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13 Ghosts


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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Herbert, Jo Morrow, Martin Milner, Rosemary DeCamp, Donald Woods
  • Directors: William Castle
  • Writers: Robb White
  • Producers: William Castle
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai
  • Dubbed: Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2001
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005N5RQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "13 Ghosts" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "The Magic of Illusion-O"
  • Theatrical introduction from William Castle on how to use the Illusion-O glasses
  • Note: "Illusion-O" glasses are not included with this DVD

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Donald Woods, Charles Herbert, Margaret Hamilton. A typical all-American family inherits a house from a recently deceased uncle-and it's haunted. 1960/b&w/88 min/NR/widescreen.

Amazon.com

This terrific haunted-house thriller proved an unforgettable experience for 1960 audiences. Set in the mansion of a deceased scientist named Dr. Zorba, the story finds the late occult practitioner's nephew discovering a bunch of elusive spooks on the premises that can be seen only through Zorba's ghost-viewing glasses. Produced and directed by legendary showman William Castle, master of such garish, audience-pleasing gimmicks as flying skeletons and electric-shock theater seats, 13 Ghosts was hyped with an innovative process called "Illusion-O." Movie patrons were furnished with special, red-and-blue-colored glasses that allowed them to choose to see the titular specters or not. This DVD does not provide a working replica of the Illusion-O viewer (earlier copies did), but it offers both a straight, black-and-white version of the feature (no viewer necessary) and a version with the film's original tinted scenes requiring the viewer for extra fun. Also included is Castle's own introduction, in which he explains the Illusion-O technique. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Very fun movie with real ghosts.
Josh Hitchens
The 'Ghost Viewer', in this sense, is a contradictory device... but amusing nonetheless.
savior_vivre
I loved this movie when I was a young kid and we saw it in 3D.
Joan Vincent

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
William Castle was reknowned for showman gimmicks to which he gave cheesy names, such as "Percept-O," "Fright Break," and "Emerg-O." Although some of these effects were pretty silly, some were fairly complicated--and most of them relied upon the communial nature of a theatre audience for effect. Consequently, a contemporary viewer sitting in the comfort of the living room simply doesn't have much opportunity to experience a Castle film as it was originally presented. But there is one exception. The gimmick for Castle's 13 GHOSTS was "Illusion-O," which required the audience to use color filters (available at the box office) similar to 3-D glasses to see the ghosts in the film. Until recently, all available prints of 13 GHOSTS have been shown in simple black and white with the ghosts always visible, but the recent DVD release restores the tint process, and now you too can have the fun of a William Castle film right in your own home.
Like most Castle films, the story is very basic. A financially strapped family inherits a house, and unless they actually agree to reside in it the property goes to the state. But the house is also residence to 11 ghosts "collected" by the previous owner, and his death raised the number to 12. Now all of them are out to add another to their number. Who will the victim be? The script, the design, the cinematography, and the story are just as hokey as they can be, but the cast--which includes Margaret Hamilton of "OZ" fame--plays it very straight and even without the Illusion-O process the film is a cult favorite. But Illusion-O puts the icing on top. Periodically, a caption flashes on the screen instructing you to look through the viewer. Look through the red filter, and Poof! There are ghosts galore. Look through the blue filter, and Poof! Ghosts be Gone!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mark Shanks VINE VOICE on October 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this one at the theater waaaaay back in 1960, and was scared under the seat before the initial credits were done rolling. (Hey, I was FIVE!) I've seen some of today's jaded youth scared by it, too - IF you treat it right and show it in the proper atmosphere. The writer, Robb White, also did Castle's "House on Haunted Hill", and he seems to have a knack for the occasional creepy lines (like those from a pre-"Adam 12" Marty Millner describing the death of the previous owner of the haunted house - no graphic scenes can compete with your imagination, and that's how Castle gets his best effects.) Recommended for all ages, but the more sensitive (read intelligent and imaginative) youngsters *may* have a nightmare. It's GOOD for them! ;-)
Margaret Hamilton, the never-to-be-forgotten "Wicked Witch" from "The Wizard of Oz", plays the housekeeper. Poor Margaret - she HATED this movie, and yet - she just couldn't break away from that one role. She keeps her chin up here, but it's obvious her heart's not in it.
When this was first released to theaters, the lucky members of the audience were given "Ghost Viewers" - all part of the "ILLUSION-O" marketing campaign William Castle dreamed up to market this Saturday-matinee special. These "viewers" occasionally show up on some on-line auction sites as a reminder of a more innocent time, when a Saturday afternoon at the movies was cheap, fun, and something you'd always remember.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2004
Format: DVD
Movie is a lot of fun with the Illusion-O effect, provided you get the ghost viewer glasses. I ordered a copy from Amazon in May 2004 and it did not contain the ghost viewer glasses. I returned it and they sent me a new one that also didn't contain the glasses. I suggested that their whole batch was bad. They responded that the problem was larger than they thought and they would straighten it out, but couldn't provide me with a copy with the viewers at this time, and would refund my money. I ordered a copy from an outfit in Canada (Tampoo.com) and it contained the glasses. I discovered that the flyer inside contained a panel for ordering more glasses that expired in December, 2002 that was not attached to the flyer that came with the Amazon copies. It appears that Columbia Tristar ran out of the glasses and are knowingly releasing copies of the DVD without them.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By William G. Ratcliffe on January 19, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Taking into consideration that the film is a classic, what i was rather angry about was the absence of the 'viewer' that was supposed to be included with the dvd. I am inclined to return the dvd to Amazon.com, and suggest those who may want to purchase this dvd to not do so for the reason that i did not get what i paid for.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 15, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
William Castle made his directorial career out of spooks and curses -- both human and supernatural. One of his frothier films was "13 Ghosts," which doesn't come near the caliber of his better films, but is still fun to watch as a sort of supernatural sitcom. It isn't hard to imagine this as a TV series.

The Zorba family has just had their furniture repossessed (again) when Cyrus (Donald Woods) receives a letter from young lawyer Ben Rush (Martin Milner). His reclusive uncle just died, leaving the family a mansion and a pair of goggles for ghost-viewing. Grateful for this, Cyrus moves in with his wife and kids, despite Ben's insistence that something evil is lurking in the house.

And soon the Zorba family is being plagued by the twelve ghosts, from ghostly lions to a temperamental chef. Now they want out, and fast -- but they don't realize that Ben wants them to leave so he can find the money hidden somewhere in the house. Will Ben find the money and get away with it? And who will be the thirteenth ghost haunting the house?

"13 Ghosts" is a pretty straightforward film, with straightforward characters in a straightforward situation. Basically, it's like a long sitcom episode with ghosts -- we have your basic 1960s nuclear family (working dad, housewife, two kids) encountering a problem, and sort of bumbling into a solution.

The movie was made nearly fifty years ago, which means that the ghosts aren't too convincing, especially since Castle used a short-lived visual gimmick called "Illusion-O" (which for some reason is still on the DVDs). But Castle makes up for that with some entertaining scenes like the chef-specter flinging knives around the kitchen, and generates some real eeriness in the seance scene.
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