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House of Dark Shadows
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House of Dark Shadows (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sam Hall (screenplay) and
Gordon Russell (screenplay)
View company contact information for House of Dark Shadows on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 March 1971 (Japan) See more »
Barnabas Collins, vampire, takes a bride in a bizarre act of ultimate lust. See more »
Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally released from his centuries-long confinement at his family's estate in Maine. He targets his clueless descendants who live there now and pursues Maggie, the incarnation of his lost love. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS (Dan Curtis, 1970) *** See more (54 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jonathan Frid ... Barnabas Collins

Grayson Hall ... Dr. Julia Hoffman

Kathryn Leigh Scott ... Maggie Evans

Roger Davis ... Jeff Clark

Nancy Barrett ... Carolyn Stoddard

John Karlen ... Willie Loomis

Thayer David ... Professor T. Eliot Stokes

Louis Edmonds ... Roger Collins
Don Briscoe ... Todd Blake (as Donald Briscoe)

David Henesy ... David Collins

Dennis Patrick ... Sheriff George Patterson

Lisa Blake Richards ... Daphne Budd (as Lisa Richards)

Jerry Lacy ... Minister

Barbara Cason ... Mrs. Johnson
Paul Michael ... Old Man

Humbert Allen Astredo ... Dr. Forbes (as Humbert Astredo)
Terrayne Crawford ... Todd's Nurse (as Terry Crawford)

Michael Stroka ... Pallbearer

Joan Bennett ... Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Camila Ashland ... Collinwood Party Guest (uncredited)

Chip Coffey ... Collinwood Party Guest (uncredited)
Robert Costello ... Collinwood Party Guest (uncredited)

George DiCenzo ... Deputy (uncredited)
Philip Larson ... Deputy (uncredited)

Directed by
Dan Curtis 
Writing credits
Sam Hall (screenplay) and
Gordon Russell (screenplay)

Produced by
Dan Curtis .... producer
Trevor Williams .... associate producer
Original Music by
Bob Cobert  (as Robert Cobert)
Cinematography by
Arthur J. Ornitz  (as Arthur Ornitz)
Film Editing by
Arline Garson 
Casting by
Linda Otto 
Production Design by
Trevor Williams 
Set Decoration by
Kenneth Fitzpatrick  (as Ken Fitzpatrick)
Costume Design by
Ramsey Mostoller  (as Ramsee Mostoller)
Makeup Department
Verne Caruso .... hair stylist
Robert Layden .... makeup artist
Dick Smith .... special makeup effects artist
Production Management
Hal Schaffel .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William C. Gerrity .... assistant director (as William Gerrity Jr.)
Dwight Williams .... dga trainee (uncredited)
Sound Department
C. Robert Fine .... sound mixer (as Bob Fine)
Jack C. Jacobsen .... sound
Christopher Newman .... sound (as Chris Newman)
Alex Stevens .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator
Music Department
Bob Cobert .... conductor
Other crew
George DiCenzo .... assistant to producer
Maggie James .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Das Schloß der Vampire" - Germany (imdb display title), West Germany
"Дом темных теней" - Soviet Union (Russian title)
"Amores de Vampiros" - Portugal (imdb display title)
"Chi no kuchibiru" - Japan (imdb display title)
"Hayaletler Satosu" - Turkey (Turkish title) (imdb display title)
"La casa dei vampiri" - Italy
"La fiancée du vampire" - France
"Nas Sombras da Noite" - Brazil
"Sombras en la obscuridad" - Mexico
"Sombras en la oscuridad" - Spain (imdb display title)
"Sombras tenebrosas" - Chile
"To spiti me tis mavres skies" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Vampyren banker på" - Denmark (imdb display title)
"Vampyrens hus" - Sweden
"Vampyrernos bröllop" - Finland (Swedish title) (informal title)
"Vampyyrien häät" - Finland (informal title)
See more »
97 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | Australia:SOA (original rating) | Finland:K-16 (1987) | Finland:(Banned) (1971) | Ireland:18 | Norway:16 (1971) | UK:18 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:PG (certificate #22670) | USA:GP (certificate #22670, original rating) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

"Dark Shadows" producer Dan Curtis originally intended to edit together footage from the original TV series into a feature-length film, but this concept was quickly abandoned in favor of a new story.See more »
Barnabas Collins:You went to her, and tried to warn her about me! You betrayed me, Willie!See more »
Movie Connections:


