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House of the Long Shadows (1983) Online

House of the Long Shadows (1983) Online
Original Title :
House of the Long Shadows
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Horror / Mystery
Year :
Directror :
Pete Walker
Cast :
Vincent Price,Christopher Lee,Peter Cushing
Writer :
Michael Armstrong,Earl Derr Biggers
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 42min
Rating :
House of the Long Shadows (1983) Online

An American writer goes to a remote Welsh manor on a twenty thousand dollar bet: can he write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" in twenty-four hours? Upon his arrival, however, the writer discovers that the manor, thought empty, actually has several, rather odd, inhabitants. {locallinks-homepage}
Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price Vincent Price - Lionel Grisbane
Christopher Lee Christopher Lee - Corrigan
Peter Cushing Peter Cushing - Sebastian Grisbane
Desi Arnaz Jr. Desi Arnaz Jr. - Kenneth Magee (as Desi Arnaz)
John Carradine John Carradine - Lord Elijah Grisbane
Sheila Keith Sheila Keith - Victoria Grisbane
Julie Peasgood Julie Peasgood - Mary Norton
Richard Todd Richard Todd - Sam Allyson
Louise English Louise English - Diana Caulder
Richard Hunter Richard Hunter - Andrew Caulder
Norman Rossington Norman Rossington - Station Master

This is the twenty-fourth and final movie in which Sir Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing appeared together.

This is the only movie in which veteran horror stars Vincent Price, Sir Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and John Carradine appear.

George M. Cohan's play "Seven Keys to Baldpate", on which the screenplay was based, opened on Broadway at the Astor Theater on September 22, 1913, and ran for three hundred twenty performances until June 1914.

Vincent Price was born on May 27, 1911, making him exactly eleven years older than Sir Christopher Lee, who was born on the same date in 1922. Peter Cushing missed by only one day of making it a triple, as he was born on May 26, 1913.

John Carradine fell asleep filming a major dinner scene and was in the land of nod for much of the scene.

Elsa Lanchester was going to play Victoria Quimby/Grisbane, but was too ill to make the trip to London.

John Carradine (Lord Elijah Grisbane) was only five years older than Vincent Price, playing his son Lionel, and seven years older than Peter Cushing, playing his son Sebastian. He was fourteen years older than Sheila Keith, playing his daughter Victoria. The three actors and one actress playing the Grisbanes, Carradine, Price, Cushing, and Keith, died at the ages of 82, 82, 81, and 84, respectively.

Though set in the Welsh countryside, this movie was shot entirely in Hampshire, England.

The picture was filmed "in the Hammer tradition" according to English newspaper "The Guardian".

Vincent Price was offered this movie and accepted before the script was written.

Final theatrical movie directed by Pete Walker.

Louise English was cast by Benny Hill.

This movie was released seventy years after its source play, "Seven Keys to Baldpate" by George M. Cohan, had been first performed, and its source novel, "Seven Keys to Baldpate" by Earl Derr Biggers, was published.

This movie took five weeks to shoot and cost just under one million pounds sterling.

This movie ran out of money three weeks into shooting.

Vincent Price turns up forty minutes in.

Sir Christopher Lee turns up forty-nine minutes in.

The movie's closing credits declare that this movie was "produced entirely on location".

The name of the remote Gothic mansion was "Baldpate Manor".

Many of the cast and crew loved working with Peter Cushing.

Producers Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan never read the script.

Final significant role in a major theatrical movie for Richard Todd (Sam Allyson).

The acronym "O.P.I.T." stood for "Organisation for the Promotion of International Terrorism".

The name of the novel that Kenneth Magee (Desi Arnaz, Jr.) had written was "The Lie". The title of the manuscript for a novel that he typed while staying in the old dark house was "Midnight Manor".

Richard Hunter was told by Director Pete Walker to think his character was like Brad from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

Louise English kept her script of this movie.

The name "Baldpate" is said to be a corruption of a Welsh name, which none of the English or American characters can pronounce properly. In fact, the supposedly Welsh word does not exist in the Welsh language, and means nothing.

Another actress was offered the role of Mary Norton but was not free.

Stanley Myers was asked to write the score.

The amount of the bet made by publisher Sam Allyson (Richard Todd) for Kenneth Magee (Desi Arnaz, Jr.) to write a novel of the standard of Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" over twenty-four hours was twenty thousand dollars. Which one can deduce from reading the plot synopsis.

Peter Sinclair was offered the movie.

Although Peter Cushing killed Sir Christopher Lee in six movies, Frankenstein s'est échappé! (1957), Dracula (1958), Le crâne maléfique (1965), Je suis un monstre (1971), Dracula '73 (1972), and Dracula vit toujours à Londres (1973), this was the only movie in which Lee killed Cushing.

