A film still (sometimes called a publicity still or a production still) is a photograph taken on or off the set of a movie or television program during production. These photographs are also taken in formal studio settings and venues of opportunity such as film stars' homes, film debut events, and commercial settings. The photos were taken by studio photographers for promotional purposes. Such stills consisted of posed portraits, used for public display or free fan handouts, which are sometimes autographed. They can also consist of posed or candid images taken on the set during production, and may include stars, crew members or directors at work.
The main purpose of such publicity stills is to help studios advertise and promote their new films and stars. Studios therefore send those photos along with press kits and free passes to as many movie-related publications as possible so as to gain free publicity. Such photos were then used by newspapers and magazines, for example, to write stories about the stars or the films themselves. Hence, the studio gains free publicity for its films, while the publication gains free stories for its readers. ~ from Wikipedia
I invite you to read all the details on the Wikipedia site.
In that attempt to count them I'll focus on US promotional pictures. Some foreign countries (outside the USA) issued some promotional pictures, but they were merely reprints of US promotional pictures, with a different movie title and accompanying text.
A first I was simply delighted to have a few 5303-number promotional pictures. Then I realised, from the numbering scheme, that at least 100+ pictures were out there. While augmenting my collection, I got a few 5303-Xnumber pictures; pictures with "technical/making of" scenes. I don't know how many of them were released. Later on, among my collection of "portrait" or "landscape" pictures, I realised that some pictures were available in both formats, with the same reference number.
So at the end of it all, I assume there are roughly 200+ US promotional pictures available: 100+ "portrait" pictures, plus 100+ "landscape" pictures, plus an unknown number of "X"-numbered technical pictures.
They are very attracting for several reasons:
A film poster is a poster used to promote and advertise a film. Studios often print several posters that vary in size and content for various domestic and international markets. They normally contain an image with text. Today's posters often feature photographs of the main actors. Prior to the 1990s, illustrations instead of photos were far more common. The text on film posters usually contains the film title in large lettering and often the names of the main actors. It may also include a tagline, the name of the director, names of characters, the release date, etc.
Film posters are displayed inside and on the outside of movie theaters, and elsewhere on the street or in shops. The same images appear in the film exhibitor's pressbook and may also be used on websites, DVD (and historically VHS) packaging, flyers, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, etc.
Film posters have been used since the earliest public exhibitions of film. They began as outside placards listing the programme of (short) films to be shown inside the hall or movie theater. By the early 1900s, they began to feature illustrations of a film scene or an array of overlaid images from several scenes. Other posters have used artistic interpretations of a scene or even the theme of the film, represented in a wide variety of artistic styles. ~ from Wikipedia
I invite you to read all the details on the Wikipedia site
Apparently, the foreign distributors had a huge freedom with the posters. In most of these foreign (non US) countries, the movie poster bears no resemblance at all with the original US poster. It is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because some of these new artworks are really well thought and executed; a curse because some of them are quite sloppy and uninspired, not to say ugly.
It is very nice to realise that decades after its original release, the movie still inspire young artists to create exciting "fan-art" posters.
These two posters were designed by Michelle B. Milton.
Lobby cards are similar to posters but smaller, usually 11 in x 14 in (28 cm x 36 cm), also 8 in x 10 in (20 cm x 25 cm) before 1930. Lobby cards are collectible and values depend on their age, quality, and popularity. Typically issued in sets of eight, each featuring a different scene from the film. In unusual circumstances, some releases were promoted with larger (12 cards) or smaller sets (6 cards). ~ from Wikipedia
I invite you to read all the details on the Wikipedia site
I belong to a generation who witnessed the emergence of Internet in the mid-90s. When I was a teenager, in the 80s, selecting a movie to go and see what very different. There was no YouTube, IMdB, dedicated web sites or apps. Nothing like that. To make a choice, you had to:
More importantly: you had the lobby cards displayed in the movie theatre lobby, the main hall, before the cashier. Eventually, in case of last-minute hesitation, these lobby cards made you select a movie over another one.
Their number was quite limited, usually an even number, 6-8-10-12. They were promotional items, to be displayed in the lobby of the movie theatres. They were supposed to be teasing, to tempt you in. A clever selection which was enigmatic enough to pique your imagination to find out more, but not too much to spoil the suspense. So, in a way, they are a snapshot of the what the local distributor thought was most appropriate to entice you to buy a ticket.
I had already scanned all of them in the past, but I rescanned everything in summer 2016 with my new scanner, much better than the previous models I used in the past.
I need to state that all the lobby cards reproduced on this site have been digitally "cleaned" and "restored" with appropriate photo editing tools. All my lobby cards are in excellent condition, but one can expect some yellowing of the paper after 50 years or so. The staple marks and other scratches were fixed. The supposedly-white part was whitened. The colour cards (USA, Mexico) were revived with more intense colours. The black and white cards (France, Germany, UK) were rejuvenated with darker black and bright whites. Extra care has been taken not to drown all details with excessive black levels.
I hope I got closer to the original lobby cards, in their 1963 pristine mint condition. But what you see here is not what you will get if you buy your own set of lobby cards.
If you wonder what the inspiration was for the green-tinted cards, then look no further: it comes directly from the superb US posters, mainly black and green.
The four intruders on a scientific investigation enter a long-unopened room and experience a gripping chill.
Thundering moans and horrible roars follow a screaming Julie Harris through menacing corridors.
Beautiful Claire Bloom reacts coldly to Russ Tamblyn, the conceited heir to the house of terror.
Reluctantly, a shattered Julie Harris leaves Hill House as Claire Bloom and Richard Johnson stay on.
Terrified, the intruders at Hill House listen to the shrieking and crashing of the unknown haunt.
Amid the gloom of Hill House, a shy and timid Julie Harris starts to fall in love with Richard Johnson.
The scene of suicide long ago holds strange fascination for Claire Bloom, Russ Tamblyn and Richard Johnson.
Julie Harris' mind begins to succumb to the terror of Hill House and her companions have cause to worry.
I like these very colourful, very large Mexican lobby cards. It makes me wonder about what the colourized version of the movie looks like.
These cards required a special treatment: their size is beyond the A3 format (a standard European size of paper, 420 x 297 mm) of my already very generously large scanner.
On the lower right side of each card, there is a text that reads:
¡En la casa misteriosa... los muertos están inquietos!
¿Quién podrá calmarlos?
¿Quien puede acallar los lamentos, los aterradores gritos, los ruidos escalofriantes?
Which can be translated as:
In the mysterious house ... the dead are restless!
What do they want?
Who will be able to calm them down?
Who can silence the wailing, the terrifying screams, the chilling noises?
