Philip Winthrop calls upon his fiancée, Madeline Usher, at her family home. His presence is unwelcome, especially to Madeline's brother, Roderick. Roderick explains that the Ushers are cursed, suffering from hereditary physical defects. By Madeline marrying Winthrop this would only likely continue the affliction. It soon becomes clear that something sinister is afoot: not only due to Roderick's determination to prevent Madeline from leaving but also due to the evil that seems to lurk in the house itself.Written by
Roger Corman learned that there was an old barn in Orange County, CA, that was about to be demolished. He was able to strike a deal that would allow him to burn the barn at night and film it. The resulting footage was so good that it was used not only in the climax of this film but in later "Poe" films as well. See more »
Although Bristol has Philip remove his boots as soon as he arrives, and Roderick makes a big deal of it, Philip only has them off for the initial meeting. He has his boots on for the remainder of the film. See more »
And the deep and dark tarn closed silently over the fragments of the House of Usher - Poe.
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The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove a shot of Madeline's bloodstained hands held to her face. All later versions were uncut. See more »
A Gothic classic and one of Roger Corman's best films.
Corman's first Poe film (out of eight) is one of the best adaptations of the familiar story (rivaled only by French director Jean Epstein's superb, yet completely different, 1928 version) and was a critical and commercial success in its day on a meager $125,000 budget. Vincent Price is superb as Roderick Usher, an eternally tortured soul who lives in a crumbling castle with his sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey) and faithful butler Bristol (nicely etched by Harry Ellerbe). When Philip Winthrop (bland Mark Damon) shows up to take Madeline away, Roderick's incestuous feelings come to surface and the terror begins. Highlights include Damon's colorful nightmare sequence and Price's explanation of the Usher family history.
HOUSE OF USHER is intelligent, subtle and effective, with good sets and costumes and excellent work from scripter Richard Matheson, composer Les Baxter, cameraman Floyd Crosby and art director Daniel Haller--all united by Corman's smart, stylish, fluent direction. Truly deserving of it's reputation as horror classic.
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