Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum) (1961)
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as Nicholas Medina
as Francis Barnard
as Catherine Medina
as Elisabeth Barnard Medina
as Dr. Charles Leon
as Dr. Charles Leon
as Maximillian the Butler
as Nicholas as a Child
Critic Reviews for Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum)
Proves to be the equal of 1960's The Fall of the House of Usher.
Who wants understatement in a film with dungeons and giant blades?
The film ends up being very nearly as good [as House of Usher], and better in some respects.
The title calls out for lustrous Freudian hysteria, and Corman delivers
Vincent Price lording over a giant torture pendulum! Awesome.
Audience Reviews for Pit and the Pendulum (The Pit and the Pendulum)
A very inspired adaptation that strays completely from Poe's story - in fact, it is hard to see why it is said to be an adaptation in the first place -, and Corman builds a tense atmosphere with a firm direction, a fine art direction and Price's magnetic performance.
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.
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.
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