The Haunting (1963)

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The Haunting (1963) Poster

Hill House has stood for about 90 years and appears haunted: its inhabitants have always met strange, tragic ends. Now Dr. John Markway has assembled a team of people who he thinks will prove whether or not the house is haunted.


7.5/10
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  • Russ Tamblyn in The Haunting (1963)
  • Julie Harris in The Haunting (1963)
  • Richard Johnson and Lois Maxwell in The Haunting (1963)
  • Julie Harris in The Haunting (1963)
  • Claire Bloom in The Haunting (1963)
  • Julie Harris and Richard Johnson in The Haunting (1963)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


23 October 2005 | Holmesister
10
| One of my all-time favorite horror flicks
I saw this movie the summer I got out of high school. I went with a date and he about dug a hole in the arm of my sweater, it scared him that much. What makes the movie really scary is the fact that it does not have any slashers, monsters, blood and/or gore. Robert Wise scared you with camera angles, the unknown "presences" that seemed to be always lurking behind every door, and the sound effects were very effective. Filming it in black and white also made it creepier. The audiences imaginations and their own personal fears make the movie very effective. We have all experienced a frightening event at some time in our lives (dark closets, what's under the bed, what's outside the window after dark, did you hear that?, etc.) This movie plays on those feelings as you watch it. The remake was disappointing at the least. It had a great cast, but the producers/directors were trying too hard. These days, it seems that special effects can sometimes ruin a movie. There's nothing to play on ones imagination. That's why the book is usually much better than the movie. I purchased this movie on VHS a few years ago and I watch it every once in awhile in the dark (of course) when my husband is here. I don't think I could watch it alone - in the dark - in the night....

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Russ Tamblyn, Robert Wise approached a society that kept track of British haunted houses, and they gave him a list of such places.


Quotes

Dr. John Markway: An evil old house, the kind some people call haunted, is like an undiscovered country waiting to be explored. Hill House had stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more. Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever ...


Goofs

For a scientist, Dr. Markway exhibits an astonishing lack of scientific curiosity regarding the "Help Eleanor Come Home" writing on the wall they discover. He tells Luke to wipe it off the wall, without even taking photographs of the writing or samples of the chalk-like substance used to write it.


Alternate Versions

The original cut of movie (shown 24/9/03 at Filmhouse, Edinburgh) has several differences from the general release print -

  • Alternate opening with voice-over by the Mrs. Sanderson character in place of the Markway monologue. The titles prior to this scene are slightly different. The 'History of Hill house' scene continues into the meeting with Mrs Sanderson and Markway but in this version, it is Sanderson who is doing most of talking.
  • The following scene from the general release print of Markway listing his subjects on a blackboard is missing. In its place is a scene where Theo throws her lover out her apartment and, next to a photo of her lover, writes "I Hate You!" on a mirror in lipstick, looks at her reflection and mutters "I hate you too...". She then receives her invitation from Markway. This is delivered to her by her landlady, who requires the excess postage to be paid. Theo already knows this is to be paid and there is humorous exchange concerning her ESP or her 'gift.'
  • There are several extended scenes involving Eleanor's 'inner thoughts' - most of which tie into her thoughts on her possible relationship with Markway. The scene showing her traveling to Hill house is extended with more 'inner monologue' material including a couple of shots of her turning onto 'Route 238' and commenting on "Journey's end in lovers meeting...".
  • The Morning/Harp scene runs longer and contains more dialogue from both Eleanor and Markway. This print had a title card prior to the MGM logo - "This print is on loan from the National Film and Television Archive."

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