34 user 22 critic

The Big Cube (1969)

PG | | Thriller, Drama | 30 April 1969 (USA)
A former actress clashes with her wealthy and spoiled stepdaughter over their inheritance after the death of their protector.


Tito Davison


William Douglas Lansford (screenplay), Tito Davison (story) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Lana Turner ... Adriana Roman
George Chakiris ... Johnny Allen
Richard Egan ... Frederick Lansdale
Dan O'Herlihy ... Charles Winthrop (as Daniel O'Herlihy)
Karin Mossberg ... Lisa Winthrop
Pamela Rodgers ... Bibi
Carlos East ... Lalo
Augusto Benedico ... Dr. Lorenz
Víctor Junco ... Delacroix (as Victor Junco)
Norma Herrera Norma Herrera ... Stella
Pedro Galván Pedro Galván ... University Dean (as Pedro Galvan)
The Finks The Finks ... The Finks
Regina Torné ... Queen Bee (as Regina Torne)


Renowned stage actress Adriana Roman, the muse of playwright Frederick Lansdale, is retiring to marry tycoon, Charles Winthrop. The marriage does not sit well with Charles' daughter, Lisa Winthrop, who dislikes her new stepmother if only because she is the other woman for her father's affections. However, on her father's urging, Lisa tries to get to know Adriana, to who she slowly warms. Meanwhile, Lisa attracts the attention of Johnny Allen, a womanizing, fortune hunting medical student who uses the school lab to produce and sell acid among the hip, mod crowd he hangs around. He romances naive Lisa who falls under his spell. After an incident with Charles, Johnny, sensing an opportunity to abscond with at least some of the Winthrop fortune by using Lisa's mistrust of Adriana, manipulates Lisa into trying to make Adriana go crazy, in large part through the lacing of her sedatives with acid. Adriana begins to hallucinate that Lisa and Johnny are trying to kill her, which is what they ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Psychedelic Freak-Out! See more »


Thriller | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Mexico | USA



Release Date:

30 April 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Escrava da Alucinação See more »

Filming Locations:

Chrubusco-Azteca, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hairy chested George Chakiris was subjected to a complete body waxing so as to appear less virile in his shirtless scenes. See more »


Lisa Winthrop: Get out of my house! All of you! Get out!
Lalo: Man, I bet she even wears pajamas to bed!
See more »


Featured in Colorspace Vol. 1 (2010) See more »


Lean on Me
Music by Val Johns
Lyrics by Howard Finkelstein
See more »

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User Reviews

Douglas Sirk Meets Roger Corman at Churobusco
25 July 2010 | by Scott_MercerSee all my reviews

Man, what a mess.

Yes, another example of old-line Hollywood attempting to deal with the pop culture youthquake of the late 1960's, and failing miserably. This thing lurches back and forth between a Douglas Sirk like melodrama and an LSD exploitation film. Jarring changes in pacing and tone abound. Even the accompanying background score shifts disturbingly from string-drenched light orchestral goop to fuzz-laden rock and roll freak-out.

Somehow I get the feeling that both Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert yanked a lot out of this film for their own delirious happening, "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," released a couple years later. Fans of that craziness should be right at home here.

Lana Turner overacts appropriately here, and I am not going to blame any of the actors here (except for Mossberg -- this was her last film credit, probably appropriately), but I will take the writer, director, and the entire crew to task for their dubious contributions.

The fact that this film was actually produced in Mexico with a Mexican crew (though all American actors and shot in English) tells you a lot of the background. The set design has the over-the-top qualities of Mexican production design has in spades. The homes of the wealthy main characters are drenched in overdone luxurious furnishings. The freaky psychedelic club overflows with more colored lights and oil projection lamps than Bill Graham's storage room. The fashions worn are of the most extreme examples available at that time. These were clothes that might actually be worn by real people you might see on the street (maybe if you lived in Beverly Hills) but, just barely.

The Swedish accent of lead actress Karin Mossberg also throws another off-kilter element into the highly unbelievable proceedings. Explained away by the fact that she's been in boarding school in Switzerland for years, the fact that she looks nothing like the actor portraying her father is another example of the ongoing cognitive dissonance that makes this film a laugh riot. (I would also like to point out the ironic fact, that she did not recognize LSD laced into a sugar cube when exposed to it, due to the fact that she had been sheltered all these years in a boarding school in Switzerland. This conveniently ignores the historical fact that LSD was discovered by Dr. Albert Hoffman in a laboratory...wait for it....wait for it....in Switzerland).

To sum up, if you are ready for a ride into high camp, a film that screams to even the most submissive viewer, "Don't take me seriously," then you will be in a heaven of arranged artificiality. If you liked "The Trip," or "Skidoo" or "Beyond The Valley of the Dolls," and can appreciate all of them on the level of laughing at the fact that anyone could possibly take this kind of foolishness seriously, then you will have a riot of a time with this film.

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