France was very generously served with many cards! I still miss a few of them. Strangely, they are in landscape or portrait format. Mixing the orientation of the card is weird.
I like the classic "not in the movie" promo picture of the team, in front of the house, all looking in the same direction. It is still very strange for me to realise that I actually slept in that room.
The (West-)German lobby cards are quite interesting too because they make a better use of the surface: the photo covers it all, with just a logo to mention the name of the movie.
There can't be an odd number of lobby cards, so I keep on looking.
In that set, I really like the one where Eleanor is sitting on the spiral staircase, with a strange look in the eye, staring at something.
This set also uses the classic "not in the movie" promo picture of the team, in front of the house, all looking in the same direction, this time with a wider frame.
Some unscrupulous fans are trying to pass off their own contemporary productions as special MGM lobby cards from 1963 in order to sell them on internet. Those in the know immediately notice several obvious problems that betray the deception.
I don't want to explain everything which is wrong, at the risk of seeing a corrected version appear.
MGM created promotional items both domestically (US) and internationally.
In the US, the Exhibitor's Campaign book is a "must have" in any serious collection. This extra-large 12-page booklet presents the movie and the actors but more importantly all the promotional material that can be used in the magazines and local newspapers, the various posters, some radio announcements (1m, 30s, 20s, 10s) and a few suggestions to create more buzz about the film.
[Part 1] Terror of the unknown frightens Julie Harris and Richard Johnson in a scene from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre motion picture of the supernatural, "The Haunting" — a ghost story set in the present day. Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn also star in the nerve-tingling drama, filmed in Panavision and produced and directed by Robert Wise.
[Part 2] Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn in a scene from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre motion picture of the supernatural, "The Haunting" — a ghost story set in the present day. Their psychic investigation, with Julie Harris and Richard Johnson, of a monstrous house becomes a fascinating and terrifying experience in the new Robert Wise production, filmed in Panavision.
[Part 3] Claire Bloom plays an unconventional girl who joins a group scientifically investigating a haunted house in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre drama of the supernatural, "The Haunting." Julie Harris, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn also star in the nerve-tingling story of the unknown, produced and directed by Robert Wise. It is in Panavision.
[Part 4] Richard Johnson, as the professor who leads the scientific investigation of a haunted house in "The Haunting," Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre drama of the supernatural — a ghost story set in the present day. Julie Harris, Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn also star in the nerve-tingling drama, filmed in Panavision and produced and directed by Robert Wise.
[Part 5] "THE HAUNTING," A GHOST STORY SET IN THE PRESENT DAY, IS YEAR'S MOST HAIR-RAISING EXERCISE IN SCREEN TERROR
Chilling Drama of the Supernatural, Starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Harris and Russ Tamblyn, Was Produced and Directed for MGM By Academy Award-Winning Robert Wise.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's new film, "The Haunting," a ghost story set in the present day, is the year's most hair-raising exercise in screen terror. Produced and directed by Robert Wise, Academy Award-winner for "West Side Story," the versatile producer-director has gone far afield from that prize-winning musical in filming a chilling drama of the supernatural, starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn. Based on Shirley Jackson's novel, "The Haunting of Hill House," dealing with extrasensory perception, the story contains no clutching hands, no shrouded corpses. Translating its terror to the screen, therefore, meant for the most part stating fear in its most basic form, the unknown fear of sheer suggestion. The action of "The Haunting" takes place in Hill House, a New England mansion in which three mysterious deaths have occurred and which has a legend of evil as a house "that was born bad."
It is this legend that is being investigated by a team of psychic research workers led by Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson), an open-minded professor of anthropology. He has chosen his team with care.
There is Eleanor (Julie Harris) who has a childhood history of experience wills the supernatural which makes her an obvious choice. The beautiful Theo (Claire Bloom) has a background of startling abilities in extrasensory perception, although she appears to be joining in the experiment to satisfy a whim in her unconventional Bohemian life. The fourth member of the team is Luke Sannerson (Russ Tamblyn) nephew of the owner of Hill House and a complete skeptic.
The haunting begins quietly, nothing more than an icy, chuckling caress from nowhere across Eleanor's cheek. Then, more insistently, her name is spelled out in the dust in a long dead corridor. Her face materializes in an antique sculpture. And still the girl refuses to understand.
The forces of evil reach a demoniac climax with the arrival of Markway's wife, Grace (Lois Maxwell), a practical, down-to-earth woman who wants her husband to give up his experiments. To prove her own disbelief, she prepares to spend the night in the nursery which previous experiments have shown to be the psychic heart of the house. At midnight, roaring, screaming waves of rage crash through the house. And, finally, Eleanor faces the truth. Hill House is no longer but a writhing, hissing organism. It is calling Eleanor's name. Will she answer the chilling invitation?
"The Haunting" was filmed in Panavision on locations in England. Nelson Gidding wrote the screen play, with the picture's eerie music composed and conducted by Humphrey Searle.
The screen has seen all sorts of thrillers and chillers, but never a picture like "The Haunting." It will leave the viewer with a feeling of foreboding long after he has left the theatre. It is haunting entertainment at its best.
[Part 6] CAST
ELEANOR ... JULIE HARRIS
THEO ... CLAIRE BLOOM
DR. JOHN MARKWAY ... RICHARD JOHNSON
LUKE SANNERSON ... RUSS TAMBLYN
GRACE MARKWAY ... LOIS MAXWELL
MRS. DUDLEY ... ROSALIE CRUTCHLEY
MRS. SANNERSON ... FAY COMPTON
MR. DUDLEY ... VALENTINE DYALL
CONIE FREDERICKS ... DIANE CLARE
ELDRIDGE HARPER ... RONALD ADAM
A Robert Wise Production. Directed by Robert Wise. Screen Play by Nelson Gidding. Based on the novel "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson. Music Composed and Conducted by Humphrey Searle. Director of Photography: David Boulton. In Panavision. Production Designed by Elliot Scott. Special Effects: Tom Howard, F.R.P.S. Edited by Ernest Walter. Assistant Director: Dodd Tomblin. Claire Bloom's Clothes by Mary Quant. Hairdresser Joan Johnstone. Make-Up by Tom Smith. Associate Producer: Denis Johnson. Recording Supervisor: A. W. Watkins. Dubbing Editor: Allan Sones. Dubbing Mixer: J. B. Smith. Sound Recordist: Gerry Turner. Casting Director: Irene Howard. Continuity: Hazel Swift. Sketch Artist: Ivor Beddoes. Set Director: John Jarvis. Wardrobe Supervisor: Maude Churchill. Camera Operator: Alan McCabe. An Argyle Enterprises Picture. Presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
[Part 7] CREATING TERROR BY "COLD SPOTS"
Producer-director Robert Wise devised a special technique for filming "cold spot" scenes in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "The Haunting," a shock-drama of the supernatural.