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS (Dan Curtis, 1970) ***, 19 October 2008
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

To begin with, my expectations for this vintage vampire flick – one of two cinema spin-offs (but whose DVD release has been pending for several years now!) of the seemingly never-ending TV series (putting paid to the prospect of acquiring it on DVD and of which I knew next to nothing beforehand except for the name of the lead vampire!) – were considerable given the cult status of the franchise (not forgetting my own impression of the other Dan Curtis work I'd watched thus far); incidentally, I don't think the more recent "Dark Shadows" incarnations have had much of an impact. Even so, I couldn't help feeling let down to some extent by the result – since, while it's certainly well done in most respects and highly watchable (in spite of the over-familiar subject matter) – there's nothing really outstanding about it either!

Vampirism is clearly one of the horror themes which has, pardon the pun, been done to death most over the years; yet, when handled with reasonable flair (though negated somewhat here by the full-frame presentation of the Laserdisc-sourced edition I watched – amusingly reverting to a blue-screen for a split-second at one point, denoting the end of Side A!), it's able to retain all the fascination and chill-factor inherent within the subgenre. Incidentally, several vampire films made during this time utilized – not always successfully – a modern-day setting; this, however, was one of the more effective because the vast estate around which much of the events revolve – plus the old-style look of the vampire himself (Jonathan Frid bearing a striking resemblance to Boris Karloff, with a bit of Harry Dean Stanton thrown in for good measure!) – supplies the requisite Gothic touch in spades. As I said, it follows much the typical pattern of cinematic vampires: the undead Barnabas Collins obviously hides his true identity initially; he practically enslaves the man (John Karlen from DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS [1971]) who re-awakens him (incidentally, it appears that the vampire was left chained inside his coffin for 200 years i.e. he wasn't killed in the traditional way beforehand!) without being turned into a vampire himself – similarly, there's the usual illogicality in that some people become afflicted with just one bite while the heroine, conveniently, requires numerous 'sessions'!; Collins ensnares a couple of women throughout, one of whom is never seen again, but then incurs the jealousy of the other – who's strong-willed and, therefore, more compelling than the lovely but rather bland heroine – through his obsession with the latter, a girl who's ostensibly the reincarnation of the vampire's dead love (she's not actually a descendant of hers, but just happens to be working for the family!), etc.

A couple of novel (and interesting) ideas, then, involve the middle-aged female doctor played by Grayson Hall (she was excellent in the Tennessee Williams adaptation THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA [1964]). Falling for Collins herself, she attempts to use her knowledge to cure his affliction – by which treatment he's able to withstand sunlight as well as diminish his blood craving; however, when he wants to speed up the process for the heroine's sake, the two fall out and he kills her, but turns soon after himself into a bald and wizened old man! Thayer David contributes another impressive turn as the family lawyer (like the rest of their various associates, he hardly ever seems to leave the premises!) who's actually the first to suspect of Frid's true nature. Unfortunately, while he had been played up as a formidable adversary for the vampire (despite his penchant for referring to him as the "living dead" and, having mentioned this, there's an inconsistency as well with the fact that vampires shouldn't but are often seen to cast reflections in a mirror!), David's then shown to have fallen victim to the curse himself off-screen – which doesn't quite convince. I guess, though, that the purpose for this was two-fold: to upset audience expectations, but also to leave the gate open for a showdown in which hero – who had barely featured in the plot until then! – and vampire contend over the former's girlfriend and the latter's intended bride…with a little help from the vampire's own slave (who happens to be smitten with the girl himself)! By the way, while veteran Hollywood actress Joan Bennett's role of family matriarch is given a prominent credit in the cast list, her participation is very small and – even more disappointingly – negligible!

All in all, the film is stylish and enjoyable – with just the right balance of mood, thrills and even romance; while the sequel, which is to follow, NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS (1971) is said to be much inferior (not surprising given its compromised current form), I'm still looking forward to an open-minded preliminary appraisal of it. Accompanying the feature is a frenziedly-edited trailer which, delightfully typical of its time, also contains such campy narration as "House Of Dark Shadows – where death is a way of life" and ending with "Come see how the vampires do it"!! For the record, after this Curtis mini-marathon, I'll be left with at least two more interesting made-for-TV horror efforts (both coincidentally broadcast in 1973) he was associated with – the nth adaptation of Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN and Oscar Wilde's almost-as-popular THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, both of which he only produced and are, happily, readily available on DVD...

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