|The Old Dark House|
|Directed by||William Castle|
|Produced by||William Castle
|Music by||Benjamin Frankel|
|Editing by||James Needs|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||86 min.|
|Country||United Kingdom United States|
The Old Dark House (1963) is a comedy-horror film directed by William Castle. It is a remake of the 1932 film of the same name directed by James Whale. The film was based on the novel by J. B. Priestley originally published under the name Benighted, and the new screenplay was written by Robert Dillon. It premiered on 30 October 1963 in the USA and on 16 September 1966 in the UK.
Tom Penderel, an American car salesman in London, delivers a car to an old mansion in Wales and discovers that his eccentric client, Casper Femm, is dead. The car crashes in a raging storm, and Tom is invited to stay at the house by members of Casper's family, including his nieces, the demure young Cecily and the seductive Morgana, and his Uncle Potiphar, who has been building an ark in anticipation of another great flood.
Each of the relatives is required to return to the dilapidated mansion before midnight each evening or forfeit his share of the family fortune. During the night, one of the Femm family dies every hour. First Agatha Femm, Casper's mother, is discovered with her knitting needles stuck in her throat. Casper's twin brother, Jasper, is the next victim, followed by Roderick, the head of the family.
Tom stumbles upon the fact that the killer is a woman, and he accuses Morgana, but Cecily confesses, explaining that she wanted the entire family estate. Cecily runs from the house, and Tom discovers that she has placed time bombs in all of the clocks in the house. Racing against time, he frantically defuses each of the bombs. With moments to spare, he hurls the last bomb out of the window, and it explodes at Cecily's feet.