A "cold spot" is the term used by psychic investigators to indicate an area of intense cold which can be felt by the human body but cannot be recorded on any thermometer. Such a "cold spot" forms the heart of the haunted house which Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn investigate in the film.
After lengthy experiments, Wise and cinematographer Dave Boulton perfected a unique technique of showing the skin's reaction to intense cold.
The stars wore special make-up, and filters were put over the lights as they entered the "cold spot" to heighten the illusion of sub-zero cold.
[Part 8] HOW DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH "NOTHING"?
ROBERT WISE FINDS UNIQUE SOLUTION
The problem facing Producer-director Robert Wise was as simple as it was impossible — how do you photograph nothing?
"The Haunting," Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer drama of the supernatural, starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn, amounted almost to that.
Shirley Jackson's novel, "The Haunting of Hill House," on which the film is based, is one of the most chilling ghost stories ever written, but it contains no clutching hands or shrouded corpses. Translating its terror to the screen meant for the most part stating fear in its most basic form — the unknown fear of sheer suggestion.
There was the "cold spot," for example, an area of intense cold which can be felt but cannot be recorded on any thermometer, a phenomenon frequently associated with the paranormal.
"I had counted on the actors playing the 'quality of cold' in this sequence," Wise stated, "but it was obvious we would also have to do something photographically."
After exhaustive tests, the stars wore special make-up, and filters were put over the lights as they entered the "cold spot" to heighten the illusion of sub-zero cold.
Hill House, itself, also required special treatment. Accompanied by the film's art director and lighting cameraman, Wise scoured England and Wales and leafed through countless guide books to find a mansion with the mystery of the original. Near Shakespeare's Stratford-on-Avon they found Ettington Park, a Gothic ancestral home with a history first outlined in the Doomsday Book.
To introduce a feeling of evil, Wise and his team experimented by filming in various lights. But without success at first. The director finally hit on the idea of using infra-red film, and stock was rushed over from Belgium for the tests.
"The effect is startling," Wise stated, "especially the way it picked out the various tones of the bricks. It gave the house a quality that lies a couple of steps beyond pure reality. The infra-red film also has the power to turn all greenery containing chlorophyll a dazzling white, making the setting even more bizarre."
But it is in the world of sound that "The Haunting" proved most ingenious. A six-man crew, headed by dubbing editor Allan Sones, took over an empty 17th century manor house in the English countryside. Working in shifts day and night for a week, they recorded every sound which developed, as well as a few synthetic secrets of their own.
Doors, they reported, do slam for no apparent reason and floorboards do creak when no one treads on them. At the end of the week, they had collated the most bizarre sound track ever to he used in a movie — one which sent shivers down the backs of hardened studio technicians who later heard it.
[Part 9] "DYING" CAN BE A LIVING IN MOVIES
In Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's shocker of the supernatural, "The Haunting," England's famous stunt girl, Connie Tilton, not only portrays two different characters but is subject to two "deaths."
At the beginning of the film, she plunges to her death from a flight of stairs. Subsequently, in her second characterization, she hangs herself from the top of a spiral staircase. When Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn, who star in "The Haunting," congratulated Miss Tilton on her "double death," she shrugged and said, "It's a living."
The stunt girl has been making her living in this intrepid fashion for a long time. She started her movie stunting career by taking Vivien Leigh's place when the latter was supposed to jump off a 40-foot parapet in "Caesar and Cleopatra."
Among her other feats were falling from London Bridge (for Sophia Loren) in "The Millionaires"; and swimming a length of the Thames River (for Esther Williams) in "Dangerous When Wet."
Remark: a fan recently (May 2019) mentionned to me that this last part is inaccurate: [Anthony writes] The last line - "Dangerous When Wet" - was not the Esther Williams film Connie Tilton was in. The film was "Million Dollar Mermaid". "Dangerous When Wet" was shot 100% in the USA and does not feature the Thame.
[Part 10] SHORT AND SNAPPY
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's drama of the supernatural, "The Haunting," is based on Shirley Jackson's novel, "The Haunting of Hill House." When producer-director Robert Wise made the screen version, he was all in favor of the shortened title. Wise likes his film titles to be short and snappy, i.e. such of his past pictures as "Mademoiselle Fifi," "Criminal Court," "Three Secrets," "Captive City," "Destination Gobi," "Desert Rats," "Executive Suite" and "So Big." With an abbreviated title, "The Haunting" left plenty of room on the marquee for its stars — Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn.
[Part 01] STAGE IDOL NOW TACKLES MOVIES
Dark, handsome Shakespearean actor, Richard Johnson, launches into his new screen career with a starring role with Julie Harris, Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "The Haunting."
Johnson, long a London stage matinee idol, was able to make this film, only the third of his motion picture career, on home grounds. The suspenseful story, dealing with extrasensory perception and of four people who investigate the ghostly legend surrounding a haunted house, was filmed in Panavision on locations in England. He plays Dr. John Markway, an anthropologist with the insatiable curiosity of the scientific mind.
Of his two previous films, both for MGM, the first, "Never So Few," with Frank Sinatra and Gina Lollobrigida, was filmed in Hollywood; the second, "Cairo," was made entirely on locations in Egypt.
In between, he appeared on the London stage opposite Margaret Leighton in "The Wrong Side of the Park" and with Leslie Caron in "Ondine," then scored on Broadway in "The Complaisant Lover."
Johnson is principally identified with Shakespearean plays, among them "Romeo and Juliet," "Twelfth Night," "As You Like It," "Julius Caesar," "Cymbeline" and "The Tempest" with the Stratford-on-Avon Memorial Theatre.
He has played on probably half of the important theatre stages in the world, and was picked to represent British drama with Peggy Ashcroft in "The Hallow Crown" at the 1962 Paris Festival of Nations. During the last three years, he has turned down more than 100 screen parts, a phenomenal number for an actor who has made but three pictures.
"I've been eager to put in more time before the movie cameras," Johnson says, "but I've tried to be objective about it. The stage offers that have come along have been too good to turn down. Even more important, I regard the live theatre as the cornerstone of an actor's craft. When I do get down to films on a full-time basis, I hope I will be all the better for this hard-won experience."
"I want to smack picture-goers in the eye, so that at the end of a year they'll say, 'We like this guy Johnson,' or maybe, 'He makes me sick.' But I want them to have some definite reaction."
Hollywood insiders, including Robert Wise, producer-director of "The Haunting," who has made a few Academy Award-winning discoveries, predicts that audiences will definitely like Richard Johnson.
It appears that London's stage matinee idol will repeat his popularity as a movie star.
