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The Fall Of The House Of Usher [DVD]

Vincent Price , Mark Damon , Roger Corman    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 5.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Fall Of The House Of Usher [DVD] + The Pit And The Pendulum [DVD] + Masque Of The Red Death [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey, Harry Ellerbe
  • Directors: Roger Corman
  • Producers: Roger Corman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German, French
  • Subtitles: French, Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Oct 2003
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C24HU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,895 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Vincent Price brings a theatrical flourish to his role in The Fall of the House of Usher. He plays Roderick Usher, a brooding nobleman haunted by the dry rot of madness in his family tree. This being an Edgar Allen Poe story, there's a history of family madness and melancholia, a premature burial and a sense of doom hanging over the gloomy, crumbling mansion. Roger Corman sold stingy AIP pictures on the concept by claiming "The house is the monster"--or so goes the oft-told story. True or not, Corman (with the help of his brilliant art director Daniel Haller and legendary cinematographer Floyd Crosby) creates an exaggerated sense of isolation and claustrophobia with the sunless forest and funereal fog that holds the house and its inhabitants prisoner in a land of the dead. It doesn't quite look real (some of the effects are downright phoney, notably the apocalyptic climax), and none of the costars can hold a candle to Price's elegant, haunted performance (often speaking in no more than a stage whisper), but it's a triumph of expressionism on a budget. Shot in rich, vivid colour and CinemaScope, from a literate script by genre master Richard Matheson, this is stylish Gothic horror in a melancholy key. It was such a success that Corman reunited his core group of collaborators for the follow-up The Pit and the Pendulum the very next year. Thus Corman's "Poe Cycle" was born. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), French ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), German ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), French ( Subtitles ), German ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: After a long journey, Philip arrives at the Usher mansion seeking his loved one, Madeline. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Madeline and her brother Roderick Usher have been afflicted with a mysterious malady: Roderick's senses have become painfully acute, while Madeline has become catatonic. That evening, Roderick tells his guest of an old Usher family curse: any time there has been more than one Usher child, all of the siblings have gone insane and died horrible deaths. As the days wear on, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax. ...The Fall of the House of Usher ( The Mysterious House of Usher )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best one in the series. 20 Oct 2004
By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I personally think all the Roger Corman adaptations of E A Poe's short stories are unique, and have a special atmosphere of their own, but "The Fall Of The House of Usher" is the creepiest. A young man sets off into the New England countryside to find out what has happened to his beautiful fiacee, Madeline. When he arrives at the gloomy ancestral home he becomes convinced that her eccentric brother, Roderick, is holding her captive. The truth, is ever, is not that simple though. Roderick appears to have become obsessed with his family's evil history, and believes that Madeline has inherited the Usher insanity. As such she should never marry and reproduce, the line must die out with them.
This isn't exactly a cheerful film. Living in the mansion, which is literally crumbling to pieces, set in a stagnant swamp, would be enough to drive anyone peculiar! But it still packs a powerful eerie punch. I particularly liked the scene where Roderick shows his visitor the unsavoury family portraits, and relates their terrible history. And the final shot of the ruined house abandoned in the fog-choked swamp is pure E A Poe.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
One of a series of Edgar Allan Poe stories filmed on low budgets by Roger Corman makes a welcome addition on DVD. Like Pit and the Pendulam made afterwards, this is an all time classic. Very atmospheric with some very good sets (similar to Pit and the Pendulam which isnt surprising!) good set pieces and a fine eerie music score. Mark Damon arrives at the spooky Usher Mansion which is crumbling with decay to visit his fiance Madeliene Usher (Myrna Fahey) only to be warned off by her brother Roderick (Vincent Price) that they cannot marry due to the Usher curse of evil. Attempting to persuade Madeliene to escape the house results in her death and she is buried within the family tomb. From this point, the atmosphere really intensifies and the climax is wonderful to watch. Overall, its a fine production, despite its dated look. The actors hold the film together though, and is worth adding to any collection. Picture detail is quite good, sound isnt too bad either. A good buy.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fall of the house of usher 1 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
fantastic classic horror, if you are into decrepid 15th century manor house chillers where the plot drips decay and impendig dread with every creeking floor board, then this is for you...loved it in the 70's and still do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars America's response to Hammer Horror 14 April 2012
Format:DVD
"The Fall of the House of Usher" feels and looks like a typically American response to Hammer Gothic horror movies. A response, but not a copy. Indeed, "Usher" is based on this most American of author, Edgar Allan Poe, while the "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" franchises of Hammer were solidly implanted into the Anglo-Irish DNA of the British Isles. Also one has to say that the writing effort of Richard Matheson, author of "Usher"'s screenplay,easily outdoes in style and complexity the laborious scribling of Jimmy Sangster. Roger Corman ("Usher"'s director) has also a better sense of pace and plot than Terry Fisher, who can drag on a little bit. Corman is also very imaginative: the dream scene, which must have been shot with a shoestring budget, is extremely well-done and quite spooky. Having said that, "Usher" present cardinal flaws that would be umimaginable in a Hammer movie: first the cast. Genius Vincent Price carries "Usher" on his vast shoulders but unfortunately the "romantic couple" made of Mark Damon and Myrna Fahey are forgotten as soon as they are off the screen - which does not happen often since the cast is limited to four characters. Bar Cushing and Lee, Hammer always had a team of regular actors and actresses that always made you feel that a Hammer film was an ensemble movie (Michael Ripper, Francis de Wolff, Hazel Court, Leo Mc Kern, Barbara Shelley, Oliver Reed, André Morell, etc etc...) and they were all unforgettable, one way or another. Also Hammer nevers overplays sentimentality. The problem in "Usher" is that each time the (un)happy couple meets or cuddles, there come the violins...which is unbearable. Hammer's approach, a bit rawer and less sensitive, makes for more efficient movies. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First of a classic series 10 Jan 2010
Format:DVD
This was the first of Roger Corman's Poe adaptations and his first collaboration with Vincent Price, but there is no hesitancy or sense of searching in the movie. The style is fully formed, in the blighted forest awash with dry ice, the gothic décor, the inventive use of colour filters, the acting style. Little wonder that the Price/Corman/Poe collaboration lasted a further six movies.

