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The Fall Of The House Of Usher [DVD]

22 customer reviews

Price: £3.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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The Fall Of The House Of Usher [DVD] + The Pit And The Pendulum [DVD] + The Raven [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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C24HU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,000 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Vincent Price stars in this classic Roger Corman horror, the first of Corman's eight Poe adaptations. When the last member of the Usher family inadvertently buries his cataleptic sister alive, she rises from the grave to wreak an awful revenge.

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

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE on 20 Oct. 2004
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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Nov. 2004
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 By A Customer on 1 Sept. 2003
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BlackBrigand TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD
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 upgrading to DVD for the last few years. This has given me the excuse to revisit many films that I have not seen for some time and I have watched this movie again just recently for the first time in several years.

This was the first film directed by Roger Corman based on the stories of Edgar Allen Poe in a series of eight; all but one starring Vincent Price, the intention was to film ten but suitable screenplays were not forth coming for other Poe stories and the filming ended after `The Tomb of Ligea' in 1964.

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER was the first attempt by American International Pictures to move `up-market' into main stream feature movies, their speciality at that time having been the making of black and white B movies for which there was a rapidly shrinking market. `The Fall of the House of Usher' was directed by Roger Corman who had a reputation for bringing in productions under schedule and under budget which suited AIPs dwindling resources; the screenplay was by Richard Matheson and this first film featured Vincent Price as the only well known star in the casting list. The film was shot in only fifteen days and came in well under the $300,000 budget and was received less than well by the critics who criticised Price's over-the-top, tongue in cheek style and Corman's loose interpretation of Poe's short story, but was a success in the US theatres, and then as now was a great favourite with audiences in Europe. I missed the first UK release and first saw this film in the late-sixties as part of a four movie Sunday `Horror Night' of Vincent Price films.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Autonome on 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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