[Part 02] Richard Johnson consoles a frightened Julie Harris in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre motion picture of the supernatural, "The Haunting" — a ghost story set in the present day. Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn also star in the nerve-tingling Robert Wise production, filmed in Panavision.
[Part 03] TERROR IN A FEARSOME HAUNTED HOUSE
A monstrous haunted house and its unknown dangers close in on Julie Harris in this scene from "The Haunting," Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre motion picture of the supernatural — a ghost story set in the present day. Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn also star in the new Robert Wise production, filmed in Panavision.
[Part 04] WHILE "THE HAUNTING" WAS FILMING, ACTUAL HAUNTINGS WERE HAPPENING!
If Producer-director Robert Wise and stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn still felt any skepticism about ghosts after filming Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "The Haunting," they may have been given pause by two cases of real-life hauntings, reported in England at about the same time the last scenes of the picture were shot on location there.
This shocker, based on Shirley Jackson's novel, "The Haunting of Hill House," and dealing with the field of extrasensory perception, is set in an old country house. So were the real-life stories.
The first occurred in the 70-room Elizabethan mansion owned by the American millionaire, J. Paul Getty, in Surrey, some 30 miles from London. Mr. Getty, ignoring the reports that a pair of poltergeists (the boisterous type of ghost who throws things around) had been living in his mansion since way back in 1777, spent upwards of half-a-million dollars restoring and modernizing the place.
All went well until the coincidental final day's filming on "The Haunting." No sooner had the cameras been cleared away than the newspapers reported that two servants who were polishing a floor in the Getty mansion were unnerved when an invisible hand playfully tipped over a chair!
Mr. Getty remained unperturbed. For the ghosts, according to local legends, keep their mischief for the staff and visitors, and never appear before the master of the house.
The second coincidental case reported by the papers concerned a couple who were looking over houses in Sussex with the intention of buying one. The last house on their list was a tall, gaunt mansion surrounded by an unkempt garden.
Endeavoring to enter the house by a basement entrance, the couple were puzzled to find a brick wall barring the entryway. They were still trying to figure this out back in their own home later that evening, when the door knocker pounded. At the same moment, their dog gave a spine-chilling howl. Standing at the door was a short, stocky man wearing the uniform of a sea captain and speaking with a Scottish accent. They were able to hear only the words, "vacant possession," before the figure vanished before their eyes.
The real estate agent was not in the least surprised when they told him the story on the next day. In fact, he was pleased.
"That's good," he told the couple. "The old chap hanged himself in the basement of the house 60 years ago and his daughter had the entrance bricked up. They say he will remain there until he found an owner he approved of. Apparently, he took to you. That's why he called."
[Part 05] STARS MEET AT LAST
Although Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn are two of the stars in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-Cinerama production, "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm," they never met during the filming of that picture. Tamblyn appeared only in one of the fairy tale sequences, while Miss Bloom's appearances were confined to the biographical portions of the story. However, again co-starred in MGM's new drama of the supernatural, "The Haunting," this time Miss Bloom and Tamblyn definitely met and appeared together in much of the film, produced and directed by Robert Wise.
[Part 06] Claire Bloom and Julie Harris experience a terrifying psychic visit while conducting an investigation in the supernatural in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "The Haunting" — a ghost story set in the present day. Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn also star in the nerve-tingling drama, filmed in Panavision and produced and directed by Robert Wise.
[Part 07] FAMED JULIE HARRIS CAN'T GET USED TO BEING CALLED A HOLLYWOOD STAR
Despite the fact that she has achieved international renown on stage, screen and television, Julie Harris does not seem to be aware that she is a "star."
Miss Harris makes her latest screen appearance in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's thrill-drama of the supernatural, "The Haunting." A unique experience in the field of extrasensory perception, the suspenseful drama, filmed in England in Panavision, concerns four people — Miss Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn — who investigate the ghostly legend surrounding a haunted house. Miss Harris' role is that of Eleanor Vance, a girl who in her childhood was the object of a poltergeist, or ghostly experience.
Robert Wise, the film's producer-director, has stated that he doubts he would have tackled this picture without a guarantee that he could have the gifted Miss Harris for the demanding role of Eleanor, to whom the supernatural events in the story happen.
To this remarkably modest actress such unusual praise seems to fall on deaf ears. Her reticence, which is anything but a pose (she is always terrified at facing a new role) is a source of both amusement and irritation to her close friends and legion of admirers, who have come to know what to expect of a Julie Harris performance and who cannot understand her inability to realize that she is one of the theatre's undeniably great actresses.
Not even such honors as an Academy-Award nomination for the screen version of "Member of the Wedding" and her recent "Emmy" award for her television performance as Queen Victoria in "Victoria Regina" have bolstered Miss Harris' ego.
When it is pointed out to her that few actresses have achieved the stature of her long-run Broadway stage successes, "Member of the Wedding," "I Am a Camera," "The Lark" and "A Shot in the Dark," the play in which she scored prior to going to England for her role in "The Haunting," she invariably responds by naming other actresses whom she feels could have given better performances than her own.
The same is true of her work on the screen in the film adaptations of "Member of the Wedding" and "I Am a Camera" and in such other films as "East of Eden," "The Trouble With Women" and the widely-acclaimed "Requiem for a Heavyweight."
When she arrived in London to make "The Haunting," she was surprised that anyone had ever heard of her and amazed that the press and public should take an interest in a performer whom she self-describes as "the plainest Jane in pictures."
Miss Harris' husband, Manning Gurian, her former company manager, whom she met while starring in London with Laurence Harvey in "I Am a Camera," has never been able to get used to the fact that his famous wife does not take her many offers of Hollywood contracts seriously.
"She is always saying to me that she doesn't understand why anyone should consider casting her in a film at all," he declares. "David Selznick wanted to sign her to a year's contract and told her that he had great plans for her. But after thinking it over, she said, no. She didn't see how they could make her a movie star!"
[Part 08] THE "KOOKIE LOOK"
British fashion designer Mary Quant, who introduced the "Kookie Look" into the fashion world, has gone even "kookier" in the clothes she designed for Claire Bloom in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's shocker of the supernatural, "The Haunting."
Miss Bloom, co-starred with Julie Harris, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn, plays a young Greenwich Village artist with contempt for the conventional, including conventional clothes.
Here are some of the outfits dreamed up for the actress by Miss Quant:
A full-length coat made of giraffe skin; a black embossed velvet waistcoat fastened with brass chains; a suit of purple tweed, worn with three-quarter length Cossack suede boots!
Anyone for the new "Kookier" Look?
