House on Haunted Hill (1959)

I watched the 1959 William Castle production “House on Haunted Hill”. Frederick Loren, a millionaire, invites 5 people to a party in a haunted house he has rented. All that stay the entire night will get ten thousand dollars each. He says that his wife Annabelle, who stays up in her room, wanted the party. William Castle both produced and directed while Robb White (an American writer of screenplays, television scripts, and adventure novels) wrote and co-produced this horror film.

Frederick Loren is played by Vincent Price and his wife Annabelle is Carol Ohmart (The Scarlet Hour, The Wild Party, Born Reckless, The Scavengers, Spider Baby). The party guests are

Richard Long (The Dark Mirror, The Egg and I, The Life of Riley, Ma and Pa Kettle movies, Cult of the Cobra, TV episodes of 77 Sunset Strip, Bourbon Street Beat, The Big Valley, Nanny and the Professor),

Alan Marshal (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tom, Dick and Harry, The White Cliffs of Dover), Carolyn Craig (Giant, Gunsight Ridge, Apache Territory), Elisha Cook Jr. (The Spy in the Green Hat, Rosemary’s Baby, The Great Bank Robbery, Blacula, Salem’s Lot, 1941) and

Julie Mitchum (Edge of Hell, The Ten Commandments, Hit and Run). The movie had one of Castle’s most memorable gimmicks. Some theaters rigged a pulley system and a plastic human skeleton,

known as “Emergo”, was released in conjunction to the corresponding scene during the movie. Alfred Hitchcock took note of this films low-budget performance in the box office and tried it himself, releasing “Psycho”.

Exterior shots of the house were filmed at the historic Ennis House in Los Feliz California, designed in 1924 by Frank Lloyd Wright. Most of the film was shot on sound stages.

The posters for the movie depict the haunted house as a four story fanciful Romanesque structure. In the ending title credits they list “Skeleton – By Himself”. The movie was very well received and even gets 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.

I enjoyed the movie. I thought the story was good and Vincent Price was his classic self. I’ll give this flick 3.9 out of 5 stars. For more information read Wikipedia, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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