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The Haunting (1963)

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A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Nelson Gidding (screenplay), Shirley Jackson (based on the novel: "The Haunting of Hill House")
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julie Harris ... Eleanor Lance
Claire Bloom ... Theodora
Richard Johnson ... Dr. John Markway
Russ Tamblyn ... Luke Sanderson
Fay Compton ... Mrs. Sanderson
Rosalie Crutchley ... Mrs. Dudley
Lois Maxwell ... Grace Markway
Valentine Dyall ... Mr. Dudley
Diane Clare ... Carrie Fredericks
Ronald Adam ... Eldridge Harper
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Storyline

Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SCREAM...no one will hear you! RUN...and the silent foosteps will follow, for in Hill House the dead are restless! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1963 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Haunting See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,616,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Argyle Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Wise called the film one of his top ten or twelve favourites among the films he made, commenting that it was his favourite filmmaking experience. See more »

Goofs

Mrs. Dudley says she sets out dinner at 6 p.m. and leaves soon afterward, when it begins to get dark. Another scene establishes the date as being October 21. Most of the northeastern US observed Daylight Savings Time through late October even before the Uniform Time Act of 1966; nevertheless, sunset in Boston that time of year is around 5:50 p.m. and could not be more than a few minutes later anywhere in New England. Mrs. Dudley might leave right after serving dinner, but it would already be twilight, and quite dark in such a heavily forested area. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. John Markway: [voice-over] An evil old house, the kind some people call haunted, is like an undiscovered country waiting to be explored. Hill House had stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more. Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there... walked alone.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original cut of movie (shown 24/9/03 at Filmhouse, Edinburgh) has several differences from the general release print -
  • Alternate opening with voice-over by the Mrs Sannerson character in place of the Markway monologue.The titles prior to this scene are slightly different. The 'History of Hill house' scene continues into the meeting with Mrs Sannerson and Markway but in this version, it is Sannerson who is doing most of talking.
  • The following scene from the general release print of Markway listing his subjects on a blackboard is missing. In it's place is a scene where Theo throws her lover out her appartment and, next to a photo of her lover, writes "I Hate You!" on a mirror in lipstick, looks at her reflection and mutters "I hate you too...". She then receives her invitation from Markway. This is delivered to her by her landlady how requires the excess postage to be paid. Theo already knows this is to be paid and there is humourous exchange concerning her ESP or her 'gift'.
  • There are several extened scenes involving Eleanor's 'inner thoughts' - most of which tie into her thoughts on her possible relationship with Markway. The scene showing her travelling to Hill house is extended with more 'inner monlogue' material including a couple of shots of her turning onto 'route 238' and commenting on "Journey's end in lovers meeting...".
  • The Morning/Harp scene runs longer and contains more dialogue from both Eleanor and Markway. This print had a title card prior to the MGM logo - "This print is on loan from the National Film and Television Archive"
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Horror Movies: 1960s (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Scariest movie ever
25 September 2005 | by grrshimaDSee all my reviews

There is no blood, there is no slashing, today this would be rated "G." But, this is the scariest movie, ever. Every time I watch this masterpiece (and I have watched it over 50 times), I see or hear something new.

The density of the black and white is incredible. The camera angles and reflection shots are unsettling. The score is appropriately terrifying, from the ringing of tiny bells to the cannon ball rocking down the hall.

The cast is excellent. The direction superb. This is horror at the peak of perfection--it is in your mind. The only thing better is to read the book by Ms. Jackson on a dark night when you are all alone, and "far from town." As Stephen King said about Shirley Jackson, "She never had to shout." Mr. Wise is to be credited with bringing her whispers to the screen.

Rent this for Halloween. Or, own it forever. I still have trouble getting to sleep after I watch this.


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