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

Roddy McDowall , Pamela Franklin , John Hough  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.97
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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

Frequently Bought Together

Legend of Hell House [Blu-ray] + Phantom Of The Paradise (Collector's Edition) [Bluray/DVD Combo] [Blu-ray]
Price for both: $43.87

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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00JHH22O4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,303 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
    15 of 16 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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    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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    6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Fast-Moving and CREEPY! August 28, 2014
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    This is one of my favorite haunted house movies along with "The Changeling", "The Haunting" and my all-time favorite--"The Innocents"! The new blu ray release is definitely worth owning but you may also want to hang onto your old 20th Century Fox dvd if you have it. The dvd has a mono audio track AND a 4.0 surround track. The blu ray has only the mono track. To my ears the 4.0 surround on the dvd sounds better--especially the music score and the sound of the passing train when Roddy McDowall's character is introduced. It's pulls you into the film. Too bad it's not included on the blu ray. The blu ray video quality is quite good but I was surprised to see that the two blurry vertical lines that appeared on the right side of the screen during the final minutes of the film on the dvd also show up on the blu ray--a minor distraction but one I was hoping they'd be able to eliminate on the HD transfer.
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    3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars "The Mount Everest of Haunted House Movies" September 7, 2014
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    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 "Haunting," "The Woman in Black," "Paranormal Activity," and "The Legend of Hell House."

    What makes a classic haunted house movie? Well, the director, script, and actors, of course. But a really effective -- by that I mean SCARY -- haunted house movie needs a deliberate, very carefully modulated pace.

    Some haunted house movies have failed miserably on this score, notably "Poltergeist," the "Haunting" remake, "Insidious," "The Conjuring," and "1408," among others. Start piling on too many scares too quickly, and the film loses tension. (In fact, almost all the great horror films, including "Alien," "The Birds," "Psycho," and "The Exorcist" take at least the full first half-hour setting up the plot and characters, before any hint of something frightening occurs.)

    Superior haunted house movies also rely on subtle effects, including sound effects as in "The Haunting." What you imagine is often scarier than what you see...

    And most great haunted house movies need a great haunted house ("Paranormal Activity" is a rare exception, with events there occurring in a typical suburban house.)

    Well, "The Legend of Hell House" knocks it out of the ballpark in all these areas. The acting by a committed cast, direction by a veteran B-film director who transcended the genre here, and above all the screenplay by the late great Richard Matheson, based on his book "Hell House" (which haunted house fans will definitely want to read), all set this sublime spookfest apart.
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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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