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Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

As my celebration of Vincent Price comes to an end, I decided it was time to jump into his Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. For those that do not know, Poe is my favorite author of all time and have even dressed up as Poe for Halloween. My choice tonight was one of my favorites, The Pit and the Pendulum from 1961.


Plot/ Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the most renowned torturer’s of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died of a blood disease, but Francis finds this hard to believe. After some investigating he finds out that it was extreme fear that was fatal to his sister and that she may have been buried alive! Strange things then start to happen in the Medina castle.


This may be one of my favorite performances of Price, He is absolutely terrific, providing this character with tremendous depth and sympathy. As a huge Poe fan, this adaptation written by Richard Matheson, is not really a faithful adaptation, it is a cleverly written story that fuses many different Poe's short stories in one. Yet, the movie comes across with such a chill and eeriness within the beautiful atmosphere created by Roger Corman, who did a masterful job at continually mounting the suspense until the climatic end. This is a great movie and another must for all Price fans to see.



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