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Theater of Blood (1973)

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Director:

Douglas Hickox

Writers:

Anthony Greville-Bell (screenplay), Stanley Mann (idea) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Price ... Edward Lionheart
Diana Rigg ... Edwina Lionheart
Ian Hendry ... Peregrine Devlin
Harry Andrews ... Trevor Dickman
Coral Browne ... Chloe Moon
Robert Coote ... Oliver Larding
Jack Hawkins ... Solomon Psaltery
Michael Hordern ... George Maxwell
Arthur Lowe ... Horace Sprout
Robert Morley ... Meredith Merridew
Dennis Price ... Hector Snipe
Milo O'Shea ... Inspector Boot
Eric Sykes ... Sergeant Dogge
Madeline Smith ... Rosemary
Diana Dors ... Maisie Psaltery
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Storyline

Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart (Vincent Price) is a matinèe favorite Shakespearean actor of the old school, finding difficulty coping with new theater roles, who wreaks revenge on on the theater critics who give their annual Guild's "Best Actor" award to a new and upcoming actor rather than him. Incensed by their choice, he does this in the most ingenious and disturbing ways by imitating death scenes taken from his final repertoire of his beloved Bard's tales. Vincent Price is well supported by Dame Diana Rigg, as his dutiful daughter Edwina, and a bevy of the cream of British character actors, including; Ian Hendry, Sir Michael Hordern, Dennis Price, Robert Morley, and Arthur Lowe. Written by Brian Carruthers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At your own risk See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Over six gallons of fake blood were used to produce the eight ghastly murders. See more »

Goofs

When the decapitated head of Horace Sprout is discovered by the maid on his bed the eyes are closed. After it falls on the floor the eyes are open. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
George Maxwell: That damn editor's cut the best part of my review!
Mrs. Maxwell: So I noticed, dear. You ought to have a chat with him.
George Maxwell: My most provocative comment, too, where I said the leading lady attacked her role with both hands and strangled it to death.
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Alternate Versions

Early UK TV showings and video releases featured a U.S print which used the American spelling of 'Theater of Blood' during the opening credits. The UK MGM DVD uses the British title of 'Theatre of Blood'. See more »

Connections

Features Othello (1922) See more »

User Reviews

a classic not just of horror but of cinema in general!
6 November 2001 | by reasonbran234See all my reviews

this movie is essential for anyone even marginally interested in film. vincent price gives one of the best performances of his career as the embittered edward lionheart, a shakespearean stage actor who has been unjustly disinherited by theatre as a result of the brutal criticism that his work generated. lionheart, disaffected and without hope of ever returning to the work he loves so much, decides to take justice in his own hands and the result is the most brilliant blend of horror and satire that i have ever seen. usually, horror and comedy do not mix well and nine times out of ten the results are less than impressive, but in this one it comes off beautifully. the question of whether we are supposed to sympathize with price's character or revile him as a bloodthirsty maniac has been much debated by fans of the film, but in my opinion it is obvious that it is the critics we are intended to hate and not lionheart, although his methods of retribution are admittedly a bit over the top. like the equally magnificent "dr. phibes", "theater of blood" explores not only the common theme of homicidal revenge but the idea of 'murder as art', as can be witnessed in the bizarre methods that lionheart uses:look especially for the scene where a particularly unfortunate enemy of price's is dragged to death by a horse in what looks like something out of a play by good old willy himself. also memorable is the scene in which price and his accomplice (his daughter, usually in a very deceptive disguise)feed an especially nasty critic his favorite poodle. the ending is, of course, very theatrical, and yet at the same time extremely funny and satirical. i've never seen a film quite like "theater of blood" before or since, and i doubt i will again. in any case this is a must see whether you are vincent price fan (like myself) or a casual viewer looking for something out of the ordinary. a masterpiece.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Theatre of Blood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (title sequence)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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