The Horror of It All

The Horror of It All is a 1964 American horror comedy film directed by Terence Fisher and with a screenplay by Ray Russell. It stars Pat Boone and Erica Rogers.[1][2]

The Horror of It All
Directed byTerence Fisher
Produced byexecutive
Robert L. Lippert
Margia Dean
Written byRay Russell
StarringPat Boone
Erica Rogers
Dennis Price
Music byDouglas Gamley
CinematographyArthur Lavis
Edited byRobert Winter
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
August 19, 1964
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States


American encyclopedia salesman Jack Robinson arrives at a dilapidated mansion in the English countryside belonging to the Marley family. Robinson has fallen in love with Cynthia and wants to ask permission to marry her.

Cynthia's family include: her uncle Percival, an inventor; her cousin Natalia, a macabre, vampire-like creature; Cornwallis, a hammy ex-actor; her uncle Reginald; Grandfather, who lies bedridden upstairs; and cousin Muldoon, who is kept locked up in the fear that he will harm someone.

A cousin of Cynthia has just died and Conrwallis dies after drinking a toast. Jack wants to get the police but they are 20 miles away and the family have no car (Jack's has broken down).

Several attempts are made on Jack's life. He learns that the family fortune consists of one million dollars and one of the Marleys intends to end up with all of it. Later grandpa is killed.

Jack and Cynthia make a dash for freedom and Cynthia reveals that she is the murderer. She conks out Jack.

In hospital, Jack discovered that Cynthia made up the confession to protect him - the real killer is Cornwallis, who was pretending to be dead.



The film was made at Shepperton Studios in England. The story is essentially a comedic remake of the classic Universal Studios horror film The Old Dark House (1932) which had already been remade as a comedy, The Old Dark House (1963 film), a year earlier. The plot also has elements of the horror-comedy Murder, He Says (1945).


The Los Angeles Times thought Terence Fisher "had the right idea playing the silly plot for laughs but his snail's pace spoils the show. He kills much of the humour by holding a scene after he's made his point."[3]

According to Diabolique magazine "The movie is populated by a fine supporting cast of English character actors playing various eccentrics...Boone is a solid straight man, and the film is lively. It’s not up to something like The Cat and the Canary (1939) which it was clearly aping, but those films are harder to do than they look. It’s not bad. It could have done with color and songs."[4]


  2. HORROR OF IT ALL, the. (1966, Monthly Film Bulletin, 33, 124. Retrieved from
  3. Creaky Plots Mark New 'Horror' Program Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times 11 Sep 1964: F12.
  4. Vagg, Stephen (10 September 2019). "The Surprisingly Interesting Cinema of Pat Boone". Diabolique Magazine.

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