The storyline of “House on Haunted Hill” was so good in 1959 that a remake was created in 1999. However, many will say that it’s hard to top the late great Vincent Price. In this three part series, you will learn a bit more about the original film, as well as the remake that emerged 40 years later.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
First we will start with the movie that started it all , the 1959 version , a black and white production that did rather well at the theaters.
An eccentric millionaire, Fredrick Loren and his wife Annabelle tempt five radically different guests to join in on their “haunted house” party. They offer each of the participants $10,000 if they are able to spend a night in the residence that is tainted with a murderous past. It is believed that seven murders have taken place at the house. Five takers arise for the challenge and at midnight, the caretakers of the home seal them in the locked house with no phones and other necessities. Inside, we see a collection of frightening events befall Lance Schroeder (pilot), Ruth Bridges (journalist), Watson Prichard (owner of The House On Haunted Hill), Nora Manning (employee at one of Loren’s companies) and David Trent (psychiatrist).
Vincent Price, a master at horror films plays Frederick Loren.
“House on Haunted Hill” Trivia and Facts
Taglines used to market the movie included “See it with someone with warm hands,” “The 13 greatest shocks of all time,” “Consult your doctor! Bring your seat belts,” “First Film With the Amazing New Wonder EMERGO: The Thrills Fly Right Into The Audience,” The 13 Greatest SHOCKS ever seen,” and “Acclaimed The Super-Shocker Of The Century.”
Want to drive by the site of the first “House on Haunted Hill?” The filming of the movie took place at the Ennis-Brown House, located on 2655 Glendower Avenue in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. This particular residence was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1924. Today, you will find the house listed on the National Historic Register. The home served as the site for the exterior shots of the haunted house when we first see the opening sequence of the film.
The film brought in quite a bit of money for its time, which piqued the interest of Alfred Hitchcock. This would encourage him to film his own low-budget horror flick. The result was “Psycho” in 1960.
Julie Mitchum (sister to Robert Mitchum) played Ruth Bridgers in the movie. This would be the last production she would appear in. She only acted in five films in her career.
If you’re wondering what the “Emergo” effect mentioned in the above tagline was all about, continue on to Part II of “Haunted House Movie Trivia and Facts: “House on Haunted Hill” to learn more about the 1959 version, as well as enjoy an introduction to the 1999 remake that starred Taye Diggs and Geoffrey Rush.