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I Bury the Living (1958)

Unrated | | Horror | July 1958 (USA)
Cemetery director Robert Kraft discovers that by arbitrarily changing the status of plots from empty to occupied on the planogram causes the death of the plots' owners.

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(original story and screenplay), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Andy McKee
Peggy Maurer ...
Ann Craig
...
George Kraft
...
Jess Jessup
...
Lt. Clayborne
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Storyline

Through a series of macabre "coincidences," the newly-elected director of a cemetery (Richard Boone) begins to believe that he can cause the deaths of living owners of burial plots by merely changing the push-pin color from white (living) to black (dead) on a large wall map of the cemetery that notes those plots. Written by mperryo@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST SPINE-CHILLING CRY THAT EVER FROZE THE BLOOD!... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Killer at Large  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)| (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen King says he was thinking about this film when he wrote his short story "Obit", about a young writer who discovers he can kill people by writing an obituary about them. The short story is in King's Bazaar of Bad Dreams collection. He references the film in the foreword to the short story. See more »

Quotes

Robert Kraft: Andy, you better get this straight right now. You heard that lieutenant. It's possible for some people to have things inside them that make other things happen. Nothing is impossible for a man like that, if he thinks about it hard enough.
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Connections

Featured in TCM Underground: I Bury the Living (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey, Ho, Anybody Home?
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Theodore Bikel
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User Reviews

 
Far above the ordinary for its time and genre
8 April 1999 | by See all my reviews

Occasionally a film achieves remarkable success in spite of its limitations. Such a movie is "I Bury the Living" which greatly exceeds the B-Grade movie standards of its time. This crafty chiller is well scripted, acted and tightly directed by Albert Band.

Richard Boone portrays Robert Kraft, prominent chairman of a large department store chain, who because of civic obligation reluctantly accepts the trusteeship of Immortal Hills Cemetery for a one year term. His reluctance soon gives way to fearful belief that his insertion of black pins into the imposing cemetery map in the caretaker's office can supernaturally cause the deaths of the targeted plot owners. Played off against Boone's role are characters such as the hapless victims, the usual skeptics and the crusty caretaker Andy McKee, aptly portrayed by Theodore Bikel. Equally participant are inanimate objects: the menacing cemetery map with protruding black and white pins, and the ever ringing telephone. The weather is bleak, the caretaker's office is visibly cold and the photography is stunning black and white, high contrast and mesmerizing. The eerie musical score that highlights the scenes inside the caretaker's office and the cemetery both day and night intensifies the suspense all the way to the startling conclusion.

Of interest is Boone's rather unusual role as the tormented Kraft in his only horror picture. Even before "Have Gun, Will Travel" Boone was far better known as a western frontiersman. Prominent actors such as Boone rarely appeared in pictures of this genre, and his rugged screen presence lifts this picture way above the ordinary.

A mystery intriguing as the story itself is the seeming disrespect accorded this film for 40 years. Released in B-movie theaters in mid-1958 (in a twin bill with the ridiculous, long-forgotten "Wink of an Eye"), it received limited exposure and was then gone. Now that "I Bury the Living" is on video, get a copy and judge it for yourself. This video will hold your interest, a sure keeper.


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