This is a very cheap movie to make - cast of four, one set - but there is little sense of limitation as a result; only the final conflagration looks a bit wobbly. Most importantly, Price's style, developed in 50s horror films from "House of Wax" onwards, slots in perfectly with its blend of sinister and high camp, as arch as his eyebrows.

It's Price's slow deliberate delivery which dictates the pace of the film. No other star is as quietly spoken - both the other characters and the audience have to lean forward and strain to catch what he says. He also has a kind of stillness which, combined with his great height, contributes to his authority. At the same time, Price isn't remotely scary. This is dilettante terror; you can see the art collector and the gourmet cook behind the actor. We are purely into an exercise in high style, the visual equivalent of Poe's baroque prose, and certainly no worse, and no less entertaining for that.

Thematically "Usher" is close to "The Premature Burial", but with additional overtones of hereditary disease and mental illness. The spectre of syphilis is not far away, as well as Poe's own alcoholism.

"The House of Usher" is a slow burn for the first forty minutes, but the second half goes at a great lick, and is vintage Corman.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vincent Price at his chilling best
As I love these "old dark house" genre of films, this is a favourite of mine. A short film but well worth the watch, particularly if you're a fan of the Edgar Allen Poe... Read more
Published 6 months ago by JPI
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Style at its Best
The Fall of the House of Usher is a brilliant gothic twist on the Edgar Allen Poe story. The great Vincent Price stars as Roderick Usher who believes his remaining family (his... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Colonel Decker
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic horror from Roger Corman and Vincent Price
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960) R2 DVD

Back in the 1980s I replaced most of my collection of 8mm movies with VHS and I have been going through a same process of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by BlackBrigand
3.0 out of 5 stars house of usher
yet again a good story and prices acting boost this film but cheap film production and a poor acting by supporting cast drag it down. Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2012 by jed
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive!
Critically, this version of the Poe short story has been very well received over the years and understandably so. Read more
Published on 16 Nov 2010 by Adrian Drew
4.0 out of 5 stars An oldy but a goody
Ok, this film isn't full of the most wonderful special effects but the story is wonderful and Vincent Price's portrayal of the slightly mad Roderick Usher is great. Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2009 by Louise
3.0 out of 5 stars Price is right
A lot of people will fondly remember watching Corman's Poe films on T.V. in the 1970s. There always seemed to be a Hammer/Universal/Corman etc. horror season on BBC2. Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2008 by Gizmophobic
1.0 out of 5 stars Film 'oddity'.
An alternative title could be: 'Mad Madeline'!

'The Fall Of The House Of Usher' is an odd film. Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2008 by FAMOUS NAME
1.0 out of 5 stars Film 'oddity'.
An alternative title could be: 'Mad Madeline'!

'The Fall Of The House Of Usher' is an odd film. Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2008 by FAMOUS NAME
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