[Part 09] Terror of the unknown frightens Julie Harris in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre motion picture of the supernatural, "The Haunting" — a ghost story set in the present day. Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn also star in the nerve-tingling Robert Wise production, filmed in Panavision.
[Part 10] CAN'T GET ENOUGH
Handsome young British actor Richard Johnson really put in a full stint of acting during filming of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's shocker of the supernatural, "The Haunting," filmed in Panavision on locations in England.
During the day, he reported for his role as the scientist with co-stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn in the Robert Wise production.
Then, as soon as his day's work before the camera was finished, Johnson dashed off to London's Aldych Theatre for his stage role in "The Hallow Crown."
Although the play closed while "The Haunting" was still being made, the intrepid star still hadn't his fill of acting. He proceeded to appear for two nights in the Liverpool production of John Whiting's drama, "The Devils."
[Part 01] RADIO ANNOUNCEMENTS
1-MINUTE LIVE NO. 1
ANNOUNCER: The dead do not sleep at Hill House. You may not believe in ghosts, but you cannot deny the existence of terror. Robert Wise gave you "WEST SIDE STORY" and now he brings you "THE HAUNTING," a journey into the supernatural. Presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, it stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn. Hill House is where they met. Most people avoid this strange and evil house, but some are drawn by curiosity and others by forces they cannot comprehend or control. And once inside, you cannot escape the spell. Scream and no one will hear you. Run, and silent footsteps follow. Those who once dwelt within Hill House, dwell there yet ... those who have been put to rest are restless. "THE HAUNTING" is a journey into the twilight zone of your mind. "THE HAUNTING," a most unusual and provocative motion picture.
1-MINUTE LIVE NO. 2
ANNOUNCER: A dead hand beckoning from another world, a voice whispering from lifeless lips ... you may not believe in ghosts, but you cannot deny terror. MGM presents "THE HAUNTING" starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn. Directed and produced by Robert Wise who gave you "WEST SIDE STORY," "THE HAUNTING" explores the psychic unknown. Enter Hill House, that strange and awesome place, where the dead are never still, and the twilight zone of terror and fear exists. "THE HAUNTING" travels the strange and forgotten paths of the supernatural. Who is it that they want? Who can quiet the half sob ... the silent scream? See "THE HAUNTING" and perhaps you will know.
30-SECOND LIVE NO. 1
ANNOUNCER: The dead do not sleep at Hill House. MGM presents "THE HAUNTING." It stars Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. Most people avoid this strange and evil house, but some are drawn by curiosity and others by forces they cannot comprehend or understand. Once inside, scream and no one will hear you, run and silent footsteps follow. "THE HAUNTING," a most unusual and provocative motion picture.
30-SECOND LIVE NO. 2
ANNOUNCER: MGM presents "THE HAUNTING" starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. Enter Hill House, that strange and awesome place, where the dead are never still, and the twilight zone of terror and fear exists. Those who once dwelt within Hill House, dwell there yet. Who is it that they want? Who can quiet the half sob ... the silent scream? See "THE HAUNTING" and perhaps you will know.
20-SECOND LIVE NO. 1
ANNOUNCER: The dead do not sleep at Hill House. MGM presents "THE HAUNTING" starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. You may not believe in ghosts, but you cannot deny terror. "THE HAUNTING" is a journey into the twilight zone of the supernatural.
20-SECOND LIVE NO. 2
ANNOUNCER: Those who once dwelt within Hill House ... dwell there yet. MGM presents "The HAUNTING" starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. Who is it that they want? Who can quiet the half sob ... the silent scream? She "THE HAUNTING" and perhaps you will know.
10-SECOND LIVE NO. 1
ANNOUNCER: The dead do not sleep at Hill House. MGM presents "THE HAUNTING," starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. "THE HAUNTING," a journey into the supernatural.
10-SECOND LIVE NO. 2
ANNOUNCER: You may not believe in ghosts, but you cannot deny terror. MGM presents "THE HAUNTING" starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. "THE HAUNTING."
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[Part 01] Julie Harris and Claire Bloom experience a terrifying psychic visit while conducting an investigation in the supernatural in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "The Haunting" — a ghost story set in the present day. Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn also star in the nerve-tingling drama, filmed in Panavision and produced and directed by Robert Wise.
[Part 02] Fear of the unknown grips Julie Harris as she enters a room of haunted Hill House in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's bizarre motion picture of the supernatural, "The Haunting." Behind her are Claire Bloom, Russ Tamblyn and Richard Johnson. Their psychic investigation of the monstrous house becomes a fascinating and terrifying experience in the new Robert Wise production, filmed in Panavision.
[Part 01] J.C. PENNEY TIE-UP
The J.C. Penney stores have exclusive distribution rights for Mary Quant fashions. Miss Quant designed Claire Bloom's costumes and is considered to be one of the most talented designers in the field. Arrange with your local J.C. Penney outlet to outfit each of your female employees in Mary Quant fashions prior and during the run of the film, thereby promoting both the film and the fashions.
[Part 03] LOCAL LIBRARY AND BOOK SHOP
Not only is the supernatural widely discussed in every segment of our society, it is also the subject of numerous books by respected and well-known writers and personalities. Books range from scholarly works to mundane accounts of what happens when a ghost comes to call. SOME SUGGESTED THINGS TO DO ...
POPULAR BOOKS — Garrett, Eileen J. (Ed.). Beyond the Five Senses. J. B. Lippincott Co., New York, 1957
Edsall, F. S. The World of Psychic Phenomena. David McKay Co., New York, 1958
INTRODUCTORY BOOKS — Rhine, J. B. The Reach of the Mind. Wm. Sloane Assoc., Inc., New York, 1947. Brief review primarily of Duke work and interpretations.
Tyrrell, G. N. M. The Personality of Man. Penguin Books, London & Baltimore, 1947 (Paperback). Philosophy of the findings of psychical research.
EXPERIMENTAL PARAPSYCHOLOGY — Extrasensory Perception, Ciba Foundation Symposium. Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1956
SPONTANEOUS CASES — Rhine, Louisa E. Hidden Channels of the Mind. Wm. Sloane Assoc., New York, 1961
SURVIVAL — Hart, Hornell. The Enigma of Survival. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill., 1959 Salter, W. H. Zoar or the Evidence of Psychical Research Concerning Survival. Sidgwick and Jackson. London, 1961
ON THE TRAIL OF THE POLTERGEIST—Fodor, Nandor. The Citadel. Press, New York, 1958
[Part 04] ANTIQUE LOVERS WILL LOVE "THE HAUNTING"
Make a special appeal to antique lovers by placing emphasis on genuine antiques used in the film. Seen in the film will be:
These are just a few of the items that make "THE HAUNTING" an antique collectors' delight. Contact local decorator to display in your lobby the finest pieces of antique furniture available.