User reviews



Never turning up on television, long out of print on video, and never released to DVD, HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS has fallen prey to neglect in recent times. To a degree, this is understandable; taken purely on its own, HOUSE at first seems to emerge a bit disappointing today. The oft-cited problem is that the four horror stars seem painfully marginalized in order to make way for Desi Arnaz Jr. But, when seen in a larger context, HOUSE rises far above its humble origins and becomes something much greater than the sum of its parts. Much like James Whale's THE OLD DARK HOUSE - a film that shares much in common with HOUSE - it is a film that requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate.

Just as Universal's Dracula of 1931 inspired and influenced a cycle of horror films that would grow, mature, mutate, and ultimately flounder in various forms till the late Forties, so too did another horror zeitgeist bloom during the late Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. The British studio that had produced 1957's groundbreaking THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Hammer Films, found great success in the genre over the next twenty years, not infrequently making use of Christopher "Dracula" Lee and Peter "Frankenstein" Cushing. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, American International found their superstar in Vincent Price, whom they headlined in a series of literate, atmospheric Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, beginning with THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER in 1960. Eventually, this series too would cross the Atlantic. The popularity (and profitability) of these scare shows insured a legion of second-rate cheapness from various entities, many of which utilized Shakespearian actor and erstwhile Universal horror veteran John Carradine, who crept his arthritic way through such low-budgeters as GALLERY OF HORRORS and BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE.

But, by 1982, this cycle of traditional horrors had seemingly come to a dead end. Hammer and AIP were no longer producing feature films, and most of the great horror stars of the time were now electing to either shoot for mainstream success or a semi-retirement save for the occasional film and television cameo appearance. As the Eighties dawned too, the genre was foregoing Gothic horror in favor of the summer camp bloodbath, the holiday massacre, and the dream-slaying slasher. In the midst of these gruesome developments however, director Pete Walker, not unfamiliar with bloody subject matter himself, decided to provide the old-fashioned approach one last go-around, and gather the very icons of that style to do it.

The plot is old humbug, another revitalization of Earl Derr Bigger's old standard Seven Keys to Baldpate, which had been filmed a number of times before. Jaded novelist Arnaz accepts a bet from his impish publisher (Richard Todd), which involves him spending 24 hours in an old Welsh mansion and writing a Bronte-like Gothic story. As the stormy night progresses, various dodgy characters turn up who, as it emerges, are all members of the benighted Grisbane family, gathered on this night to release a horrible secret in the attic. Before long, various unwary visitors - as well as the Grisbanes themselves - begin to be murdered in grisly ways by a mysterious psychopath. Many twists and turns later, the narrative works its way toward a lighthearted conclusion.

There had long been plans to unite the four horror superstars in one film, but scheduling conflicts had made it impossible. Finally, the opportunity arrived with this project, and all are well served by their roles here. Each is allowed to indulge in his particular acting persona. Price is flamboyant and theatrical, Lee imperious and sinister, Cushing genteel and sympathetic, Carradine sonorous and stentorian. Price in particular excels here, and this was his last real opportunity to shine in a full-fledged horror film. Though he would return to the genre two more times before his death in 1993, neither his embarrassing appearance as an expletive-spewing sorcerer in BLOODBATH IN THE HOUSE OF DEATH or his cantankerous turn hosting THE OFFSPRING can compare to his grandly overstated Lionel Grisbane. In particular, Lionel's pitched introduction at the doorway is unforgettable, a true highlight of horror cinema.

If there is a major regret here, it's that Cannon opted to re-cut the film for some theatrical showings - and that's the version released to VHS years ago. This move appears to have been done in order to play up the horror content and mute the comedy. Though I've never seen the original cut, it almost unquestionably would have been preferable. Both Price and Cushing seemed to feel so, and lamented the fact that many of the comic build-ups were left in, only to have the punch lines cut. The real loss was the original end credits sequences, in which each member of the cast steps out of character to take a final bow.

But, in the end, the shortcomings matter little. HOUSE stands as truly the last of its kind, and more than that, can be seen as the point of embarkation for a new style. Just as Universal provided the iconographic monsters of the Thirties and Forties with a peculiarly reverential send-off in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEN, so too does HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS allow its four veteran bogeymen of the Sixties and Seventies to gracefully bow out, in character and with their dignity intact. It's sublimely appropriate that the film should meld Eighties slasher/body-count horror themes (gruesomely accented ax murders, stabbings, acid baths, etc.) with the traditional Gothic approach these men specialized in; by taking part in those very situations themselves, Price, Lee, Cushing, and Carradine thereby "pass the torch" to the knife-wielding maniacs that would come to rule the genre in their place. Seen in this light, the film's faults seem to considerably melt away, and one realizes what a true, unique gem we have here. That is, a lighthearted but affectionate good-bye to twenty-five years of classic horror films executed with great deft and style.


This is a horror film aficianado's dream - the only time that Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price appeared in the same film and the same scenes together!

Forget about the ponderous build-up to the appearance of the stars and the lamentable arrogance of Desi Arnaz Jr. in a forgettable role (he can't hold a torch to the acting abilities of his famous co-stars!). The cliched surroundings of a dark, haunted house can also be criticised; but this is the ideal platform for the horror greats on show to perform in a typically professional fashion.

