
Sound Editor: Tom Priestley
Sound Supervisor: John Cox
RCA Sound Recording
Wardrobe Supervisor: Jackie Cummins
Make-up Artiste: Jill Carpenter
Hairdresser: Henry Montsash
Special Effects: Ted Samuels
Art Director: Bill Constable
Set Decoration: Scott Slimon
Construction Manager: Bill Waldron
Produced at: Shepperton Studios, shepperton, Middlesex, England

Peter Cushing (Christopher Maitland)
Patrick Wymark (Marco)
Nigel Green (Inspector Wilson)
Jill Bennett (Jane Maitland)
Michael Gough (auctioneer)
George Coulouris (Dr Londe)
Peter Woodthorpe (Travers)
April Olrich (French girl)
Maurice Good (phrenologist)
Patrick Magee (police surgeon)
Anna Palk (maid)
Frank Forsyth (judge)
Paul Stockman (first guard)
Geoffrey Cheshire (second guard)
Christopher Lee (Sir Matthew Phillips)
George Hilsdon (policeman)
Jack Silk (driver)

Alternative Titles

A Caveira – Portugese title
Dödskallen – Swedish title
La maldición de la calavera – Spanish title
Der Schädel des Marquis de Sade – German title
Il teschio maledetto – Italian title

See also
Top Secret! (1984)



  • British National Film Catalogue vol.4 (1966) p.80
  • Castle of Frankenstein 1967 Annual p.6
  • The Daily Cinema no.9021 (29 January 1965) p.8 – note (Production-wise)
  • The Daily Cinema no.9024 (5 February 1965) p.8 – note (Production-wise)
  • The Daily Cinema no.9280 (12 October 1966) p.10
  • Film and TV Technician vol.32 no.255 (June 1966) – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.187 no.3 (25 August 1965) p.3
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.33 no.394 (November 1966) p.172
  • NME 23 August 1980 p.25 – review (On the Box by Charles Shaar Murray)
  • Scarlet Street no.17 pp.27-28, 30-31, 109 – illustrated article
  • Supernatural no.1 (January 1969) pp.40-43 – illustrated interview with Milton Subotsky (The Amicus brain by Gwynne Comber)
  • Video Watchdog no.14 pp.12-13 – illustrated review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.173
  • Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Horror Cinema: A Filmography of Their 22 Collaborations by Mark A. Miller pp.176-188
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.5, 145-46, 146, 147, 228
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.132, 148
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle Jr and Douglas C. Hart pp.109-110
  • Kine & TV Year Book 1968 p.119
  • Peter Cushing: The Gentle Man of Horror and His 91 Films by Deborah Del Vecchio and Tom Johnson pp.191-195
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.443 – illustrated credits
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn p.360
  • The Straight Story from Moby Dick to Glory by Freddie Francis with Tony Dalton pp.138-141, 270