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Theatre of Death (1967)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | November 1967 (USA)
The Theatre of Death in Paris specializes in horror presentations. A police surgeon finds himself becoming involved in the place through his attraction to one of the performers. When ... See full summary »


Samuel Gallu


Ellis Kadison (screenplay), Roger Marshall (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lee ... Philippe Darvas
Julian Glover ... Charles Marquis
Lelia Goldoni ... Dani Gireaux
Jenny Till Jenny Till ... Nicole Chapelle
Evelyn Laye ... Madame Angelique
Ivor Dean ... Inspector Micheaud
Joseph Fürst ... Karl Schiller (as Joseph Furst)
Betty Woolfe Betty Woolfe ... Colette
Leslie Handford Leslie Handford ... Joseph
Fraser Kerr Fraser Kerr ... Pierre
Dilys Watling Dilys Watling ... Heidi
Steve Plytas Steve Plytas ... Andre, Patron of Cafe
Miki Iveria ... Patron's Wife
Terence Soall Terence Soall ... Ferdi
Ester Anderson Ester Anderson ... La Poule (as Esther Anderson)


The Theatre of Death in Paris specializes in horror presentations. A police surgeon finds himself becoming involved in the place through his attraction to one of the performers. When bloodless bodies start showing up all over town, he realizes there could be links with the theatre. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The bood fiend will disgust and repel those to weak to share a living nightmare of the bizarre! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

November 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Theater of Death See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jenny Till received an "introducing" credit. See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure an 'X' rating. All cuts were waived in 2001 when the film was granted an '15' certificate for home video. See more »


References The Whip and the Body (1963) See more »


Shock Treatment
Music by Trevor Duncan
Josef Weinberger Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Grisly killings , thrills , chills and plot twists at the Pigalle Grand Guignol theatre
4 February 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Pigalle slums, Paris , there takes place severals murders . As police are baffled by a series of mysterious killings . Meanwhile, new Theatre director Phillipe Darvas (the great Christopher Lee , still performing), son of the old director, vows to dedicate his life to the Theatre, as did his father. At the opening night cast party, patroness Mme Angelique (Evelyn Laye) requests that Darvas give a preview of coming attractions, so Darvas asks Dani Gireaux (Lelia Goldoni) and newcomer Nicole Chapelle (Jenny Till who receives an "introducing" credit) to play a scene from 'The Witches of Salem'. But Dani's sweetheart , Dr. Charles Marquis (Julian Glover), interrupts the scene . Once again occur murders , each bearing a trace of Vampirism , being main suspect Darvas . The picture is based on a real Theatre known as the Grand Guignol ,it was a Theatre in the Pigalle area of Paris . From its opening in 1897 until its closing in 1962, it specialized in naturalistic horror shows. Its name is often used as a general term for graphic, amoral horror entertainment . A genre popular whose founder was Oscar Méténier was the Grand Guignol's and original director. Under his direction, the theater produced plays about a class of people who were not considered appropriate subjects in other venues: prostitutes, criminals, street urchins, and others at the lower end of Paris's social echelon. At the Grand Guignol, patrons would see five or six plays, all in a style that attempted to be brutally true to the theatre's naturalistic ideals. The plays were in a variety of styles, but the most popular and best known were the horror plays, featuring a distinctly bleak worldview as well as notably gory special effects in their notoriously bloody climaxes . Some of the horror came from the nature of the crimes shown, which often had very little reason behind them and in which the evildoers were rarely punished or defeated. To heighten the effect, the horror plays were often alternated with comedies . Paula Maxa was one of the Grand Guignol's best-known performers. From 1917 to the 1930s, she performed most frequently as a victim and was known as "the most assassinated woman in the world". During her career at the Grand Guignol, Maxa's characters were murdered more than 10,000 times in at least 60 different ways and raped at least 3,000 times .

Terror , killing , suspense , well-planned intrigue and mayhem make up the principal ingredients of the Theatre De Morte . This exciting , bizarre film contains tension , thriller , drama , mystery , plot twists and shocks , including decent scares with tense terror sequences especially in its final part , in a creepy denouement . The movie is intriguing and some moment brilliant, and the players are quite reliable . Eerie movie builds taut by showing virtually well staged killings , adequate theatre settings , unsettling score and evocative cinematography . Although is sometimes slow moving , overlong and stagy , however is entertaining for continuous suspense . Sinister , mysterious atmosphere is nicely photographed by magnificent cameraman Gilbert Taylor , and standing out the scenarios with luxurious images . Suspenseful and frightening soundtrack heightens the suspense .

This flick displays genuine chills , thrilling events , mystery and dark atmosphere and a twisted finale , being skillfully proceeded by Samuel Gallu . Director Sam Gallu, who once sang tenor for Toscanini, and star Chris Lee hurled snatches of arias at each other between takes. Sam Gallu was a craftsman who founded his own production company, Gally Productions, in the 1950's , his Productions included "Border Patrol" and "The Blue Angel¨ . He wrote , produced and directed a few movies such as ¨Arthur , Arthur¡¨ , ¨The limbo lime¨ , ¨The man outside¨ and this , ¨Theatre of death¨ that resulted to be his best movie . Rating : 6.5/10 . The movie will appeal to Christopher Lee fans .

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