Peter Cushing's drunken characterization is very well done and Vincent Price's grand dialogue is reeled off in an extremely believable way. Christopher Lee's role is also enjoyably wooden and in the mould that we have come to expect over the years!

The film is guilty of faulty pacing - the start is slow but the execution of murders later in the film comes relentlessly and with little subtlety in thought or execution. However, the sole purpose of the film is to provide a horrific who-dunnit in an old-fashioned way with the top stars of the genre!

The ending also ensures that the viewer is never quite confident that the story's resolution has been provided.

Not a masterpiece by any means , but a fitting tribute to the stars in the horror field, who have entertained us so much in the past and will continue to do so in the future!


This is the only film I can think of that has all four horror greats in the same film at the same time and in the same scenes. Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and John Carradine are the big four, and their presence alone makes seeing this film a must. I don't think any other film had three of these men in the same film, same time, and same scenes(Scream and Scream Again has Lee, Cushing, and Price, but Cushing does not share screen time with either Lee or Price). The men are all still great to see and brought a flood of nostalgia to me as they made their entrances into the film. The film, however, is weak, and there really is no denying that. I like the film because of the four boogeymen, but cannot say in good faith that it is a good film. It is not. The story concerns an author having a bet with his publisher to stay in a creepy place and produce a book in one evening for twenty thousand dollars. It is a very worn plot, and to make matters worse, the scriptwriter butchers his way through the script trying to squeeze out anything that might have been thoughtful and original. The male lead is none other that that master thespian Desi Arnaz Jr. I know hearing his name makes you tingle with anticipation, but this man has no clue how to perform. Plainly put, he is awful, and painful to watch as he delivers hackneyed dialogue with a smug manner. He certainly canot hold his own with the reverent cast or even female character actress Shelia Keith who really shines in her small role. Some of the dialogue is funny, some serious, but there are only four reasons to watch this film: Price, Cushing, Lee, and Carradine. They put in this film what little life this film has. Of the four, watch for Vincent Price playing ever the ham! He is superb.


Everyone probably figured that Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing would have to all co-star in a movie, but who ever would have guessed that Desi Arnaz Jr would also co-star? Far removed from his parents' famous roles, Arnaz plays Kenneth Magee, an American author who goes to an old Welsh estate to write a novel. He is supposed to have no disturbances, but Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and John Carradine arrive to release their brother who has been locked in his room for forty years, and Christopher Lee arrives to claim ownership of the mansion. Naturally, things don't go as everyone expects.

"House of the Long Shadows" doesn't have anything that we wouldn't anticipate in a movie about a dark old mansion, but it's got more twists and turns than a roller coaster. So, I recommend it, and I hope that they don't try to remake it.


"House of the Long Shadows" is not a very well known film. In fact, most people I've talked to have never heard of it. It's one of those rare gems you come across every once in awhile.

If you are a fan of classic horror films, this will certainly be a treat! It has Vincent Price (my personal all-time favorite), Christopher Lee, John Carradine, and Peter Cushing. Plus there several twists and turns throughout the film that keep you guessing until the end.

The supporting cast does a decent job of completing the ensemble and the old mansion where the story takes place makes a delightful setting.

One small complaint is the acting ability of Desi Arnaz, Jr. It's hard to say if his acting was truly bad or if it just didn't measure up to the talents of Price, Lee, and Cushing. Either way, it didn't detract much from the overall enjoyment of the film.

If you want a good old-fashioned thriller with plot twists and a little bit of slasher thrown in, you won't be disappointed in "House of the Long Shadows".


While Desi Arnaz Jr. may be one of the worst actors I've ever seen, this movie succeeds despite his desperate attempts to ruin every seen he's in. Price, Cushing, Lee and Carradine are, of course, stellar in their various supporting roles, with Cushing's best Elmer Fudd/Peter Cook from The Princess Bride impersonation standing as the comic high watermark of the piece. I'm not one to figure out endings, but I did figure this one out, even through the movie-within-a-movie setup. And still I enjoyed the hell out of the film. It's no Memento, but if you're in the mood for a simple, Old Dark House-style midnight-on-Friday popcorn black horror comedy, here you go. Enjoy! I sure did.
Zeks Horde

