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Cry of the Banshee [DVD] [1970]

Vincent Price , Elisabeth Bergner , Gordon Hessler    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Vincent Price, Elisabeth Bergner, Essy Persson, Hugh Griffith, Hilary Dwyer
  • Directors: Gordon Hessler
  • Producers: Gordon Hessler, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Louis M. Heyward
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Widescreen, Anamorphic
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Jan 2009
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001KWHOF6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,070 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Horror starring Vincent Price as Lord Edward, a magistrate in the 16th century who tortures and brutally murders a coven of witches. Unsurprisingly, his actions anger the coven's leader, Oona (Elisabeth Bergner), who attempts to get revenge by sending a demon werewolf, disguised as a handsome man, to terrorise the lord and his family.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wail of a time 14 Oct 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
England, the 16th century. Wicked Lord and corrupt magistrate Edward Whitman(Vincent Price) beats the fear of God into any villagers who follow the 'old religion'. He goes too far by massacaring members of a coven of witches led by Oona, but he spares her life, to teach her a lesson. Oona invokes a curse upon Whitman and his family. Soon an ancient creature born of fire is sent to destroy the Whitman family
Okay, the story is a bit of a mess. However its a highly enjoyable, atmospheric mess, and whilst many scenes seem to have been added for the sole purpose of baring the breasts of various female actresses, once we get into the 'curse' part of the story it finds a steely determination to keep the narrative flowing smoothly.
Vincent Price is in very fine form. Patrick Mower is also very good as 'son of the forest' Roderick. Theres fine support also from Stephan Chase who gives a great exercise in lip smacking villiany as Whitman's caddish son Sean, and theres a nice cameo from Hugh Griffith as cowardly gravedigger Mickey.
If that wasnt enough to convince you to buy this, then how about Terry Gilliam's wonderful Pythonesque opening titles(almost worth the price of admission on their own), a rousing music score by Les Baxter and it also looks great, courtesy of John Coquillion's superb cinematography. Another point of interest is that this film seems to take the side of the witches, as Whitman's brood are a thoroughly despicable bunch, and the witches reluctantly take action only when provoked.
The only real negative is the lack of decent extras, but this is an Optimum releasse of a Brit Horror, so I shouldnt have expected any different. I suppose we should all be grateful that at least one company is releasing them at all.
Great fun. 4 out of 5
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Explotative titty 24 April 2013
I hadn't seen this in probably 30 or 40 years, and I suspect the last time it would have been heavily cut for the TV. This starts off in Witchfinder General mode, but doesn't match that films style. It certainly has some good moments mainly involving Vincent Price, but as other reviewers have commented it seems to be obsessed with exposing womens breasts, particularly in the first half of the film. And whilst this is all very nice to look at (as a man), it really doesn't do the film any favours, and I started thinking, oh not again. A little more character development would have been nice.

Aside from Vincent Price there is Patrick Mower, who is better than I expected. The special effects are pretty good for the era, and the script isn't bad at all.

Best of all was the ending, which was a nice change from the usual 'happy ever after' horror film cliché. The picture quality is pretty good and at the right price this is worth owning - but I wouldn't pay a lot!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cry of the Banshee 29 Aug 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A good film, and worth a few watches, when you want a nice scary film, not the best horror I have watched but good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cry of the Banshee DVD 16 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Love everything with Vincent Price in it, this one not one of his best but still OK. Can be quite gruesome in parts!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something stirrign in the woods 8 Jan 2010
By H. T. Davies VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Elizabethanish England, local coven, Vincent Price.

What more needs to be said?

Patrick Mower is good, a long way from his current Emmerdale incarnation. Vincent price is a bit over the top as usual and Hilary Dwyer is once again the buxom love interest. There's a fair amount of gratuitous nudity but basically it's a simple tale of local folk oppressed by evil Lord and then getting their own back quite effectively.

As another reviewer commented there are no extras butthen that allows you to conventrate on the film. Not in the same league as Witchfinder General or Blood on Satan's Claw, but if you like those I think you'll like this offering too.
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By David
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I like both in this double bill: Vincent Price, Cry of The Banshee the savage evil against every one in the village who is against him. The remake of Murders In the Rue Morgue staring Herbert Lom based on seeking revenge. This film is just as good as the the 1932 version original with Bela Lugosi and I enjoy watching and having both versions to my film collection.
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19 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Gordon Hessler's delirious "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a must-see for all lovers of macabre, bizarre movies, and it has haunted me since I first saw it during its very limited British release in 1971. The plotline is closer to "Phantom of the Opera" than the two previous Hollywood versions of Poe's celebrated tale. In 1880's Paris a theatre company staging a "grand guignol" adaptation of Poe's story is plagued by a series of grisly murders. The victims were all members of the company ten years earlier, when a leading actor (Herbert Lom) was horribly disfigured by acid in an on-stage accident - or was it? In the present, the beautiful leading lady (Christine Kauffman) is troubled by a recurring nightmare in which she is menaced by a hooded figure in the mansion which was her childhood home.Meanwhile the local police chief (Adolfo Celi)suspects that her actor-manager husband (Jason Robards Jr.) is withholding information which links murders in the past and present.
The convoluted plot interweaves past, present, illusion, reality, dream and theatre; this is by far the most audacious of American International Picture's series of Poe adaptations. It was all shot on location in Toledo, Spain,which accounts for the very different look it has to Hessler's previous horror movies for AIP, which were all shot in England.
On the debit side, some of the dialogue has to be heard to be disbelieved, and Jason Robard's performance is unrelievedly dour. Vincent Price, where were you when they needed you? Post-production interference by the studio resulted in a heavily cut release print which rendered much of the plot meaningless, but thankfully the new D.V.D. issue gives us restores much of Hessler's final cut,and contains ten minutes of previously "lost" footage.
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