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The Ghoul (1975)

R | | Horror, Thriller | 1 June 1975 (UK)
A former Priest named Dr. Lawrence harbors a dark and horrible secret in his attic. The locked room serves as a prison cell for his crazed, cannibalistic adult son, who acquired his savage ... See full summary »

Director:

Freddie Francis

Writer:

Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Cushing ... Doctor Lawrence
John Hurt ... Tom Rawlings
Alexandra Bastedo ... Angela
Gwen Watford ... Ayah
Veronica Carlson ... Daphne
Don Henderson ... The Ghoul
Ian McCulloch ... Geoffrey
Stewart Bevan Stewart Bevan ... Billy
John D. Collins ... Young Man
Dan Meaden Dan Meaden ... Police Sergeant
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Storyline

A former Priest named Dr. Lawrence harbors a dark and horrible secret in his attic. The locked room serves as a prison cell for his crazed, cannibalistic adult son, who acquired his savage tastes in India during his father's missionary work there. Lawrence fears that his son will escape to prey upon the effete guests at his rural English estate during a cross-country auto race. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Night of the Ghoul See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The photograph of Dr. Lawrence's wife is a photograph of Peter Cushing's own wife. She died suddenly in 1971 and Cushing mourned for the twenty years he survived her, often commenting that his only real joy in life was contemplating being reunited with her after death. See more »

Goofs

At c. 27 minutes we see Peter Cushing tuning his violin but he is not playing the open strings that we hear. Furthermore, later shots of his violin playing are extremely badly mimed. See more »

Quotes

Tom Rawlings: Well, it can't be Human, can it? It feeds on Human flesh!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Ghoul was originally certified by the UK BBFC at 93m following cuts to (a) remove the third close-up of the knife embedded in Geoffrey's face (b) remove a knee to the groin delivered by Veronica Carlson to John Hurt. However, the subsequent theatrical version was only 87m following some last minute snipping by the distributors. The full 93m version, with BBFC cuts restored, was subsequently released on UK video on the Taste of Fear label. The differences are as follows:
  • the opening party sequence is extended by about 2m 30s via several additional dialogue extensions that largely serve to explain Carlson's character. In particular the conversation between her and Ian McCulloch when she is sitting in the car is nearly a minute longer and the subsequent three way conversation by another car involving Stewart Bevan is extended by about 40s.
  • About 35m into the film, directly after Peter Cushing asks Carlson whether there is anything she would like before dinner, the extended version has a new sequence lasting about 2m 30s in which Carlson is escorted upstairs to her bedroom and takes a bath (fans of the lady should note that her left breast is briefly visible). This sequence is missing entirely from the theatrical print.
  • After Bach's tocatta and fugue strikes up on the soundtrack the extended version has an extra 1m showing Carlson emerge from the bedroom, clothed again, and go down the stairs where she then peeks in on Cushing in his chapel. In the theatrical version it's a bit odd that Cushing is surprised by her given that in the previous scene they'd been together in his drawing room.
See more »

Connections

References Psycho (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor, BWV 565
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A must for fans of Peter Cushing
20 August 2012 | by kensworld-135-305975See all my reviews

I must be one of the few people on earth that likes this film, for in general terms it has been dismissed by critics and fans alike. I guess therefore, it is down to me to explain the appeal of 'The Ghoul'. Well, first and foremost it has Peter Cushing, who makes the film, and gives one of his best ever performances. Filmed when he had recently lost his wife, this must have been a difficult time for him, but he nevertheless rises to the occasion and gives a most sensitive performance. There is one touching scene where you see him look at an actual photo of Helen whilst talking to Veronica Carlson. Apart from Veronica Carlson, the film also benefits from some fine performances from John Hurt and Gwen Watford. It's a film supposedly set in Cornwall with swirling mists from the moors, adding to the atmosphere of the house itself. The opening of the film is quite unique and conjures up an atmosphere right from the start, even if there is a certain amount of deception involved. Peter Cushing was one of my favourite actors and it is unfortunate to say the least, that this film has not been issued on DVD, supposedly because Tyburn Films have gone out of production and nobody else has the rights to issue anything from that catalogue. This means that the excellent interview with Peter Cushing called 'One Way Ticket to Hollywood' (only on video) also remains unissued. The two things together would make an admirable issue onto DVD. It would be a shame if these films were lost forever. Peter Cushing doesn't deserve this, nor do his fans! As for now, I make no apology for heaping some overdue praise on a film which has been unfairly ignored and deserves to be re-evaluated.


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