Zeks Horde

Well yeah, in all honesty, "House of the Long Shadows" is an extremely disappointing and weak film, but I'm convinced that there isn't a single (real) horror fan out there that can bring him/herself to spread an entirely destructive criticism about this unique feature. After all, it is the only movie that ever managed to assemble no less than four of the most legendary genre icons and even show them in the same scenes! Something that stars Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine all at once is simply fundamental viewing for horror fans, whether or not the storyline is any good. The plot is a re-working of the famous 'Seven Keys to Baldpate'-novel and introduces Ken Magee as a rather cocky writer who bets his publisher 20.000 Dollars that he can complete a successful novel in the likes of Wuthering Heights in a short period of only 24 hours. To have the required isolation for writing, his publisher gives him the key to an old deserted mansion in Wales. Instead of finding peace and quiet there, the writer is subsequently interrupted by his publisher's attractive secretary and four uncanny members of the Grisbane family that reunite in the house to release their mad youngest brother after an imprisonment of forty years. Writing a novel is completely out of the question when it turns out Roderick Grisbane escaped from his room and started a new killing spree around the house. "House of the Long Shadows" is a heavily flawed and clichéd film that would have been long (and righteously) forgotten by now if it weren't for the top notch cast listing. First and foremost, the film got released at least a decade too late. The early 1980's were an era dominated by raw and blood-soaked slasher movies and an old-fashioned haunted-house chiller simply couldn't fascinate the audiences any longer. Then it also takes far too long before something interesting happens. The story is over halfway by the time all four horror legends are fully introduced and it takes another twenty minutes before anything even mildly horrific occurs. Then there suddenly are too many childish and overly implausible plot-twists going on in the last sequences, resulting in a totally unsatisfying climax. The tone and themes of the film, as well as the murder-scenes, are regretfully tame. It's actually hard to believe that Pete Walker directed this film! He was the British exploitation master during the 70's and made shocking movies about murderous priests ("House of Mortal Sin"), cannibalistic grannies ("Frightmare") and barbaric women prisons ("House of Whipcord"). "The House of Long Shadows" doesn't feature one single shock and hardly any suspense moments, apart from Christopher Lee's gruff facial expressions. It certainly isn't the masterwork I secretly hoped it to be, but if I could make one wish, it would be going back in time and pay a visit to the film set.


Pete Walker's "House Of The Long Shadows" of 1983 may be an extremely silly and partly even ridiculous movie, all right, but it is still an absolute must-see for any serious lover of horror, and even for any serious film fan, as it features FOUR of the greatest Horror icons in the history of motion pictures, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and John Carradine in one movie. This unique cast alone makes this movie essential, regardless of the ridiculous storyline.

Young American author Kenneth Magee (Desi Arnaz Jr.) makes a ridiculous bet with his English publisher that he can write a novel as great as Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" within 24 hours. His publisher therefore sends him to a Welsh manor, where Kenneth is supposed to have the necessary quietude to work effectively. Soon after his arrival, however, some strange guests show up, amongst them some of our favorite Horror icons...

Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee AND John Carradine - A movie with this cast is, once again, absolutely essential for any fan of Horror. These four legendary actors clearly had a lot of fun shooting this over-all silly movie together, especially Price plays his role very humorously and seems to enjoy it a lot. Apart from the four Horror legends, the movie has little to offer. Desi Arnaz Jr. delivers a dreadful performance, and Julie Peasgood is not exactly a very good actress either. The story and its many twists are quite ridiculous. There were some points in the movie when I actually started to like the story, but these moments are quickly destroyed by silly twists again. If it wasn't for this movie's stars, the film would, if for anything, be remembered for its silly premise, but Price, Cushing, Lee and Carradine make this an absolute must-see!

An over-all silly film with a ridiculous storyline, "House Of The Long Shadows" is made a real joy by the four great Horror legends. A film that unites Price, Cushing, Lee and Carradine is a must-see for every Horror fan and serious lover of cinema!


This film is what old horror buffs want to see. 4 Great horror legends together on the screen. Too bad Boris, Bella, Lon and Peter weren't around for it.

It is a dark and stormy night. Leading man goes to big haunted house. Pretty girl, strange relatives, family secrets and tons of atmosphere ensue. Interesting conclusion with a little wink-wink, nudge-nudge at the end.

Sadly, it isn't on DVD. Too bad.

We are now an age of blood, guts and gore that touts itself as the horror genre. Tall, beefy men wearing masks or pounds of prosthetics are the new horror actors....actors?? What acting? Running around with a chainsaw isn't acting. Ditto to our leading men and scantily clad ladies. Being dirty, wet, bloody and screaming isn't acting. Not your faults....blame the writers. It isn't about acting anymore. It's body count and gross out. It accuses the audience of being too vapid to understand the story from the dialog delivered by skilled artists and forces us to in-your-face nastiness..

This movie, as corn-pone and cheese-whiz as it is, is delightful. It's Cushing, Lee, Price and Carridine...representatives of what acting in this genre was really about. They're creepy, rookie, and weird. They make your skin crawl with each delivery. That, my friends, is what scary is about. They may appear benign on the outside, but you just don't know what they might do or are capable of.

I do wish it would go to DVD. It might ignite a new respect for the horror film...maybe change the way they are written.


Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, and John Carradine together in one film: does anyone need to say more? If you're a fan of any one of these four film legends, you're in for a treat.

Many people comment that "House of the Long Shadows" is not on video. It is. I found my copy on eBay, but it is commercially prepared. The box resembles the poster at the top of the IMDB page, and says:


The box isn't a plastic job with a slip-in cover; it's an actual printed box. (Sorry -- wouldn't give it up for anything, but watch the second hand shops and auction places and you're sure to see one, too.)


