4.0/10
1,304
76 user 26 critic

Scared to Death (1947)

Approved | | Thriller | 1 February 1947 (USA)
From a slab in the morgue, a dead young woman tells the bizarre tale of how she got there, through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist, a midget and a mysterious figure in a green mask.

Director:

Christy Cabanne

Writers:

Walter Abbott (original story) (as W.J. Abbott), Walter Abbott (screenplay) (as W.J. Abbott)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The town's leading citizen becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife deserts him.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, John McGuire
Certificate: Passed Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A scientist, aided by an old hag and her two sons, kills virginal brides, steals their bodies, and extracts gland fluid to keep his ancient wife alive and young.

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Luana Walters, Tristram Coffin
The Devil Bat (1940)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A mad scientist develops an aftershave lotion that causes his gigantic bats to kill anyone who wears it.

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien
The Ape Man (1943)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A crazed scientist accidentally turns himself into a half ape, half human creature, and scrambles to find a cure.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Louise Currie, Wallace Ford
Voodoo Man (1944)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Dr. Richard Marlowe uses a combination of voodoo rite and hypnotic suggestion, attempting to revive his beautiful, but long-dead, wife, by transferring the life essences of several hapless ... See full summary »

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, George Zucco
Horror | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The boys are sent to a mountain camp. Stranded in a small rural town, they hear about a "monster killer" roaming the countryside. At night, they sneak out. Peewee is shot by a grave-digger,... See full summary »

Director: Phil Rosen
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan
Black Dragons (1942)
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A cabal of American industrialists, all fifth-columnists intent on sabotaging the war effort, are methodically murdered by the malevolent Monsieur Colomb. It is only until detective Dick ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Joan Barclay, George Pembroke
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When an errant bomb unearths the coffin of a vampire during the London Blitz, a gravedigger unknowingly reanimates the monster by removing the stake from his heart

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology Karl Wagner uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things ... See full summary »

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, John Archer, Wanda McKay
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Two actors who star in a radio detective show find themselves pitted against a villain calling himself the Cobra, who has an affinity for torture chambers.

Director: Leslie Goodwins
Stars: Wally Brown, Alan Carney, Anne Jeffreys
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Sir Joel Cadman, a mad scientist, kidnaps his victims and cuts open their brains in an effort to discover a means to cure his wife's brain tumor.

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr.
White Zombie (1932)
Certificate: Passed Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Prof. Leonide
George Zucco ... Dr. Joseph Van Ee
Nat Pendleton ... Bill Raymond
Molly Lamont ... Laura Van Ee / Laurette La Valle
Joyce Compton ... Jane Cornell
Gladys Blake ... Lilybeth
Roland Varno ... Ward Van Ee
Douglas Fowley ... Terry Lee
Stanley Andrews ... Pathologist
Angelo Rossitto ... Indigo
Lee Bennett ... Rene the Killer
Stanley Price ... Autopsy Surgeon
Edit

Storyline

From a slab in the morgue, a dead young woman tells the bizarre tale of how she got there, through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist, a midget and a mysterious figure in a green mask.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A thrilling mystery of a supernatural killer!

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hungarian

Release Date:

1 February 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Accent on Horror See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$135,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Golden Gate Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in the inexpensive Cinecolor process, usually reserved for low-budget Westerns. See more »

Goofs

Cameraman's shadow is clearly visible on the walls several times throughout the film. See more »

Quotes

Leonide: It is my peculiar misfortune to always be in a position to where I may eavesdrop.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Terror in the Pharaoh's Tomb (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Entertaining Cast, But Best Left To Hardcore Lugosi Fans
11 June 2007 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Bela Lugosi had a notable career during the 1930s--but success of his landmark performance in the 1931 Dracula combined and his exotic appearance and accent left him typecast, and during the 1940s he found work increasingly difficult to obtain. By the mid-1940s he was so greatly pressed that he began to accept work in low-budget independent movies. Among the first of these was the 1947 SCARED TO DEATH, a film often described as the only color movie in which Lugosi appeared. This is not strictly true: although he was not the star, Lugosi also appeared the color 1930 VIENNESE NIGHTS--but given that both films are so little known it's hardly worth arguing about.

The story begins with a clever idea: a woman's body lies on a slab in a morgue and through flashback she relates the way in which she was murdered. Sad to say, though, this clever idea is not only badly executed, it also happens to be the only clever idea in the entire show. The plot, such as it is, concerns a doctor with a questionable background whose son has married a woman with a questionable background (our soon-to-be corpse.) The family is suddenly descended upon by the doctor's brother, a hypnotist (Lugosi, of course) with, yes, a questionable past. Throw in a surly maid, a mean dwarf, a newspaper reporter, a dumb blonde, and a green mask that keeps floating in front of the window and you have SCARED TO DEATH.

The only saving grace in this nonsense is the cast. Although he receives star billing, Lugosi's role might be better described as the second lead; whatever the case, and in spite of a truly ridiculous script, he gives the role more sparkle than you would expect. The film also includes a number of character actors who like Lugosi shone most brightly in the 1930s--George Zucco, Nat Pendleton, and Joyce Compton--and they too deliver more than the silly script actually allows.

Even so, the charms of the cast cannot raise SCARED TO DEATH above the level of slightly-less-than-mediocre, and for the most part watching the movie is an uphill battle. Lugosi would go on to make one or two more films for major studios, most notably the 1948 ABBOT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, and he would make a few television appearances as well, but for the most part SCARED TO DEATH would mark the beginning of his career's rapid slide into the likes of BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA and his wildly dire association with the notorious Ed Wood in such appalling (and accidentally hilarious) films as GLEN OR GLENDA and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.

For the sake of Lugosi, Zucco, Pendleton, and Compton I'm giving SCARED TO DEATH three stars, but truth be told it really doesn't deserve more than two, and that's throwing roses at it. Although it does have a few moments--and I do mean a very few--this is one Lugosi film that is best left to die-hard fans.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 76 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed