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Scream of Fear (1961)

Taste of Fear (original title)
Approved | | Horror, Thriller | 22 August 1961 (USA)
A wheelchair-bound young woman returns to her father's estate after ten years, and although she's told he's away, she keeps seeing his dead body on the estate.

Director:

Seth Holt

Writer:

Jimmy Sangster
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Strasberg ... Penny Appleby
Ronald Lewis ... Robert
Ann Todd ... Jane Appleby
Christopher Lee ... Dr. Pierre Gerrard
John Serret ... Inspector Legrand
Leonard Sachs Leonard Sachs ... Mr. Spratt
Anne Blake ... Marie
Fred Johnson ... Mr. Appleby
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Storyline

Penny Applebee's parents were divorced when she was quite young and she grew up with her mother. After her mother's death, the wheelchair-bound Penny has accepted her father's invitation to live with him. She arrives only to learn that her father is away though her stepmother - who she is meeting for the first time - proves to be quite welcoming. On her first night however, she sees a light in the summerhouse and upon investigation, sees her father sitting there, apparently dead. Others can find nothing there and tell her she must have imagined it. She later sees his body in library and then again in the pool. She comes to believe that her stepmother and her father's friend, Doctor Pierre Gerard, are plotting to drive her insane. She gets a sympathetic ear from Bob, the chauffeur, who feels there has to be some rational explanation for what has been happening. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For maximum thrill . . . we earnestly urge you to see this motion picture from the start!

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

22 August 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scream of Fear See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In "The Films of Christopher Lee", the actor is on record as saying of the movie, "In my opinion, the best film Hammer ever made." He added that Seth Holt was "one of the best directors Britain ever had." See more »

Goofs

When Bob is first driving Penny from the airport, the view out of the back window of the car shows that he is clearly driving into oncoming traffic. The other cars going in his direction are on the other side of the median and the cars in the lanes next to him are going in the opposite direction from him. See more »

Quotes

Penny Appleby: [to Dr. Gerrard] You say my mind is affecting my legs. You're wrong. It's my legs that are affecting my mind.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in E minor
(uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Excellent B&W Hammer
4 February 2005 | by bensonmum2See all my reviews

Scream of Fear aka Taste of Fear (1961) is a marvelous, unknown (at least to me) Hammer film. The story concerns a girl in a wheelchair going to live with her Dad whom she hasn't seen in years. Upon arrival, she meets her stepmother for the first time and is informed that her Dad is away on business. That night, she investigates a strange light in the summer house and discovers here dead father. In her horrified state, she falls into the pool. After she's revived, an investigation of the summer house reveals nothing. As the strange events continue to occur, the local doctor begins to doubt her sanity. But, with the help of the chauffeur, she's determined to get to the bottom of the mystery before she is either killed or driven insane. Anymore of the story would ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen the movie.

I've seen some call Scream of Fear "predictable". While I agree to a certain extent, there are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep most anyone guessing. While I may have seen some of the events coming, I could have never guessed the ending. To me, it was an "edge of the seat" movie from start to finish.

The acting is first rate. All four of the major characters are brilliantly played. Susan Strasberg is convincingly fragile as the wheelchair-bound Penny Appleby. Ronald Lewis and Ann Todd are perfect as the chauffeur and stepmother, respectively. And, although all he does is come to dinner and talk psycho mumbo jumbo, Christoper Lee is mysterious and convincing as Dr. Gerrard.

Everything else about this film, from the beautiful black & white photography to the creepy score, is perfect. I've really got nothing bad to say.


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