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The Haunting [DVD] [1963]

Julie Harris , Claire Bloom , Robert Wise    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
Price: 26.75
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The Haunting [DVD] [1963] + The Innocents [1961] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn, Fay Compton
  • Directors: Robert Wise
  • Writers: Nelson Gidding, Shirley Jackson
  • Producers: Robert Wise, Denis Johnson
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Mono, Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Italian, French, Arabic, Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AISKY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,849 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Made in 1963 The Haunting is one of the best-ever movie ghost stories and was adapted from Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House. Suave ghost-hunter Richard Johnson takes a couple of psychic women--neurotic spinster Julie Harris and elegant lesbian Claire Bloom--to stay in Hill House, which has unsettling architecture (the spiral staircase is especially unnerving) and a bad reputation. Russ Tamblyn is along as a jive-talking sceptic, but he soon shuts up as the eerie phenomena mount up. The scene with a breathing door is a wonderful terror highlight, and the business about whose hand Harris is holding in the dark (she thinks it's Bloom, but Bloom is on the other side of the room) provides a moment of unmatched creepiness. Perhaps director Robert Wise allows too much psychology into the picture, letting you off the hook with the possibility that the twitchy Harris is behind all the spookery, but he fills the widescreen frame with really scary stuff and the cast are perfect. Lois Maxwell, of Miss Moneypenny fame, makes a marvellously chilling sudden appearance from the dark. Forget the remake, this is the real deal.

On the DVD: The Haunting comes to DVD with a trailer narrated in character by Johnson, a satisfyingly packed file of stills and an interesting commentary featuring input recorded separately from Wise, screenwriter Nelson Gidding and all four principal cast members. --Kim Newman

Product Description

Classic haunted house horror, directed by Robert Wise and starring Claire Bloom and Julie Harris. An anthropologist foolishly starts to investigate a haunted house and gets sucked into the terrifying world of the paranormal.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The unknown evil 25 Dec 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Modern horror film today relies upon computer graphics, copius amounts of cursing and beautiful actors and actresses pretending to be talented.
Directors and producers should take heed from the imagination and uniquity that was shown in the amateur flick "The Blair Witch Project" which, despite a 6th form college Media Studies A-Level type ending, and annoying american actors was a highly engrossing film.
What Blair Witch Project got right was the rule that you should never show the evil doer throughout the film. Evil Dead 1-3, Blair Witch and other now noticeably cult films used this technique.
And so did the director of "The Haunting".
This film is an intriguing analysis of a disturbed woman from an uncaring background, haunted by her mother who fell ill and was bed-ridden. The daughter had to look after her for a long time, suffering from depression and stress until one night her mother banged on the wall and she just ignored her. The mother died and the daughter blames herself. She decides all of a sudden to join a team of people that are going to spend a few days in a house on a hill. (Hill House). The team is made up of paranormal enthusiasts, a sensitive, and the young heir to the house.
The mixture of people really decides the amount of tension between the characters, let alone the ghosts! The sensitive senses the main characters psychological problems which stem from her poor background. Small conflicts happen between them throughout the film until the sheer terror presented to them by this evil, dark, twisted house ultimately unites all the characters.
The House begins to mock the disturbed woman who begins to lose her mind, very much like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Template for the Modern Horror Movie 29 Dec 2010
Format:DVD
Although dated in may ways this offering from Robert Wise is a perfectly constructed gothic horror movie. Making allowances for the lack of modern special effects the film is an early take on the idea of the haunted house as a character in the story. Wise and writer Gidding base the story around the interaction of the four main characters and the horror is very much about suggestion. As Wise says in the commentary, the film is really about one woman's descent into mental illness, rather than a haunted house story. Hints of future Horror classics such as Evil Dead and Blair Witch Project are obvious in the narrative structure and characterisation, yet Wise and Gidding don't give in to the more obvious horror movie histrionics we would find a mere ten years later in movies such as The Exorcist.

The commentary is well worth a listen, particularly for the thoughts and anecdotes of Richard Johnson, who plays Dr Markway, (apparently considered for the part of the first James Bond!) and the insights into Julie Harris' state of mind and relationship with the rest of the cast during the making of the film. Presently being sold for 2.79 on Amazon, you just can't go wrong. An absolute classic.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Needs Special Effects? 19 Nov 2009
By Willow
Format:DVD
You know, if you look at the horror genre today (because horror is what it is all about; in bucket loads) there seems to be something missing. When was the last time you were truly scared whilst watching a movie? Screen writers today, seem to concentrate far too much on CGI and tidal waves of blood and guts to cover for a poor and shallow script performed by equally poor actors. Nobody seems to know anymore how to put a good shocker together. Gone are the genuine scares, to be replaced by instantly forgettable, shallow scripted nonsense.

I have always held true, it is not what you see on screen, it is what you do not see, that generates the shocks. This technique is put to excellent use in The Haunting of Hill House, to give it its original title. The unseen menace that haunts this Gothic mansion, is atmospherically played out with minimum effects, other than sound and lighting used to perfection.

The mental state of Eleanor, played quite brilliantly by Julie Harris, is laid bare and brought it to question quite early in the movie and escalates in to full blown hysteria toward the end. What starts as a paranormal investigation, soon spirals into terror for Eleanor, as she is singled out by the entity, who is hell bent on claiming her soul.

A great movie and well worth the meagre asking price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid upgrade. 23 Nov 2013
By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Although not as sharp as I remember the original print to be, this new blu ray delivers a more than acceptable image, the gray scale is fine, and the sound is solid, if unremarkable, too. Shot in England, rather than New England where the film/novel is set, the strange opening shots of the car driving through the "American" countryside (Kent?) don't ring true at all, with some very ordinary British houses standing in for their colonial counterparts! However, once the old dark house is entered, ( a more convincing venue) things take off quite nicely. Some splendid acting, (Harris and Bloom are particularly effective) and a good script, deliver well and with a slow-burn sophistication generally missing from this genre - although the film never truly generates the true terror required and many of the "shock" moments are curiously "mishandled" or more likely sacrificed to the creation of the "poetry" that permeates the look and feel of this extraordinary film - and Shirly Jackson's famous novel. That said, along with "The Innocents" it still remains one of the great "haunted house" movies (way superior to the ludicrously over the top re/make) and it will certainly please many fans to have this upgraded transfer. However younger, or new viewers, be aware this film is very different to contemporary horror movies - it's as much about character and "repression" as it is about ghosts and hauntings - and it's very "slow" too - so do not expect a traditional "thriller" or rollercoaster ride - or you could be very disappointed.
It's also deliberately shot in black and white too.... The perfect medium for some people like me ... But not others!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear
Worse than predictable. Very wooden and unbelievable of a 'true' story. So sad, bet the book was quite good. :-/
Published 3 days ago by Another
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect Horror Film
What you don't see is more than you get. In my opinion, one of the best horror films ever made. The cliche, 'less is more' certainly applies here. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Steve Reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch on your own
The best ghost film ever ? Well i certainly think so, genuinely scary and atmospheric. Don't confuse with the dreadful, terrible modern remake with Catherine Zeta Jones that... Read more
Published 1 month ago by didds
5.0 out of 5 stars terrifying
Not to be confused with the remake ,this film is terrifying
I first saw this year's ago and it gets to you. Read more
Published 1 month ago by g white film buff
5.0 out of 5 stars The Haunting [DVD] [1963]
The Haunting [DVD] [1963] s*** a very fine DVD and outstanding movie you will have to go back in time too find good movies like this one if you never seen it go and buy the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Norman Pitkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic chiller
One of my favourite classic chiller movies, due mainly to the black and white and the general atmosphere of the film. Read more
Published 6 months ago by JPI
3.0 out of 5 stars One good scare and that is it
Having been informed that `The Haunting' of 1963 vintage is the scariest film ever made, I handed over a princely sum of money. I wasn't overly impressed. Here are my reasons. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, Good Vendor...
The film is among the best 'ghost' stories ever filmed.... The vendor provided the product quickly and for a fair price.
Published 7 months ago by TeeJay
5.0 out of 5 stars Credible supernatural fiction
This is an excellent ghost film and not a horrorfest-the only horror and tragedy is that of the central female characters despair and alienation about life in general that drives... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ken Raus
5.0 out of 5 stars And whatever walked there, walked alone.
The Haunting is directed by Robert Wise and adapted to screenplay by Nelson Gidding from the Shirley Jackson novel The Haunting of Hill House. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Spike Owen
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