William Castle - Rotten Tomatoes

William Castle



New York-born William Castle was known to some as one of the movies' great schlockmeisters, but his films are also among the most beloved "B"-pictures of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and he did produce one unabashed classic, Rosemary's Baby. Starting out as an actor on stage, he got to Hollywood in the late 1930s and became a director in 1943. He made numerous low budget pictures, most notably as part of the Whistler and Crime Doctor series, but it was as an independent producer during the late 1950s that Castle made his mark. Recognizing the growing enthusiasm for shock thrillers and horror films, he devised various exploitation campaigns to go with his films--thus, a good haunted-house chiller like The House On Haunted Hill was marketed around a new process called "Emergo," which consisted of a luminous skeleton swung out over the audience during scenes involving a disembodied skeleton's appearance on screen. Other pictures, such as The Tingler, gave selected members of the audience mild electric shocks through their seats during appropriately tense sequences. Even without these "effects," however, these films were good, solid competent pictures that hold up well on television. Castle soon began infusing his own personality into the marketing of his movies, appearing in opening wrap-around scenes and trailers, a kind of poor man's Alfred Hitchcock. Homicidal, Castle's near-parody of Hitchcock's Psycho, was one of his strangest films, and bears watching on that basis alone. Later on, as his string of exploitation titles ran out, Castle left the director's chair and produced his best, and best-known movie, Rosemary's Baby, directed by Roman Polanski. He died in 1977, soon after publishing his autobiography, Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Right Off America. In 1993, Universal released Matinee, a Joe Dante-directed comedy built around a producer/director (John Goodman) loosely based on William Castle.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Undertow
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet New Orleans Uncensored
  • Director
2011
100% Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story
  • Actor
2007
29% Bug
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Actor
1975
64% The Day of the Locust
  • Director
1975
63% Shampoo
  • Sid Roth
1975
No Score Yet Shanks
  • Director
  • Executive Producer
  • Grocer
1974
No Score Yet Riot
  • Producer
1969
99% Rosemary's Baby
  • Man at Telephone Booth
  • Producer
1968
No Score Yet Project X
  • Producer
  • Director
1968
No Score Yet The Spirit Is Willing
  • Director
  • Producer
1967
No Score Yet The Busy Body
  • Producer
  • Director
1967
No Score Yet Let's Kill Uncle (Let's Kill Uncle, Before Uncle Kills Us)
  • Director
  • Producer
1966
No Score Yet I Saw What You Did
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1965
No Score Yet The Night Walker
  • Director
  • Producer
1964
No Score Yet Ride the Wild Surf
  • Director
1964
80% Strait-Jacket
  • Director
  • Producer
1964
No Score Yet The Old Dark House
  • Director
  • Producer
1963
No Score Yet 13 Frightened Girls (The Candy Web)
  • Producer
  • Director
1963
No Score Yet Zotz!
  • Director
  • Producer
1962
78% Homicidal
  • Director
  • Narrator
  • Producer
1961
33% Mr. Sardonicus
  • Producer
  • Narrator
  • Director
1961
36% 13 Ghosts
  • Director
  • Producer
1960
71% The Tingler
  • Producer
  • Director
1959
96% House On Haunted Hill
  • Producer
  • Director
1959
No Score Yet Macabre
  • Director
  • Producer
1958
No Score Yet The Houston Story
  • Director
1956
No Score Yet The Americano
  • Director
1955
No Score Yet The Law vs. Billy the Kid
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Drums of Tahiti
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Jesse James vs. the Daltons
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Battle of Rogue River
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Fort Ti
  • Director
1953
No Score Yet Cave of Outlaws
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Hollywood Story
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Johnny Stool Pigeon
  • Director
1949
No Score Yet Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet Crime Doctor's Man Hunt
  • Director
1946
No Score Yet Mysterious Intruder
  • Director
1946
No Score Yet Voice of the Whistler
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1945
No Score Yet Crime Doctor's Warning, (Doctor's Warning)
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Mark of the Whistler
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet Betrayed
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet The Whistler
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet The Chance of a Lifetime
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet The Law Rides Again
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet He Stayed for Breakfast
  • Policeman
1940
No Score Yet Lady in Question
  • Angry Juror
1940

Quotes from William Castle's Characters

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