[Part 05] IN YOUR LOBBY MEAN PATRONS AT YOUR BOX-OFFICE!
If possible obtain the services of a local, well known authority on the supernatural to appear in your theatre lobby and answer questions concerning the various and sundry manifestations of the supernatural. Your patrons will have questions concerning their own personal experiences with the supernatural and having an authority to answer their questions in a serious, competent manner will certainly add to the appeal of the film.
If it is not possible to obtain the services of an authority on the subject, an alternative would be to locate a reputable medium who would be willing to appear in your theatre lobby. The medium could use her particular talents to communicate questions from your patrons to the various spirits she contacts. Either an authority on the supernatural or a medium is certain to attract attention and business for "The Haunting." Set one up in your lobby, decorated with antique furniture.
[Part 06] PAPER BACK BOOKS HELP SELL "THE HAUNTING"!
The sensational Shirley Jackson novel upon which "THE HAUNTING" is based has been reprinted by Popular Library and coincides distribution with the release of the picture. The publishers are backing the book with an unprecedented promotional campaign that includes colorful posters, streamers, radio, television, magazine column plugs and point of sale displays. The latter covers a wide range of book-selling stands in railroad and bus terminals, book stores, drug chains, supermarkets, newsstands — everywhere that pocket books are sold.
Every book on display is an immediate ad for the picture since front and back covers which feature stills of Julie Harris and Claire Bloom from the picture also give full picture credits. Latch onto a great movie-book promotion.
HERE'S WHAT YOU DO!
[Part 01] GHOSTS ARE NOT A DEAD SUBJECT...
"THE HAUNTING" is certain to become one of the most discussed films of the year. Adult in concept and wide in scope, "THE HAUNTING" is designed not only to appeal to those who approach the supernatural from an intellectual level, but also to the legions of movie patrons who delight in a genuine ghost story. Though Hollywood has produced many horror tales, "THE HAUNTING" is the first film to approach the subject of the supernatural from a mature, adult viewpoint. The picture contains no clutching hands, no shrouded corpses, no bats flying in the night. Rather it translates its terror to the screen through the sheer strength of mood and power of suggestion. Ghosts are not a dead subject. Almost every person has at least thought about the possibility that the supernatural is indeed a part of the world in which we live. Interest in the supernatural does exist, just as there is a prime interest in food, sex and life after death. Activate this interest and whether your patrons believe in ghosts or not, provide them with an exercise in terror that will long be remembered.
[Part 02] ENDORSEMENT BY THE NOTED PSYCHOANALYST DR. N. FODOR
Dr. Nandor Fodor, noted N. Y. psychoanalyst and parapsychologist has called "THE HAUNTING" ... "A picture to see and reflect upon." Well known in the field of supernatural research, Dr. Fodor is the author of eight books and has close to sixty psychoanalytic essays published in various professional journals. He is on the editorial boards of Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalytic Review. Dr. Fodor is recognized as a pioneer in the attempt to bridge the gap between parapsychology and the psychoanalytic discipline.
Haunted Houses do exist, and the unknown forces and powers contained within these so-called "Evil Places" are often activated by the human passions of people who come in contact with them.
"The Haunting," by Shirley Jackson, assumes a modern approach to the age-old question asked by man — "Is there something other than the world we know?"
Julie Harris portrays the poor haunted Eleanor well and with sensitivity. The part of Grace, the proverbial skeptic, is acted magnificently — and Robert Wise, of West Side Story fame, handled a delicate story in a masterful fashion. All in all, in these days of increasing parasychological interest. "The Haunting" is a picture to see and reflect upon.
HOW TO CAPITALIZE ON THE ENDORSEMENT
The endorsement of "THE HAUNTING" by Dr. Fodor should prove to be extremely valuable in local promotion. Dr. Fodor's critique will provide an easy introduction to local groups engaged in psychical research; college and university psychology depts.; local psychologists, writers and other individuals interested in the field of supernatural research.
THESE GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS MAY BE UTILIZED FOR:
[Part 03] THE HAUNTING was selected by MGM as the picture to be shown at the Quigley Showmanship Forum held in Hollywood May 6th to May 8th. More than 150 of the country's leading exhibitors attended this special showing and participated in a discussion regarding the methods for best merchandising this very unusual attraction.
[Part 04] These Extra-Sensory Perception cards have been designed at the Parapsychology Laboratory of Duke University for the purpose of testing the until recently unrecognized powers of the mind commonly called hunches, intuitions and mind-reading. The term extrasensory perception covers all of these.
During the actual run of the film or perhaps before the film opens, you can make available the ESP card, instructions, and score sheet. People could be encouraged to take the test as a means of preparing themselves to see the film. You might also arrange for the people to turn in their score sheets and those that showed promise of having real ESP talent could be turned over to a group of well-known figures in the field of supernatural research. This should be a great attraction to local television, radio, and newspapers.
Order card sets from:
HAINES HOUSE OF CARDS
2465 Williams Avenue, Norwood 12, Ohio
ESP Record Pads — $8.00 per hundred (40 sheets to a pad)
ESP Cards — $6.00 per dozen, $60.00 per gross. 25 cards,
5 each of the 5 designs to a pack.
(The kit and score sheet are accompanied by full instructions for serious telepathy and clairvoyance tests.)
[Part 01] GHOSTS
Conduct a contest to determine how many people in your community actually believe in, or have seen a ghost. Voting cards with an appropriate explanation relating the contest to "The Haunting" can be placed in ballot boxes in lobby. Promotional efforts could expand to make the contest a prime local interest topic. Newspapers could run a daily score sheet. An incentive to enter the contest could be in the form of a free drawing and tickets given away each day the contest was running.
Contact the most popular radio personality and have him conduct an Extra Sensory Perception Search. After a brief explanation of what ESP (*) is and the relationship of it to "THE HAUNTING," the announcer would invite listeners to concentrate with him in order to "achieve the same frequency." The purpose of the concentration would be for people in the audience to identify the object known only to the person conducting the search. A box containing the object could be placed in a local bank vault prior to the beginning of the search with appropriate ceremony and news coverage. After receiving the answers from the audience, the object in the box could be made public and the results of the ESP search made known. The prizes should be promoted from local merchants ... perhaps a "night on the town" with dinner, flowers, etc.
(*) Extra Sensory Perception to the serious investigator it is a natural, though seldom observed, faculty in the human being — and perhaps in animals — responding to signals from outside themselves which have not come in the usual way via one of the senses such as sight or hearing.
