6.7/10
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107 user 79 critic

The Tingler (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror | 29 July 1959 (USA)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
An obsessed pathologist discovers and captures a parasitic creature that grows when fear grips its host.

Director:

William Castle

Writer:

Robb White
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Dr. Warren Chapin
Judith Evelyn ... Mrs. Martha Ryerson Higgins
Darryl Hickman ... David Morris
Patricia Cutts Patricia Cutts ... Isabel Stevens Chapin
Pamela Lincoln Pamela Lincoln ... Lucy Stevens
Philip Coolidge ... Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins
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Storyline

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE - The screen's first BLOOD BATH IN COLOR! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

29 July 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tingler See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)| Stereo (partial)

Color:

Color (one scene)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is listed among The 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. See more »

Goofs

An experienced coroner like Dr. Chapin would not say, as he does at one point, "Organic poisons are like old soldiers: they never die. They just lie smoldering in the grave." Organic poisons degrade rapidly after the death of a poisoning victim, and many of them are completely removed by the process of embalming. In the context of the film, however, it's possible Chapin knew this and was trying to psyche out Isabel into giving herself away. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Warren Chapin: Either you give Lucy half of all the money you have and leave her alone, or you commit suicide right now.
Isabel Stevens Chapin: Suicide? You mean murder.
Dr. Warren Chapin: When I finish rearranging things, it'll look like suicide.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Columbia provided a slightly revised version for drive-ins. The black-out sequence with Vincent Price saying the The Tingler is loose in the theatre, is replaced with black footage with William Castle saying that The Tingler is loose in the drive-in and actors screaming that The Tingler is in the back seat. The Columbia exchanges could simply splice in the replacement footage to make an existing print suitable for drive-in bookings. See more »

Connections

Featured in Longbox of the Damned: The Tinglers (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant campy fun from William Castle and Vincent Price
20 July 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

The Tingler marks the second teaming for horror's greatest actor - Vincent Price, and horror's greatest showman - William Castle. This film was released later in the same year that their first venture - House on Haunted Hill - was unleashed upon audiences across the world, and the film sees the two men deliver more of what they did with their first feature. House on Haunted Hill was much loved then - and now - for it's ludicrous plot line and hammy performances, and The Tingler marks another successful fusion of these elements. The plot line is even sillier this time round, and it follows Vincent Price's scientist as he conducts his experiments into fear. He discovers that when we get frightened, a thing, which he called 'the tingler', manifests itself on the spinal column and the only way to rid oneself of this 'tingler' is to scream. Deaf mute's cant scream, however, and soon after discovering that his friend's wife suffers from that condition, and has an acute fear of blood, Price gets to work on attempting to isolate and remove the tingler.

William Castle shows his flair and passion for entertaining his audience throughout this film, with the whole film being, basically, a metaphor for the horror genre on the whole. Castle uses several different methods of getting his audience to scream, and while this film isn't very scary by today's standards - watching this master of entertainment weave his magic is always delightful. Another thing that's delightful about this film is the fact that Vincent Price is in it. Price has an amazing ability to command to the screen, and while this movie doesn't feature his best performance - he's always entertaining, and it's always a pleasure to see him on screen. Castle's special effects are hokey, with the central monster - the tingler - looking rather silly, but that adds to the fun effect of the movie and if the effects had been terrific examples of how good special effects can be - the film wouldn't have been nearly as fun as it is. The Tingler is silly throughout, and it gets really ridiculous towards the end, but if you watch knowing that this isn't to be taken seriously, you'll enjoy yourself just like Castle intended.


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