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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great blu ray!
Roger Corman decision to hire Vincent Price for his American International Pictures adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's classic tales resulted in a critical and commercial success story way beyond his expectations and his first attempt in "The Fall of the House of Usher" originally entitled "House of Usher", is one of his finest films.

The story of Philip Winthrop...
Published 7 months ago by Adrian Drew

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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Clock Watcher
I just love this sort of film.in particular the great Vincent Price.
I am afraid though that even him can not save this film from being an absolute bore.
The remastering is not a patch on other Vincent Price Blu Ray films available from Amazon (Germany).
Back to the film though only four characters,poor special effects with the ending being terrible...
Published 6 months ago by Fernando Alonso


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great blu ray!, 28 Aug 2013
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Roger Corman decision to hire Vincent Price for his American International Pictures adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's classic tales resulted in a critical and commercial success story way beyond his expectations and his first attempt in "The Fall of the House of Usher" originally entitled "House of Usher", is one of his finest films.

The story of Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon) visiting his fiancée Madeleine Usher (Myrna Fahey) in the family mansion of the title where her brother Roderick (Vincent Price in one of his finest and well thought out roles) clearly has problems of his own is quite close to the Poe original and the elaborate and ornate visual style of the film mirrors well Poe's highly wrought prose - an element well complemented by Richard Matheson's literate script and Floyd Crosby's stylish widescreen cinematography.

Arrow Video's new high quality Blu-ray retains the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this Region B locked dual-layer disc.

Despite a few minor print (and original production) issues the high-definition transfer ( made from a mint 35mm interpositive) is admirable with vivid colours (truly popping reds!) and excellent saturation, and black levels and extraordinary detail throughout when the original material allows such a presentation. Film grain remains intact and there is no over- sharpening or machine noise anywhere. What flaws exist (some discolouration and shifting print quality) is probably an original production issue. Don't forget the production budgets for these movies were tiny and Corman created a minor miracle in producing his stunning on screen production values. AIP wanted him to direct two low budget monochrome horror movies and allocated $100,000 dollars for each but he requested they let him do one in colour instead for the same figure. Despite studio reservations that a young audience would not be interested in either Poe or a movie without a monster they finally let him have his way when he told them "the house will be the monster". The movie was shot in the period allocated and went on to make over $1.6 million in a very short time thus confirming the future of Corman's Poe "franchise".

The care and attention to production detail is extraordinary and the sets and costumes brilliantly evoke the world of Poe's imagination in this excellent transfer. Similarly the sequences depicting the collapse of the house itself, using footage Corman produced by burning down a local barn, as well as the almost 3 dimensional opening to the film where Winthrop wanders through a desolate landscape ( shot with only a few hours notice after Corman found out about a local Forrest fire) and using a 45mm lens similar to that which Greg Toland used for the depth of field shots in Citizen Kane, all combine to show what intelligent low budget film making can really avhieve!

The audio is excellent too on this Blu Ray and very robust particularly in it's handling of the much praised Baxter classic music score - a justified collector's item now on CD fetching large amounts for those rare copies still remaining.

The extras include a fascinating audio commentary from Roger Corman which contains much valuable information about virtually every aspect of the film but does have a few problems too - dead sections and the need for judicial editing - but it is still well worth accessing.

The interview with director Joe Dante is even better and for almost 30 minutes provides a wealth of unique information and considerable insight into both Corman and the production process.

Another 30 minute interview with
Jonathan Rigby, compares Corman's Poe films with Hammer's horror films although his criticisms are perhaps a little partisan.

Most fascinating extra of all is the 16 minute 1986 French television interview with Vincent Price where with characteristic humour he talks about his career.

The final "extras" are David Cairns' 10 minute "Fragments of the House of Usher" which - though flawed - is a welcome addition too - and a standard definition trailer.

The booklet accompanying the disc is another gem with an excellent essay by Tim Lucas, and an extract from "Vincent Price, His Movies, His Plays, His Life".

I cannot recommend this disc too highly and with "Uncommon Spring" a new play about Poe due to preview at The Fan Museum in Greenwich in early December it looks like interest in this extraordinary writer is on the rise one more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Rise'of 'Fall', 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Excellent bluray. Even better with the restoration of the 'full' title. Highly recommended. Bring on more Corman, especially 'Tomb of Ligeia'.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great presentation of a mediocre film, 29 Sep 2013
By 
orvuus (Birmingham, AL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Vincent Price is the only reason to watch this film -- the Poe story takes a background to the spin Corman puts on it, but Vincent makes it work the best he can. For a cheaply made movie, though, the special effects and lighting are ok -- it is really interesting to watch more based on the lighting scheme, if one watches a bit of the extras beforehand this is explained in depth. The real gem in this Corman "Poe" series was "The Pit And the Pendulum," which also starred Barbara Steele -- buy this movie so maybe Arrow will release THAT one!

I'm glad I bought this -- still it's not the best movie in the early Vincent Price/Corman collaboration.
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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Clock Watcher, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I just love this sort of film.in particular the great Vincent Price.
I am afraid though that even him can not save this film from being an absolute bore.
The remastering is not a patch on other Vincent Price Blu Ray films available from Amazon (Germany).
Back to the film though only four characters,poor special effects with the ending being terrible.
One to avoid even if you are a die hard VP fan like me.
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Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray]
Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray] by Roger Corman (Blu-ray - 2013)
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