While this movie would not make the list of "Best Movies Ever Made," its cast makes it valuable to any buff of Classic Horror movies. I cannot understand why it is not offered on either VHS or DVD; as far as I know, it has never been made available and it is a great shame.


This proved to be the last film of British horror director Walker (in the accompanying DVD interview for his THE FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW [1972], which followed this in short order, he states that this was his only 'assignment' – all his other work he personally financed) as well as the final teaming of that prolific and (for fans, hugely rewarding) iconic duo of Peter Cushing (complete with endearing speech impediment) and Christopher Lee (a complex characterization, albeit characteristically boorish).

Having mentioned the two Hammer stars, some reviewers mistakenly believed the film intended to recapture that studio's Gothic tradition but it actually hearkens back to the comedy-thrillers of the Silent and early Talkie era. In fact, it was the sixth filmization – scripted by Michael Armstrong, whose own directorial career was curtailed following the notoriety of his MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970) – of "Seven Keys To Baldpate", a novel by Earl Derr Biggers (creator of Charlie Chan) that was adapted for the stage by George M. Cohan (yes, the songwriter played by James Cagney in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY [1942]!).

Besides, its plot about a dysfunctional Welsh family that includes a locked-up maniac and whose mansion is 'intruded' upon by innocent strangers is a virtual retread of James Whale's sublime THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932; one of my absolute favorites) – though with little of that film's style or wit. Another direct link to it is the fact that there is a Roderick involved – and let's not forget that Vincent Price (who co-stars here) had played a character by that name in Roger Corman's seminal Poe adaptation HOUSE OF USHER (1960)! The final revelation (which wasn't at all surprising nor, come to think of it, was the identity of the mysterious killer), then, is straight out of SEVEN FOOTPRINTS TO Satan (1929)…

The cast also highlights two other lesser horror stars – John Carradine (who's supposed to be the patriarch of the family when the difference in age from, at least, Price and Cushing is minimal!) and Walker regular Sheila Keith (replacing the ailing Elsa Lanchester). The young cast isn't in any way comparable obviously – however, both Desi Arnaz Jr. (from childhood sci-fi TV show AUTOMAN [1983]!) and Julie Peasgood prove reasonably engaging nonetheless. By the way, Richard Todd appears as novelist Arnaz's genial publisher – who makes a bet with his client that he won't stay the full-length of 24 hours in an ostensibly haunted house (which is the exact same premise of the Abel Gance/Max Linder short AU SECOURS! [1924] I've just watched and, I see, Michael Elliott did too!).

At the end of the day, the film is clearly old fashioned (despite the occasional gore) but undeniably fun – which makes the Leonard Maltin guide's *1/2 rating a genuine head-scratcher!


Great actors and great story. I´ve seen it twice on video when it was released i Sweden in the mid-80. It have no great FX in it if you compare it with todays standard, but it doesent matter. You don´t need that with all the great actors in this film. It´s a shame i can´t buy it on DVD or rent it anymore!!!......


If this film was as good as its credit sequence, it would have been great. The film begins by introducing the three greatest horror icons of all time - namely, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. This is then followed by the names 'John Carradine' and 'Sheila Keith', and just when you think things can't possibly be any more promising, Pete Walker's name turns up and you've got to start thinking you're in for a masterpiece. However, you'd be wrong to do so; as while the film does have some positives, it's mostly very sluggish and doesn't do justice to its awesome array of talent. The plot is fairly routine and follows an American writer who travels to a manor house in Wales in order to write a novel. He has a bet of £20,000 that he can write a novel that is better than Wuthering Heights in just 24 hours. However, he thought that the house he was planning to write at would be empty, but upon arrival he happens across a caretaker and his daughter, and pretty soon a whole host of weird and wonderful characters invade his tranquillity...

When I think of Pete Walker, it is dark and foreboding films that spring to mind. Films like House of Whipcord are what sum him up; but this film is nothing like Walker's earlier efforts, and is actually more of a comedy than a real horror film. The action is mainly focused inside the central manor house, and this actually does provide a decent place for the film to take place as Walker provides House of Long Shadows with a classic styled horror atmosphere. The three big name stars are the support cast really, but they do get more screen time than I thought they would; which is one of the film's few positives. None of them particularly stand out for delivering great performances, but merely seeing them is good enough for me on the acting front. Most of the movie just sort of drones on, and there isn't much at all added to the plot until the end. The ending is, quite frankly, about as bad as it gets. The film itself isn't that exciting anyway, and then Walker makes a mockery out of his audience with a stupid, clichéd finale. Overall, this film is worth tracking down for fans of classic as aside from the REALLY bad 'Scream and Scream Again', this is the only film to feature all three horror heavyweights; but unfortunately, it's not all that good.


