The Fall of the House of Usher (1950 film)

Last updated

The Fall of the House of Usher
Directed byIvan Barnett
Produced byIvan Barnett
Written by Edgar Allan Poe (story)
Dorothy Catt
Kenneth Thompson
Starring Gwendoline Watford
Kaye Tendeter
Irving Steen
Vernon Charles
Music by W.L. Trytel
CinematographyIvan Barnett
GIB Films
Distributed byVigilant Films
Release date
June 1950 (UK) [1]
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Language English

The Fall of the House of Usher is a 1950 British horror film directed by Ivan Barnett and starring Gwendoline Watford, Kaye Tendeter and Irving Steen. It is an adaptation of the 1839 short story of the same title by Edgar Allan Poe.



The film uses a framing device set in a Gentlemen's club where one of the members reads to his friends from a copy of Poe's book. A century before, a young man visits a bleak-looking mansion in the English countryside where his friend Lord Roderick Usher lives with his sister Madeline. They are both mysteriously ill and he discovers that they are suffering from a curse brought on them by their father which will cause them both to die shortly, leading to the downfall of the ancient family of Usher.

Production and release

The film was made in Hastings by a low-budget company GIB Films. Ivan Barnett produced the film and also worked as director and cinematographer. The film was made in 1948, [2] but it wasn't released until 1950. It was issued an 'H' Certificate, a rarity at the time, by the British Board of Film Censors. Despite its limited budget the film proved surprisingly successful on its release as a second feature and even topped the bill in some cinemas. [3] It was reissued in 1955 and again in 1961. [4] It may have been an influence on the subsequent development of Hammer Horror. [5]


Related Research Articles

<i>The Fall of the House of Usher</i> (1928 American film) 1928 film

The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) is a short silent horror film adaptation of the 1839 short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. The movie was co-directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber, and starred Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, and Melville Webber. It tells the story of a brother and sister who live under a family curse. An avant-garde experimental film running only 13 minutes, the visual element predominates, including shots through prisms to create weird optical distortion. There is no dialogue in the film, though one sequence features letters written in the air moving across the screen.

The Fall of the House of Usher 1839 short story by Edgar Allan Poe

"The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1839 in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, then included in the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque in 1840. The short story, a work of Gothic fiction, includes themes of madness, family, isolation, and metaphysical identities.

John Gilling 1912-1984; English film director and screenwriter

John Gilling was an English film director and screenwriter, born in London. He was chiefly known for his horror movies, especially those he made for Hammer Films, for whom he directed The Shadow of the Cat (1961), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Reptile (1966) and The Mummy's Shroud (1967), among others.

<i>House of Usher</i> (film) 1960 film by Roger Corman

House of Usher is a 1960 American horror film directed by Roger Corman and written by Richard Matheson from the 1839 short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. The film was the first of eight Corman/Poe feature films and stars Vincent Price, Myrna Fahey, Mark Damon and Harry Ellerbe.

The Fall of the House of Usher is a 1928 French horror film directed by Jean Epstein, one of several films based on the 1839 Gothic short story The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe.

<i>The Tell-Tale Heart</i> (1960 film)

The Tell-Tale Heart is a 1960 British horror film directed by Ernest Morris produced by the Danzigers. The screenplay by Brian Clemens and Eldon Howard is a loose adaptation of the 1843 short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. The film was released in England in December 1960, and in the U.S. in February 1962 as The Hidden Room of 1,000 Horrors.

The House of Usher is a 2006 American drama thriller film based on the 1839 Edgar Allan Poe short story, "The Fall of the House of Usher". The film was directed by Hayley Cloake and written by Collin Chang. It stars Austin Nichols, Izabella Miko, and Beth Grant.

"The Fall of the House of Usher" is an 1839 short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

<i>The House in Marsh Road</i>

The House in Marsh Road, known on American television as Invisible Creature, is a 1960 British horror suspense film produced by Maurice J. Wilson, directed by Montgomery Tully and starring Tony Wright, Patricia Dainton and Sandra Dorne. The plot centres on a benevolent poltergeist in a country home who protects a woman from her homicidal husband. It may be one of the first films to use the word 'poltergeist' in reference to a spirit or ghost. The film was never released to theatres in the US, and instead went straight to television.

<i>The Golden Link</i>

damm it

<i>The Oracle</i> (film) 1953 film by C.M. Pennington-Richards

The Oracle is a 1953 British comedy film directed by C.M. Pennington-Richards and starring Robert Beatty, Michael Medwin and Virginia McKenna. The screenplay concerns a journalist who goes on holiday to Ireland where he encounters a fortune-teller.

<i>Night Train for Inverness</i>

Night Train for Inverness is a black and white 1960 British drama film directed by Ernest Morris and starring Norman Wooland, Jane Hylton and Dennis Waterman. It is notable as the film debut of Dennis Waterman.

Hangman's Wharf is a 1950 British crime film directed by Cecil H. Williamson and starring John Witty, Genine Graham and Campbell Singer. Its plot concerns a doctor working in Shadwell who is called out for an emergency on a ship docked in the River Thames, where he is framed for murder.

<i>You Pay Your Money</i>

You Pay Your Money is a 1957 British crime drama film directed by Maclean Rogers and starring Hugh McDermott, Jane Hylton and Honor Blackman. The thriller was one of the Butcher's Film Service's 1950s B film genre.

Butchers Film Service

Butcher's Film Service was a British film production and distribution company that specialised in low-budget productions. The company was founded by William Butcher, a chemist from Blackheath. During the Boer War, the company survived through several production slumps in the British film industry and two World Wars.

Roger Proudlock (1920–2003) was a British film producer associated with Vandyke Productions, which specialised in making low-budget second features during the late 1940s and 1950s.

Vandyke Productions was a British film production company which operated between 1947 and 1956. It specialised in making B films which would be released on the bottom-half of a double bill.

Dangerous Assignment is a 1950 British crime film directed by Ben R. Hart and starring Lionel Murton, Pamela Deeming and Ivan Craig. The film was a low-budget second feature, made with backing from the newly-formed distributor Apex Films. While it was criticised for its weak story, it received praise as a "commendable effort" which had achieved a certain amount of realism.

<i>Night Comes Too Soon</i>

Night Comes Too Soon is a 1948 British horror film directed by Denis Kavanagh and starring Valentine Dyall, Anne Howard and Alec Faversham. It was based on the story The Haunters and the Haunted by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It was released in the United States under the alternative title of The Ghost of Rashmon Hall.

<i>Undercover Girl</i> (1958 film)

Undercover Girl is a 1958 British crime film directed by Francis Searle and starring Paul Carpenter, Kay Callard and Bruce Seton.


  1. Harper p.232
  2. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p.322. ISBN   978-1936168-68-2.
  3. Chibnall & McFarlane p.210
  4. Harper p.232
  5. Chibnall & McFarlane p.210