Have local newspaper conduct a contest for the best photographs that best reflect the ghostly, haunting mood of Hill House. Arrange for winning entry to be displayed in the theatre lobby and awarded a prize. In addition, the winning entry might be used for local TV promotion. Conduct an additional search for photographs of actual supernatural manifestations: ghosts, etc. Submit these to a qualified panel for authentication — prizes can be awarded for best pictures.
[Part 02] MGM LAUNCHES A NATION-WIDE "HAUNTING" CAMPAIGN WITH SEARCH FOR GHOSTS!
ACCOUNTS OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SEEN A GHOST
Had A Vision That Came True
Lived In A Haunted House
Read Another Person's Thoughts
Witnessed Any Form Of Supernatural Phenomena
Students of supernatural research have extensive evidence that people in every segment of the population regularly witness manifestations of the supernatural. They have no doubt that unknown forces are a constant and active part of our everyday lives. If you have had experiences with any form of the supernatural, we would like to know about them. Reply to: THE HAUNTING, M-G-M, 1540 Broadway, New York 36, New York. All replies confidential.
MGM's nationwide search for ghosts provides an appropriate launching for "The Haunting." Packed with the potential to focus the rising tide of interest in the supernatural is the above that will appear this summer in the N. Y. Times, N. Y. Daily News, Atlanta Journal, Atlanta Constitution, N. 0. Times Picayune, Albany Times Union, L. A. Times, Detroit News, Chi. Tribune, Phila. Inquirer, S. F. Chronicle, Boston Globe, Pitts. Press, St. Louis Post Dispatch. Wash. Post, Cleve. Plain Dealer, Baltimore Sun, Minn. Star and Tribune, Buffalo News, Houston Chronicle, Milwaukee Journal, San Diego Union Tribune, Seattle Times, Dallas News, and the Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition, extensive promotion for newspapers, radio, television and other communications media, will originate from MGM publicity.
BUILD EXCITEMENT FOR YOUR PLAY DATE
[Part 03] SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Suggest working with groups interested in the supernatural such as a University Group, Science Clubs, psychologists, etc. Many groups publish magazines, newsletters, etc., that could provide valuable publicity. Invite these groups and press to a special midnight screening and also have a seminar to discuss any questions concerning the supernatural and/or the film.
[Part 04] UNUSUAL TIE-UP WITH REAL ESTATE
[Part 05] THEATRE TRAILER
M-G-M has skillfully combined the best of both worlds ... the world of Cinema art and the ever-present world of the Unknown ... to bring you a trailer that will persuade and thrill your audience into talking about "THE HAUNTING." It features narration by Richard Johnson, the unique twelve-tone score by Humphrey Searles and the hauntingly suspenseful scenes of Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn. This trailer is designed to bring to conscious thought in every man the universal question: "Are there actually such things as ghosts and other supernatural phenomena?"
[Part 06] CHARITY BALL
For openings around Halloween, stage a special Haunted screening at midnight. Arrange for a local society group or charity organization to run a benefit ball or dinner. The theme might be "Come As Your Favorite Spirit or Ghost," after which the film would be shown. Arrange to have a fashion review run by J.C. Penney Stores of Mary Quant fashions, including ones in the film.
This last page 12 depicts the various US posters and well are some cards.
I was able to buy local brochures and leaflets from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Japan (several of them). I assume other local promotional material does exist, maybe in the UK, Italy, Spain or South America (Mexico?). If you have other MGM official promotional material, I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
This very original 2-fold, 2-sided promotional folder was issued by Neues Filprogramm in Austria to promote the movie. It is a 1-tint coloured black and white document: sepia for pages 1 and 4, and pure black and white for pages 2 and 3. It features a movie synopsis. A nice document.
Please note that the same synopsis in German also appears on the (West-)German "Illustrierte Film-Bühne" brochure.
Synopsis (Original German)
Seit über 90 Jahren hat die Villa Hill House einen gespenstischen Ruf. Man sagt, ein böser Geist geht um, und tatsächlich läßt sich an Hand der Schicksale aller Besitzer, von denen keiner eines natürlichen Todes starb, nachweisen, daß irgendetwas nicht stimmt. Dr. John Markway, Professor der Anthropologie, hat es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, mit einem Stab hervorragender Experten und Wissenschaftler der Sache auf den Grund zu gehen. Die ablehnende Kälte der gegenwärtigen Besitzerin, Mrs. Sannerson, reizt ihn nur noch mehr, sein unheimliches Vorhaben auszuführen. Das Haus scheint ihm ein wahrer Schatz für psychologische Untersuchungen.
Nicht nur in Begleitung seines Stabes zieht Dr. Markway in das Geisterhaus ein, er hat, um seine Studien gründlich durchzuführen, zwei attraktive Frauen gebeten. Theodora, die über ein besonders feinsinniges Empfinden für übernatürliche Kräfte verfügt, und Eleanor Vance, die, wie den Unterlagen der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Psychische Forschung zu entnehmen ist, im Alter von 10 Jahren von Erscheinungen heimgesucht wurde. Für Eleanor bedeutet die Einladung nach Hill House eine willkommene Abwechslung von ihrem einsamen, unerträglichen Leben. Sie fühlt sich am meisten von allen von der unheimlichen Atmosphäre in dem unheimlichen Haus angezogen.
Jeder der Ankömmlinge reagiert auf seine Weise auf die überirdischen Geräusche, das unheimliche Rumoren in dem merkwürdigen Gebäude. Aber sind ihre erstaunlichen Erfahrungen mehr als pure Einbildung einer überforderten Phantasie, oder gibt es stichhaltige wissenschaftliche Erklärungen? Ist Glaube an Aberglaube das gleiche wie Glaube an das übernatürliche? Sind die Geräusche in Hill House real oder nur das Produkt irrationaler Ängste?
Hätte sich zwischen Eleanor und Dr. Markway nicht eine Romanze entsponnen, wer weiß, wie alles geendet hätte. Jeder weiß von jedem etwas, aber keiner alles über jeden. So kennt Theodora Eleanors Geheimnis, aber Eleanor weiß nicht, daß ihr Geliebter verheiratet ist.
Die unerwartete Ankunft von Grace, Markways Frau, verleiht der schon überspannten Atmosphäre und den nächtlichen Ereignissen in der Villa eine besonders bizarre Note. Für Grace existieren keine Geister, ja sie mokiert sich über die, die daran glauben. Plötzlich ist Grace verschwunden. Wie? Wann? Wohin? Hat Hill House sein neues Opfer gefordert?
Synopsis (English translation)
For over 90 years, Hill House has had a ghostly reputation. It is said that an evil spirit is haunting it, and indeed the fates of all the owners, none of whom died of natural causes, prove that something is wrong. Dr. John Markway, professor of anthropology, has taken it upon himself to get to the bottom of the matter with a staff of outstanding experts and scientists. The dismissive coldness of the current owner, Mrs. Sannerson, only tempts him even more to carry out his sinister project. The house seems to him a real treasure for psychological research.