How you can get Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and John Carradine together in the same cast and make such a boring film out of their encounter is anybody's guess. For most of the movie, NOTHING HAPPENS - it takes almost the entire first hour for the numerous characters to be introduced. And it has one of the stupidest endings ever (SPOILERS FOLLOW): the whole thing turns out to be an elaborate hoax and everybody is in on it, except for the hero; then why do some characters talk and behave as if they don't know what's going on even when he ISN'T around and can't possibly see or hear them? (*1/2)


An arrogant, American writer bets 20,000 dollars that he can write a classic novel like "Wuthering Heights" at a remote Welsh manor in 24 hours. He is apprised the place has been abandoned for years, but he discovers there are plenty of peculiar people staying there, including a woman named Mary Norton that he becomes very attracted too, but not necessarily trust. The people start popping up dead one by one. Think the movie "Clue" if you decide to watch this movie, only with virtually no suspense. The manor is a perfect place for this movie. It adds creepy atmosphere in spades, but they fail to deliver on it in a big way. For the first hour or so, it's nothing but "Talk, talk, talk, talk" Nothing much happens at all. We get plenty of meandering around the house, people show up here and there. But there is no excitement to be found. It does eventually start to get a little more interesting, but it was too little, too late for me. The choked on a great opportunity with an all star cast, despite most of them being in their twilight years. Desi Arnaz Jr. is completely miscast. His smug character irritated me to no end. This guy doesn't react to ANYTHING. People are getting killed all around you, REACT! He's an emotionless robot for the most part. He can't act worth a lick, and I have no idea why they casted him in this part. He was far too arrogant and talentless. He is the main reason, aside from the dullness that I didn't like this movie. Peter Cushing looks somewhat gaunt, but delivers a fun performance. it was nice to see him play a paranoid character, unlike the subtly strong willed characters I usually see him play. Vincent Price does one of his patented Shakespearean performances, and I loved it as usual. How can you not love Vincent Price? He's epic. Christopher Lee is dependable as always with another menacing character. John Carradin doesn't have much to do, but he does it well. Julie Peasgood has a sexy British accent. She was easy on the eyes, if nothing else. The finale throws in many twists and turns, but it got so convoluted, not to mention I was past the point of caring. It got way too clever for my liking.

Final Thoughts: Leave this one in obscurity where it belongs. You can do a lot worse, but you can do much better as well. Resist the temptation from the amazing cast



I found this movie to be very entertaining.

There is enough foreshadowing to actually figure out what is going on if you pay attention to it.

This was a good classics style "whodunnit" (who done it). If you like murder mysteries in the pen written classic style, here is a good 80's version to the genre.

I'm looking forward to seeing a DVD release of this one. Reminded me of A. Christie's books.


Great flick. :)


I have to admit that seeing Cushing, Lee, Price, and Carradine in the same room together gave me thrills and joy. What saddens me is that their great monumental teaming is in this turgid exercise which is, at times, a daunting task just to sit through. While the film has some wonderful lighting and the manor for which Arnaz, Jr stays is ominously photographed. Sadly, it's the ebb and flow of the film itself that disappoints. The film is a mixed bag for me. While I pleasured every moment the great stars spent on screen, they were stuck within a story that was a trial to watch. What hurts even more is that bore of a character played by Arnaz, Jr. who ought to thank his lucky stars mama was Lucille Ball for he did nothing for the film whatsoever except prove how bland and unlikable that prick of an author could be. I wished that Lee would spring from the shadows and bite a plug out of his neck so I could continue to watch the other stars for whom I really desire to see. The film is supposedly about an author who bets his publisher he can write a horror novel in 24 hours. His author has a manor for Arnaz, Jr to stay in and so this is the place for all the "action" to take place. Arnaz, Jr. finds that the manor is filling up with mysterious characters who represent the Grisbane family(Vincent Price as Lionel, Peter Cushing as Sebastian, John Carradine as Lord, and Sheila Keith as Victoria). This family harbors a dark secret which is held within a sealed room in the manor. Christopher Lee portrays Corrigan, someone who buys property and is to possibly purchase the Grisbane estate, but there's more to him than meets the eye. Julie Peasgood portrays Mary Norton, Arnaz, Jr.'s publisher's assistant, and possible love interest. The film follows Arnaz, Jr as he tries to uncover the mysteries that lurk behind the Grisbane family for deaths start to occur thanks to the "curse" in the house. The film has some genuine moments of Gothic atmosphere, but unfortunately too many twists at the end, not to mention not enough screen time for the legendary horror kings make everything such a waste. Arnaz, Jr. just doesn't have any charisma and I just kept feeling like there should be more to this film than ever materializes.


In my take on the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' I noted that for all the accolades the film has received for predating and introducing what are now standard elements in the slasher genre(or what a certain portly paragon of film criticism calls 'Dead teenager movies'); that it is often overlooked just how much of a final statement(and subversion) of the 'Old Dark house with a homicidally funny family' genre it is. That's a statement I'm willing to stand by, but TCM was by no means the last modern horror film to re-use that tried-and-true concept, and though it was the best, it certainly wasn't the only good one.

