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House of Usher (The Fall of the House of Usher) (1960)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 8,405

My Rating

Movie Info

The first of Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe films, Fall of the House of Usher was originally released as simply House of Usher. Vincent Price stars as the foredoomed Roderick Usher. Living in his decaying family mansion with his young sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey), Roderick does his best to shoo away Madeline's fiance Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon). He tells the young swain that Madeline suffers from the family curse of encroaching madness, and thus cannot be permitted to bear children. After a

Unrated,

Horror, Classics, Cult Movies

Richard Matheson

Jun 5, 2001

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (3) | DVD (14)

It's not precisely the Edgar Allan Poe short story that emerges in House of Usher, but it's a reasonably diverting and handsomely mounted variation.

August 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Corman's filmmaking runs on unchanneled energy and apocalyptic emotions; his is an art without craft.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The sickly decadence and claustrophobia of the Usher household is admirably evoked by Floyd Crosby's 'Scope photography and Daniel Haller's art direction.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Under the low-budget circumstances, Vincent Price and Myrna Fahey should not be blamed for portraying the decadent Ushers with arch affectation, nor Mark Damon held to account.

May 10, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film set the template for the Poe-Corman-Price series with its literate script, Corman's effective direction, Price's immersive emoting and brilliant employment of light and color.

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

A hallucinatory swirl of a movie that has the feel of an especially sharp nightmare.

October 22, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

Lavishly produced and visually gorgeous (thanks to the atmospheric photography of Floyd Crosby), Corman's gothic creepfest is still scary after all these years.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The film is riddled with strangeness and decay, which more than compensate for its clunky moments.

October 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Weird and a touch silly, but despite being a B-picture made by a B-studio, neither Roger Corman nor Richard Matheson treat the film as a disposable drive-in time-waster.

October 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A classical vessel for Roger Corman's modernist anxiety

February 13, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

A superlative Corman/AIP effort and a great beginning to a varying but always interesting series of horror films.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

When Corman pitched the project to his superiors at American International Pictures, they asked, 'where's the monster?' Corman quickly replied, 'the house is the monster.'

June 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Certainly some elements are dated now, and Price's fellow actors can't hold a candle to him, but Usher still holds up as an example of stately suspense that doesn't resort to gore, monsters, or overuse of shock effects.

April 5, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

It's one of the better Poe versions made by Corman, if not his best.

January 18, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A primeira das oito parcerias entre Corman e Price funciona maravilhosamente bem até os quinze minutos finais, quando passa a depender de Fahey para assustar.

February 21, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Corman's bid for respectability nearly works.

November 26, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The Poe-inspired source material occasionally rises above the Corman-fueled production.

December 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Quite possibly the finest combination of Corman, Price and Poe.

July 29, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

A thoroughly engaging entry in the literary horror landscape.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

...not a gorefest, nor is it particularly suspenseful or terrifying, but it does create an effectively aggressive and disturbing tone.

July 7, 2001
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for House of Usher (The Fall of the House of Usher)

Roger Corman comes up with a rather respectable film. Sure, he has some great material to work from, but between his Little Shop of Horror and Sharktopus, this certainly sticks out. He's lucky enough to get Vincent Price involved. A man that was born for horror, though he isn't confined by it. There is genuine chemistry between him and his sister, which makes the ending, not only shocking, but tragic too. As the house crumbles away the tension mounts. Is the house alive? Or is the psychological pressure all a bit much. The art direction is also well constructed. The gothic wood scenes are creepy and the house itself does seem to be a living organism.
April 30, 2011
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

I love how Corman was able to make Poe's stories into films so brilliantly, and all of them starring Price too! I didn't particularly like how Price had blond hair in this movie, he looks better with dark hair, but his performance is still great, and the other actors are good. I love the tale of madness, and I highly recommend Corman's Poe series.
November 21, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

This is a vastly underseen film, and in my opinion, this film is a Gothic horror classic, and I think this should be on a few more film/media/literature professors' syllabuses. This may be Corman's best work with Price.
June 30, 2008
Stinger839

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Untergang des Hauses Usher (DE)
  • House of Usher (UK)
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