Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum) (1961)

Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum) (1961)

Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum) Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Nicholas Medina (Vincent Price) is plagued with reoccurring nightmares that he has buried his wife alive. His brother-in-law arrives to investigate his sister's death and almost loses his life from a harrowing axe at the end of a pendulum. Although based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe, the ending of the film most resembles the original text. Produced and directed by Roger Corman, who continues his foray into the works of Poe.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Horror, Cult Movies
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Matheson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 5, 2001
American International Pictures (AIP)


as Nicholas Medina

as Francis Barnard

as Catherine Medina

as Elisabeth Barnard Me...

as Dr. Charles Leon

as Dr. Charles Leon

as Maximillian the Butl...

as Nicholas as a Child

as Isabella

as Bartolome

as Francis Barnard
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum)

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | May 28, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Proves to be the equal of 1960's The Fall of the House of Usher.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Creative Loafing

Who wants understatement in a film with dungeons and giant blades?

Full Review… | October 22, 2013
The Dissolve

The film ends up being very nearly as good [as House of Usher], and better in some respects.

Full Review… | October 9, 2011
Antagony & Ecstasy

The title calls out for lustrous Freudian hysteria, and Corman delivers

Full Review… | March 15, 2010

Audience Reviews for Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum)

Roger Corman directs this adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story with effective thrills and shocks to make this a stunning, well constructed horror film that is a surprising classic that deserves to be seen by fans of the genre. The film relies on atmosphere and the performance of Vincent Price to create its terror, and what we get here is a well crafted low budget film that keeps you involved from start to finish. The film has a gothic tone to it, which is standard for films of the era, and it only adds so much to the picture. The cast do a fine job here, and each brings something to the screen to really make this a standout feature among Corman fans. Horror should be about tone, and atmosphere, and Roger Corman clearly understands that, and the result is a masterful adaptation of a classic literary work. In terms of horror, The Pit and the Pendulum is a fine example of how it's done correctly. I really enjoyed the film and I think that it's one of those movies that needs to be rediscovered by viewers that enjoy great horror. The film has an engaging performance by horror icon Vincent Price, which makes this one stand out among other horror classics. For those who've enjoyed Edgar Allan Poe's writings, this is a worthy film to watch. The cast are great, and the pacing itself works well to set up to a riveting and trilling climax. Roger Corman has made a fine horror film that delivers effective chills throughout and it is a fine early work, from a director who would have significant impact on cinema. If you come across this film, give it a shot, you're sure to enjoy it if you love old school horror films, and with Vincent Price starring in it, you know it's going to be worth your time.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Vincent Price is as magnetic as always (enough to counter John Kerr's terribly nonchalant performance) and the film revels in tense atmosphere. The pacing is a bit un-even at times but the last twenty minutes are so intense that it makes the waiting worthwhile. Another solid Corman Poe adaptation.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

It was so great to get to see two of my favourite horror stars together for once: Price and Steele. This is one of my favourite of Corman's Poe series, and not just for that reason, the movie is really intense and exciting too. I really like it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum) Quotes

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