'House of the Long Shadows' is a nice tribute to the 'Old Dark House' genre, as well as a refreshing breeze during the era of the slasher. A sarcastic writer(Desi Arnaz Jr.) who hates Gothic novels makes a bet with his publisher(Richard Todd)to write a novel that makes use of the Gothic settings and purple prose that he so despises, and it has to be completed in 2 days time. So our hero takes off to an abandoned manor in Wales. After a frightening encounter at a train station in the pouring rain(which feels like the beginning of a giallo film), he arrives at the manor, only to find that the supposedly deserted mansion is very much inhabited("For a place deserted for 40 years, this house is more active than Time's Square!").

Then a cliché storm sets in while the real storm outside rages.

It's all here: A madman locked up for decades, a creepy developer, bickering family members with unusual habits, 'Ten little Indians'-inspired murders, a contrived romance, flat tires, visitors who kill each other, if you've seen it in an Old Dark house film, it's in here somewhere. The script is taken from the oft-filmed 'Seven Keys to Baldpate', but still manages to work in elements from various other works, such as several Lovecraft & Bloch stories, several William Castle films(notably the underrated 1963 version of 'The Old Dark House') and even the TV. movie 'Bad Ronald'.

This cliché storm needs an umbrella.

It's all by-the-numbers and all the family members are as one-dimensional as can be, defined by speech patterns or clothing and various broadly played traits, but when the family is played by John Carradine, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, who could complain? This is like the "Magnificent Seven" of horror. All of these old pros appear to be having a good time, as for the other actors; Arnaz makes us really relate to his irritability and longing for peace and quiet, and unknown Julie Peasgood is good as his love interest, she's definitely unusual looking, but a welcome break from the talentless cheerleader types seen in most '80's horror films.

As cliché as it all is, the film manages to be compelling enough to stick around to the end. And everything ends in a triple twist-ending that works on one-hand, and is infuriating on the other. For one, it explains the ridiculous level of coincidence away, but the next twist cancels it out, then cancels it out AGAIN for a happy ending. It would be much better if the last 5 minutes had been cut. Still, this film is definitely worth-seeing. With much to enjoy on repeat viewings. Recommended.~


The whole plot was constantly turning and twisting which I believe is a good element in a thriller, such as finding out things or truths towards the end, the element of fear as each character is "killed" off. However, I believe that this was a very original idea for the time it was made and undoubtedly would be something to read.

I do want to say this, as for the "Fab Four" of horror masters go, they were the Masters at that time. But, lets not forget the other masters such as Bela Lugosi (sp) Boris Karloff, Lon Channey and Lon Channey Jr, etc. It seems to me that there was a movie with them in it, excepting Lon Channey to where they all wore their costumes but were not playing the part. But, I can't remember what it was called. Oh Well.

All in all, I did think it was unique and I like the way it ended. What better way to end a "horror" movie than with something comedic.
I'm a Russian Occupant

I'm a Russian Occupant

"House of Long Shadows" is one of those classic movies that hardly any people know about, or have even seen. The film is about a man who bets he can write a novel in 24 hours, while spending the night in an old secluded Welsh manor. He arrives at the old Grisbane manor, but begins suffering some serious writer's block. As the night goes on, various characters enter the home (travelers and various others), and some of them are even descendants of the Grisbane family who owned the manor. During the night though, the guests begin to die in grisly ways, and the stormy evening turns into a night of terror. But is what they think happening really happening?

This film has a giant plot twist tacked onto the end, and it works out well actually and is very clever. But I won't spoil it, it's a movie you need to watch for yourself. That is, if anyone gets the chance to. This film is extremely hard to find on video, and hasn't even gotten the DVD release that I think it deserves. It reminded me of "Clue" a bit, but it is much different of a movie and is slightly better. Desi Arnaz Jr. is teamed with horror legends Vincent Price and Christopher Lee, and they are all excellent in the film, along with the other characters within the movie. The only minorly negative thing about it was the lighting, which made some things hard to see, but all in all it wasn't too bad. It's been years since I've seen this, and I wish I could get my hands on it again and re-watch it.

To sum it up, this is a pretty good, light-hearted movie that blends horror and comedy together, with a good result in the end. I wish someone would release this on DVD, it is a good movie that deserves to get a little more attention. 8/10.


Who knew that Dezi Arnaz Jr. could act?! Well, sortof. Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Carradine, Sheila Keith and Julie Peasgood do most of the acting for him and make him look fairly acceptable as the straight man/hero. There's lots of fun here, with all the long time Kings of horror who were living at the time this was made. Enough plot twists to keep you guessing. Lots of secret passages and mysterious happenings. Scooby Doo would be right at home. Production values are pretty good. Some genuine scares that might be too much for the little ones in your family, not enough gore for the hard-core slasher fans. Contains my favorite Vincent Price line of all time: "Please, don't interrupt me whilst I am soliloquizing!"


