3 December 2017 | Michael_Elliott
Entertaining For What It Is
House of a Thousand Dolls (1967)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Stephen Armstrong (George Nader) and his wife are on vacation in Tangiers when he runs into a friend who is searching for his wife who went missing. Before long the friend is dead and Stephen is caught up in what happened to him, which leads to a magician (Vincent Price) and his wife (Martha Hyer) as well as a house with a bunch of beautiful ladies.
HOUSE OF A THOUSAND DOLLS (its on screen title) is a film that I pretty much avoided for a couple decades because I had heard so many bad things about it. I guess if you go into it expecting some sort of horror movie then you'll be disappointed because it's certainly not that. The film is basically a mystery with some James Bond like action thrown in as the Stephen Armstrong character must outwit several bad guys that he encounters as he tries to solve the mystery.
For the most part the story itself is a rather interesting one and it's certainly entertaining enough to keep you entertained throughout the running time. The locations were a major plus and I thought the film had some nice cinematography. The film benefits from some nice direction that at least keeps the moving going at a nice pace. The weakest aspect of the film is the fact that you can tell it was rather cheaply made and there are times where I think a bit more sexuality would have helped things. There are girls running around in skimpy clothes at times but I think a tad bit more would have improved the film.
Price gets top-billing but he actually just plays a supporting player here. I thought he was fine in the part as he plays it pretty much straight and doesn't try to add any humor or camp. Nader is the real star and for the most part he is strong enough and has no problem carrying the picture. Hyer and Ann Smyrner are both good as well and you've got a nice comic performance by Herbert Fux. Maria Rohm as well as some other familiar Euro faces appear throughout.
HOUSE OF A THOUSAND DOLLS certainly isn't a masterpiece or even a good film. It doesn't even really work as a Price film since he just plays a supporting part. With that said, I thought it was entertaining enough even with its flaws.