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The Tingler (1959)


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Release Date: Jul 29, 1959 Limited



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 4,876

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Movie Info

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the

Sep 7, 1999

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (4) | DVD (3)

Could well be William Castle's masterpiece.

October 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Like any genius pitchman, Castle straddles the line between carnival barker and conceptual artist

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

How any red-blooded American could hear 'Vincent Price's acid trip,' and not fall over themselves rushing to find a copy of the movie is beyond my comprehension.

April 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The Tingler is more gimmick than movie and it lacks the level of tension and terror of other productions, but the showmanship is still a lot of fun.

July 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

Better than average Castle thriller with a wonderfully campy Vincent Price.

February 19, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Real shock schlock.

January 31, 2003
Your Movies (

A wonderful William Castle excursion, that is best seen in theaters unless you can wire your seats at home.

January 30, 2003
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Audience Reviews for The Tingler

This is one of those movies that you like because they're cheesy and silly. Castle's horror films were all gimmicky, and this one is no exception, but his gimmicks are fun and sort of give his films a cult status. I like this movie.
November 21, 2010

Super Reviewer

Scientifically sound stuff here. As most of you are aware we all have a tiny bug inside us that grows when we are scared, the only way to stop it from killing us is to scream. Screaming reduces its size. This is the wonderfully bonkers plot of The Tingler. Produced and directed by William Castle, this is a film that was made with gimmicks in mind. Castle was the kind of man to send skeletons on zip-wires and pay people to scream. It's evidenced here by an introduction by Castle. So this doesn't have the effect of the cinema, though I'm sure that was hardly terrifying itself. The film has some nice twists I didn't see coming, and Price's performance is very serious and believable. He isn't camping it up here.It takes a while to get going, but the freak-out scene had some bizarre creepy moments like a beasts arm throwing an axe. It's more interesting than it had to be, considering the gimmicks it was created for.
July 13, 2010

Super Reviewer

This cheesy fright flick from WIlliam Castle was actually better than I expected it to be, and I don't mean that in a "so bad it's good " way. Vincent Price's performance wasn't nearly as hammy as usual as a doctor studying the effects of fear on the human body. Too bad the rest of the cast were stiff as boards. The monster worm was pretty cool, and there were a couple of nice twists in the story. Or course, it also had William Castle's always over-the-top dramatics -- the first scene of the film simply headshots of people screaming. This is going to sound crazy, but it might be fun to watch this on a double bill with Michael Powell's Peeping Tom. Tom is MUCH darker and sinister, and not at all campy, but they have similar themes, and they were made around the same time. Kind of a U.S. vs. U.K. comparison.
October 21, 2009

Super Reviewer

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