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Summary 9.0 great
The Comedy of Terrors
Release year: 1963
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Screenwriter: Richard Matheson
Starring: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Joyce Jameson, Joe E. Brown, Beverly Powers, Basil Rathbone
Unscrupulous and dishonest, undertaker Waldo Trumbull (Price) reuses the same coffin over and over again to save money, while forcing associate Felix Gillie (Lorre) to do unspeakable things to increase business. One day he thinks of a way to kill two birds with one stone, but things doesn’t go as planned.
Charming horror comedy The Comedy of Terror sees the trio of iconic horror stars Price (House of Wax, 1953), Lorre (M, 1931) and Karloff (The Bride of Frankenstein, 1935) together in a movie that focuses more on laughs than terror and with great success! Price is delightful as the mean drunk stuck in an unloving marriage and Jameson (Death Race 2000, 1975) hilarious as the suffering wife who thinks she has the voice of a nightingale. Lorre makes the most of his big, sad eyes and instantly gain your sympathy while Rathbone (Terror by Night, 1946) changes his serious Mr. Holmes mimics for a great comic part as the landlord with a problem when it comes to staying dead. An almost unrecognizable Karloff may be half-asleep during most of the movie, but that doesn’t stop him from bringing laughs to this delightful low-production movie, which obvious sets only adds to the charm. A must for anyone fan of horror comedy!
Boris Karloff was originally hired to play the landlord, but the part was too straining because of his suffering health and he switched roles. The part was instead filled by Basil Rathbone.
This was one of the very last parts played by the great Peter Lorre who died only two months after the movie’s release.
The script was written by Richard Matheson, who also wrote several novels. Among others I Am Legend, A Stir of Echoes and What Dreams May Come which were all made into movies.
Picture copyrights: MGM