THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER / A G.I.B. Production - 1950
Here's a great little 39 minute British short you've probably never heard of... In the classic Poe story, a traveler arrives at the Usher mansion to visit his old friend, Roderick Usher. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Roderick and his sister, Madeline, have been afflicted with a mysterious malady, Roderick's senses have become painfully acute, while Madeline has become nearly catatonic. That evening, Roderick tells his guest Jonathan of an old Usher family curse.. Any time there has been more than one Usher child, all of the siblings have gone insane and died horrible deaths! As the days pass, the effects of the curse reach their climax...
It stars Gwen (TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA) Watford as Lady Madeline Usher, Kaye ( his only acting credit) Tendeter as Lord Roderick Usher, Irving (his only acting credit) Steen as Jonathan, Vernon (his only acting credit) Charles as Dr. Cordwell and Lucy (her only acting credit) Pavey as The Hag. Besides Gwen Watford, it seems that director Ivan Barnett used local talent for the other parts!
It begins when a book of Edgar Allan Poe short stories is chosen to be read to friends at a gentleman's club... A good old horror story!
The story has Jonathan riding through the creepy woods surrounding the Usher mansion, on his way to pay a visit to his old friend, Roderick Usher. Once there, Roderick tells Jonathan some dark secrets and the curse on the family name.
Here's Roderick's sister Madeline practicing her piano skills, the family doctor has her on medication she takes with milk.
Madeline follows Roderick and the doctor to a secret location, a place with a dark past...
The doctor tells Roderick all about the hidden rooms of torture and death! The place even comes with its own Mad Hag!
At their next visit to the dungeon, a helper comes along and steps on a bear trap!
Then, the Hag pulls a knife on Roderick and stabs him! Rod and the doc split, leaving the helpless helper there by himself!
In the meantime, Madeline runs around the countryside in this very odd garb, she's also wearing black ankle boots which looks a little goofy when she walks!
Well, it doesn't go well for the helper, er ist tot! Wow, look at that wicked blade and the creepy look on the Hag's face!!
What else, the Hag leaves the place in search of the Usher mansion. Love that background!
First thing she does after making it inside the house, is... Scare the crap outta Madeline!!
Madeline goes into a coma, everyone thinks she was scared to death, so, they seal her in a coffin! Madeline wakes up and somehow manages to push the lid open!
Roderick really flips out when he finds Madeline wandering around the house, she starts stalking him as he tries to get away from her! She follows him to the roof, it's raining like Hell, he slips and falls to his death due to a weak spot in the brick structure!
Then, of all things, lightning strikes the mansion and Jonathan barely makes it out before the place goes up in flames!!.. Wow, what a ride!!
Our reader has now finished his story, that's mall folks!! This little movie is really a sleeper and it would pay to search it out for viewing, a real gem! Got this copy off of TCM...