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Legend of Hell House [Blu-ray] (1973)

Roddy McDowall , Pamela Franklin , John Hough  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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"Out of the Past" Available on Blu-ray
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. Shop now

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Product Details

  • Actors: Roddy McDowall, Pamela Franklin
  • Directors: John Hough
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00JHH22O4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,452 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New Interview With Director John Hough
  • New Audio Commentary With Actress Pamela Franklin
  • Theatrical Trailer

    Editorial Reviews

    It sits here, shrouded in mist and mystery, a nesting place for living evil and terror from the dead. It’s Hell House. Roddy McDowall heads the cast of this exciting chiller about four psychic investigators and the dark, brooding mansion they call the Mt. Everest of haunted houses. It’s already destroyed one team of researchers. Now this brave quartet ventures in for another try at unraveling its secrets. But before they succeed, they must suffer through madness, murder and everything else that the spirits who dwell here have in store for them. Yet learning the truth just might drive them all insane. An ingeniously devised ghost story, The Legend Of Hell House will thrill and delight veteran horror fans from the first creaking door to the very last slithering shadow.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    Horror or suspense movies that take place in haunted houses are tough to do. The remake of "The Haunting", for example, managed to be too literal and show too much which undermined its effectiveness especially compared to Robert Wise's spare, stark original film which was much more about atmosphere.

    Richard Matheson's novel ("Hell House")and screenplay for "The Legend of Hell House" was something of a homage to Shirley Jackson's novel "The Haunting of Hill House" (and Robert Wise's classic film adapted from it "The Haunting"). The two novels and films have the same basic premise but go in different directions with them.

    Physicist Lionel Barrett (Clive Reville)is hired to investigate the possibility of life after death. The location selected is that of the Belasco House once owned by the imposing Emeric Belasco. According to legend, Belasco was a sexual pervert who tortured his victims and their spirits supposedly still reside inside its walls.

    Barrett hires two different mediums to participate in the experiment with him and his wife ((Gayle Hunnicutt). The first psychic is Ben Fischer (the late Roddy MacDowall)a survivor of a previous experiment in the house who reluctantly agrees to participate because he needs the money. The second Florence Tanner (Pamela Franklin)has her own motivation for wanting to join the party.

    Shout Factory does a nice job of renovating Hell House for its Blu-ray debut. The film has never looked quite this good--images are quite nice with depth and there's little to no debris evident in this transfer. There are occasionally small scratches and speckles but, on the whole, the film looks quite nice.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars ONE (of the two) SCARIEST FILMS I EVER SAW ...! October 1, 2014
    OK -- this review, even though I see it is now FINALLY out on DVD & BLU-RAY (yeaaahhh!) -- is based on when I saw it in the theaters back in the early 70's ...

    That said ...... in terms of being the two scariest films I'd ever seen; despite being filmed & released theatrically a decade apart ...

    ... there first came director ROBERT WISE'S 'THE HAUNTING' (1963) from the novel 'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson and then --

    -- director JOHN HOUGH'S 'THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE' (1973) from (alas, the recently late and forever great) Richard Matheson's novel / screenplay 'Hell House'. (FYI: He gave us the oh-so-Vampire-epic novel 'I Am Legend' -- that became the films 'THE LAST MAN ON EARTH', 'THE OMEGA MAN' & 'I AM LEGEND')

    I share these credits by Mr. Matheson because when you had him writing your screenplay of his novels, you had one of the best.

    SPOILER ALERT: And, so -- please forgive the rambling as part of this review comes from the eyes and memories of a then 14 year old boy and so, I best jump to the proverbial chase. This film, had not a single CGI effect (not invented yet) -- nor was there a man in a ghost suit (if ever they made one, that is ...) -- nupe .... 'THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE' relied on the best special effects ever created:

    a) What you HEARD on the sound-track (from an electronic music score and sound effects created by Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson) and --

    b) Then what your BRAIN SAW in your IMAGINATION from what the film's perfectlly casted actors reacted to (Roddy McDowell, Clive Revill, Gayle Hunnicutt, Pamela Franklin and as 'Emeric Belasco' aka, the notorious "Roaring Giant" -- Michael Gough ...
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    4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars THE 2ND GREATEST HAUNTED HOUSE MOVIE EVER MADE August 30, 2014
    So my guess is the immediate question is what is number one? That is reserved for, and always will be in my mind, Robert Wise' THE HAUNTING. That movie set the stage for haunted house films. The great thing is that this movie tips its hat to that film in the extras. This is not to say that his film doesn't deserve great rewards though. It stands out as an amazing movie in the genre, filled with enough scares to haunt your dreams and enough great moments to deserve a spot in the horror hall of fame.

    If you've never seen the movie this is your chance. Shout Factory has gone out of their way to present the film in all of its eerie glory with a transfer that doesn't overly clean up the print but allows it to retain that fog shrouded walk to the house as it was first seen and presents it much as I recall seeing it that first time as a second billed film at the drive in. Too bad they didn't realize that the better film that night was this one, so good that I can't even recall what the first movie was after all these years.

    The story takes place in the Belasco house, a home said to contain the most evil of spirits. The current owner employs Dr. Barrett (Clive Revill) to give him conclusive proof that there is or is not life after death. To do so he gives him one week inside the house with all expenses to get his equipment there. He also insists that a select team accompany Barrett including a psychic named Florence Tanner (Pamela Franklin) and the only survivor of a previous effort to the house, Benjamin Fischer (Roddy McDowell). If they make it through the week and return with the answers he seeks, each will be paid handsomely.

    Joining the group is Barrett's wife Ann (Gayle Hunnicutt).
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    I had this on standard DVD, much clearer on my 70" TV with the Blue Ray.
    Published 1 day ago by Stephen Montoya
    5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
    great movie
    Published 22 days ago by roy evans
    5.0 out of 5 stars "The Mount Everest of Haunted House Movies"
    Haunted house movies don't get the respect they deserve.

    The truth is, IMO there have been fewer than a handful of classic haunted house movies ever made: the original... Read more
    Published 24 days ago by Jerry P. Danzig
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    liked very much
    Published 29 days ago by Frederick Rieger
    3.0 out of 5 stars Commentary Track is out of sync
    My rating isn't about the film, which I enjoy, despite the silly ending, my problem is with the blu ray's commentary track. It's out of sync with what's going on in the film. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Dwight Kemper
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Fast-Moving and CREEPY!
    This is one of my favorite haunted house movies along with "The Changeling", "The Haunting" and my all-time favorite--"The Innocents"! Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Stellar Jay
    5.0 out of 5 stars Another great horror film
    Another great horror film that I saw when I was a kid, this one sticks with you like The Haunting (1963), Audrey Rose (1977), The Innocents (1961), and The Haunting of Julia... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Bartok Kinski
    3.0 out of 5 stars Ghostliness all around
    When it comes to horror movies, less is more -- the less you show, the more scares you have. And "The Legend of Hell House" is an excellent example of that, with the scares... Read more
    Published 4 months ago by E. A Solinas
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Will This FINALLY Include the Edited Footage?
    Perhaps if you'd share what would make it "complete" then someone might be able to answer. :)
    May 21, 2014 by Darrel Christenson |  See all 12 posts
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