This film has a great cast for horror fans, like myself for instance. The wonderful Vincent Price, Christopher lee, Peter Chushing and a frail looking John Carrdine all make an appearance (we wont spoil things and mention the rest of the cast, at this point). An American author named Kenneth Magee (Desi Arnaz Jr) travels to London to promote his latest book. While at dinner he enters in to a bet with his publisher to write a novel within 24 hours. However, Magee insists upon total solitude and no distractions of any kind. His publisher conveniently knows someone who owns Baldpate Manor, an isolated country mansion located deep in the Welsh countryside which hasn't been lived in since before the war. Once there, he has to stop and ask for directions on the way, he find an old man (Carridine) and his daughter who claim to be the caretakers. However, Magee soon discovers he is the only one who's meant to be there, and there are no caretakers. As the night progresses more strange people turn up (Lee, Chushing and Price among others) and it soon becomes clear that these happenings aren't a coincidence.

So, we have a great horror cast stuck in this overblown Scooby-Doo episode. This twist ending is just so silly its unbelievable, and you can see it coming a mile off. Most of the film is set in a big country mansion with no electricity so its pretty dark. The photography is kind of flat and by the numbers, too. Basically it doesn't really add anything to the horror/mystery genre except the great cast all in one film. Just a shame its an average one like this. OK I guess, probably just about worth an hour and a half of your time. Just.


Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and a Carradine are all great in this entertaining horror film about a relative in an upstairs room kept locked away under mysterious circumstances. Desi Arnaz Jr. (Little Ricky) is passable as the author who agrees to an overnighter and the plot twists are fun (bet you catch where things are going early on).

Two spectacular lines involving a swear word (used to describe a female dog) and another involving the consequences of singing off-key make this rental well worth your time. The Horror Greats gathered are fun indeed...I watched because I love Vincent Price - when he hams it up...and I also like Christopher Lee's great work!
crazy mashine

crazy mashine

"House Of Long Shadows" is a fantastic film with a brilliant cast of horror legends and I just can't believe that this movie isn't more well known, I've personally never even heard of it until quite recently and given the fact that it's directed by the ever brilliant Pete Walker whose other works I've enjoyed (Frightmare, The Comeback, House Of Whipcord). He displays the same elegance and chills in this underrated masterpiece and sad to see that this would be his last horror movie, but well I must say that this was a well and truly fitting end and going out with a bang.

This does have that classic old school feel to it and given the fact that this came out in 1983, where horror had moved on to stalk and slash with the likes of Jason and Michael Myers. Well this may have seemed a bit old fashioned, but that doesn't take away the brilliance of this. The plot to this was very good and thought out with an American writer Kenneth Magee takes a bet with his publisher, that he can write a novel within 24 hours and arranges for him to go a secluded mansion called Baldplate Manor in the Welsh country side. But soon as he arrives he is greeted by two creepy caretakers and despite being told that the place is deserted, more and more people start to turn up, namely the previous owners The Grisbanes who hold a dark secret surrounding the place, and soon enough things start to take a strange turn with people ending up getting murdered.

Well for starters the mystery element to this is very effective, and the tension that surrounds the mansion is well handled along with perhaps every horror movie cliché known to man thrown in for extra delight and plus featuring the legendary cast of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Sheila Keith all in one movie, is a pure joy for any movie buff. Once all the guests arrive at the manor then the movie gets going at a very brisk and cracking pace, where event after event is thrown at the viewer, and the shocks and thrills never seem to stop and I loved the angle of which the story takes you, where we find out about the reason why the Grisbanes have returned to free their long lost son/brother from his prison of 40 years for committing a murder of a pregnant girl, then finding that he's escaped and is on a rampage of revenge, where the innocent bystanders get caught up in this terrifying web. The horror scenes are well delivered in this with some shocking twists and turns that keeps you guessing until the very end and with some brilliant and grisly deaths to enjoy along the way, and okay there are two random characters thrown in about halfway through for just pure fodder, but that only adds more fun to this movie.

The acting performances, well what can I say from such legends and even the other cast members are well performed. The main character played by Dezi Arnaz Jr really holds his own surrounded by the screen legends and gives a very decent performance as the cynical American writer. Vincent Price gives a wonderful performance as always and may be known for hamming it up at times, but who cares with his brilliant dialogue and scene stealing presence. Christopher Lee, gives a no nonsense presence and pulls it off greatly, with his sharp dialogue and forceful manner, and as the movie goes on, he's given more layers to his character which works superbly. Peter Cushing plays a different type of character than his usual domineering presence in the Hammer films, here he is wonderfully eccentric and lovable and is the perfect foiling against the other two. Sheila Keith whose another brilliant and genius addition to this cast, in full creepiness mode and always a joy to watch in this and (House Of Whipcord, Frightmare and The Comeback), despite not given enough screen time and bows out relatively early, she gives an astounding memorable performance. John Carradine is another pleasing surprise in this, and gives a strong performance. Then finally Julie Peasgood as the love interest Mary, who I found rather likable and despite not being as memorable as the others, she was still a nice addition to the cast.

All in all "House Of Long Shadows" is a wonderful throwback to the good old glory days of horror, that's highly entertaining and a hell of a lot of fun, the ending may be a slap in the face to some, but I found it rather fun, although does get rather confusing at the very end, but the other twists and turns that precede this, are brilliantly done and this stands as a brilliant must see for any horror fans.