Diary of a Madman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Diary of a Madman Reviews

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January 19, 2019
An often overlooked Vincent Price movie that has plenty of menace and his usual dazzling performance. A great late night bit of fun as most Price horror films are.
½ June 26, 2017
That was actually a lot better than I was expecting. Price is great as always and it had an interesting gothic tale.
August 12, 2016
Another one that Vincent Price hits out of the proverbial ballpark. Great fun.
August 12, 2016
Another one that Vincent Price hits out of the proverbial ballpark. Great fun.
½ July 8, 2016
Brilliantly acted and disturbing. To think that an artist severed a woman's hard and made a statue from it is pretty bold for the early 60's. Price was amazing as the troubled artist
November 11, 2013
A great "creature feature". Must we deny the existence of the Horla? Ian Wolfe makes a fine character again.
October 20, 2012
Well, Guy de Mauppasant wrote it (sort of) and the great Vincent Price stars...

Other than that, best ignored.
May 21, 2012
Vincent Price vs. The Horla--surprisingly good Price vehicle!!
October 17, 2011
October 11, 2011
not mad as much as it is comical.
September 12, 2011
I'm not sure if this script or story were either any good, but Vincent Price has a way of polishing a turd into a diamond. I thoroughly enjoyed it, much like basically anything else he's touched.
September 6, 2011
Typical Vincent Price flick of this period. Very watchable and entertaining.
½ August 19, 2011
As usual with most of Vincent Price movies, he out-acts everyone around him. I've never read any stories by Guy de Maupassant but I think I will check them out. THe movie was kind of flat and not anywhere close to the Corman/Price films.
June 20, 2011
not mad as much as it is comical.
½ May 10, 2011
For Vincent Price, an above average flick. Still, I give it a 70 for camera work and sets. The title is superb however and I give this one thumbs up just for that alone.

Madman Price gets religion in the last quarter of the film, so Jesus turns his life around, or at least the crucifix helps.

The film centers on Simon Cordier (Vincent Price), a French magistrate and amateur sculptor who comes into contact with a malevolent entity. The invisible - yet corporeal - being, called a "horla" is capable of limited psychokinesis and complete mind control.

Says the NY Times reviewer in 1963:

"Though the riveting Price (whose very presence can enliven even the most dismal of horror duds) does an admirable job as the tormented Cordier, he is unable to bear the ponderous weight of this tedious production."

NOTES about the film:

1 The screenplay, written by producer Robert Kent, is an adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's short story "Le Horla" ("The Horla"), written in 1887.

2 Kent's rendition is notably divergent from the source material, especially in relation to the religious and moral themes of the film, which contradict not only those of the short story, but Maupassant's as well.

3 As his and others' lives are put in jeopardy, he (Price) becomes convinced of the horla's existence and decides drastic measures are needed to end the horla's evil.


Vincent Price as Simon Cordier
Nancy Kovack as Odette Mallotte DuClasse
Chris Warfield as Paul DuClasse
Elaine Devry as Jeanne D'Arville
Ian Wolfe as Pierre, Cordier's Butler
Stephen Roberts as Captain Robert Rennedon
Lewis Martin as Fr. Raymonde
Mary Adams as Louise, Cordier's Cook
Joseph Ruskin as The Horla (voice)

Directed by Reginald Le Borg
Produced by Robert Kent
Edward Small

Written by Robert Kent

Music by Richard LaSalle
Cinematography Ellis W. Carter
Editing by Grant Whytock

Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) March 6, 1963 (U.S.)
July 12 (Finland)
August 26 (Sweden)


Running time 96 minutes

May 10, 2011
Ho-hum story well-acted by VP.
½ February 5, 2011
PLOT: Film centers Simon Cordier (Vincent Price), who is well known judge in his place. Before the execution of one murder who convinced a lot of deaths, Simon (Vincent Price), goes to speak with prisoner to fulfill his last wish. However, prisoner told to Simon that he was possesed and he doesn't remember killing anyone. he shows diference in behaviour, which SImon noticed, and tries to kill him. Guard saved Simon, but while struggling, Simon killed prisoner.
Eventualy Simon meets invisible being called "Horla", who is capable of limited psychokinesis and complete mind control. Simon discovers that, controled by horla, he shows same simptoms as prisouner, so he tries to solve problem as soon as possible. He started to write diary about how he feeles when he think he is opsessed. And he also started visiting psychotherapeuthist who advised him to start doing sculpturing again.
Simon suddenly start feeling better, eventualy he found a model Odette Mallotte DuClasse (Nancy Kovack), who is married to young artist, but accepts to work for Simon. After they finished aranged modeling job, Horla gets back to Simons life, making him to kill Odette.
Simon, aware of what is Horla capable of, starts writing his last sentences in diary where he apoints that he will finish with this madness once and for all.

COMMENTS: Tittle: DIary of a Madman actually leaves huge controversion to the movie, knowing that it presents state of mind of person who is called as mad, however, it can really point to question was he mad or actualy one and only rational person in the movie.
Not such a hard part for Vincent, doing what he usualy does, playinmg between good and evil, but never just one. A large influence of Corman and E.A. Poe, who never gave enough fiction so you could positivly say that novel is fiction or not.

Allways good to watch him!
Super Reviewer
November 25, 2010
Not a very well known Price film, but it's actually a very good movie, and he gives a great performance as always. If you're a fan you should really check this one out if you can find it.
½ November 11, 2009
Meh. Okay Price horror flick. Vincent is, of course, fabulous as always, but the rest of the film is not all that interesting. Although low-budget, it still had a stylish look about it and decent production values. I suppose it was worth watching.
September 21, 2009
Vincent Price is almost a one man show sometimes as he is possessed by an invisible evil tormentor that drives him to kill. His doctor suggests a little time off to pursue some leisure activities (which is what all physicians suggest when you're on the verge of a breakdown & borderline schizophrenic) so Price decides to take up some sculpting. Price finds a model that he soon falls for & asks her to marry him. Everything is great except she's already married (she's a money grubbing whore so a little thing like already being married Isn't too much of a problem). Soon the evil forces (that had left Vincent for his sabbatical) return & plague him once again so it's time to kill..kill..kill
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