Not only does Dr. Markway move into the haunted house accompanied by his staff, but in order to carry out his studies thoroughly, he has asked two attractive women. Theodora, who has a particularly sensitive sense of supernatural powers, and Eleanor Vance, who, according to the records of the International Society for Psychical Research, was haunted by apparitions at the age of 10. For Eleanor, the invitation to Hill House is a welcome break from her lonely, unbearable life. She is most attracted of all to the eerie atmosphere in the eerie house.
Each of the arrivals reacts in their own way to the unearthly sounds, the eerie rumblings in the strange building. But are their astonishing experiences more than pure imagination of an overtaxed imagination, or are there valid scientific explanations? Is belief in superstition the same as belief in the supernatural? Are the noises in Hill House real or just the product of irrational fears?
If a romance had not developed between Eleanor and Dr. Markway, who knows how it would have ended. Everyone knows something about everyone, but no one knows everything about everyone. So Theodora knows Eleanor's secret, but Eleanor does not know that her lover is married.
The unexpected arrival of Grace, Markway's wife, adds a particularly bizarre note to the already overstimulated atmosphere and the nightly events in the villa. For Grace, ghosts do not exist, indeed she mocks those who believe in them. Suddenly Grace has disappeared. How? When? Where? Has Hill House claimed its new victim?
This 3-fold, 2-sided promotional folder from MGM Belgium is unusual because it is bilingual: one side for French, the other for Dutch (the two main official languages of Belgium, with German being the 3rd one, but often forgotten or neglected).
To stand out, these MGM Belgian folders are all printed in black and white, with the addition of one bright colour. Yellow was the one selected for "The Haunting".
It features a selection of promotional pictures, some recommendations regarding the font sizes of printed ads, some advertising slogans, some technical facts (Ettington Park, use of Belgian infrared film) in addition to a movie synopsis.
Un coin d'apparence paisible de la Nouvelle-Angleterre... Depuis nonante ans toutefois, Hill House, l'une de ses plus somptueuses demeures, terrorise les habitants. C'est la maison du mal, disent-ils...
La femme pour laquelle la demeure fut construite n'y est jamais entrée. Un énorme chêne de l'allée y garde le souvenir de sa mort violente. Ses chevaux y ont fracassé son léger cab. Elle fut la première victime de Hill House, et depuis les locataires successifs y ont tous connu un destin tragique.
Le docteur John Montague, passionné de sciences surnaturelles, veut y passer ses vacances, et tirer au clair le mystère de la maison hantée. L'est-elle réellement, ou bien les rumeurs plaintives que l'on entend la nuit ne sont-elles que le fruit d'esprits terrorisés d'avance ?
Pour le seconder dans ses recherches, le professeur Montague engage deux jolies jeunes femmes, Theoroda et Eleanor. L'une parce qu'elle recèle une sensibilité extra-sensorielle très aiguë, l'autre parce qu'à l'âge de dix ans elle fut soumise à diverses expériences spirituelles. Luke Sanderson, qui doit un jour hériter de Hill House, est accepté dans le groupe. Mme Grace Montague, la femme du docteur, qui est contre ce genre d'expériences, a refusé d'entrer dans le jeu.
Quelques heures après l'arrivée du quatuor à Hill House elle y fait toutefois irruption. A-t-elle pressenti l'attraction qui pousse le docteur Montague et Eleanor l'un vers l'autre ?
Mme Montague, au comble de l'énervement, se moque et défie les esprits de Hill House. Elle disparaît mystérieusement, et personne ne retrouve sa trace. Une victime de plus pour Hill House ? ... Sera-ce la dernière ? Eleanor, Theodora, Luke Sanderson et le docteur se le demandent avec angoisse...
French synopsis (English translation)
A peaceful-looking corner of New England... For ninety years, however, Hill House, one of its most sumptuous homes, has been terrorizing its inhabitants. It is the house of evil, they say...
The woman for whom the house was built has never entered it. A huge oak tree in the driveway holds the memory of her violent death. Her horses shattered her light cab. She was the first victim of Hill House, and since then successive tenants have all met a tragic fate.
Dr. John Montague, who is passionate about supernatural science, wants to spend his vacation there and unravel the mystery of the haunted house. Is it really so, or are the plaintive rumors that one hears at night only the fruit of minds terrorized in advance?
To assist him in his research, Professor Montague hired two beautiful young women, Theoroda and Eleanor. One because she harbors a very acute extra-sensory sensitivity, the other because at the age of ten she was subjected to various spiritual experiences. Luke Sanderson, who will one day inherit Hill House, is accepted into the group. Mrs. Grace Montague, the doctor's wife, who is against such experiences, refused to join.
A few hours after the quartet's arrival at Hill House, however, she barged in. Did she sense the attraction that pushed Dr. Montague and Eleanor towards each other?
Mrs. Montague, at the height of her nervousness, mocks and defies the spirits of Hill House. She mysteriously disappears, and no one can find her. One more victim for Hill House? ... Will she be the last? Eleanor, Theodora, Luke Sanderson and the doctor ask themselves this with anguish...
French trivia (écho)
C'est à Ettington Park, près de Stratford-upon-Avon, où naquit Shakespeare, que Robert Wise découvrir la vieille demeure gothique qu'il transforma en Hill House, la maison hantée.
Pour lui donner cet aspect lugubre qui donne à son film un ton de cauchemar, Robert Wise l'a photographié sous les angles les plus insolites. Sans résultat d'abord ; la maison gardait un vague caractère de haute bourgeoisie. Il décida alors d'utiliser des films à infra-rouge commandés en Belgique. L'effet fut immédiat : Hill House tourné à l'infra-rouge prit aussitôt un aspect fantomatique. Même le vert du jardin vira au blanc trouble.
French trivia (écho) (English translation)
It was in Ettington Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was born, that Robert Wise discovered the old Gothic mansion that he transformed into Hill House, the haunted house.
To give it that gloomy aspect that gives his film a nightmarish tone, Robert Wise photographed it from the most unusual angles. At first without result; the house kept a vague character of high bourgeoisie. He then decided to use infra-red film ordered in Belgium. The effect was immediate: Hill House shot in infrared immediately took on a ghostly appearance. Even the green of the garden turned to a cloudy white.
Un cauchemar de grande classe ...
Dans "La maison du diable", la mort ne connaît pas de repos ...
Dans "La maison du diable", vous pouvez crier ... Personne ne vous entendra ...
French slogans (English translation)
A nightmare of great class ...
In "La maison du diable" [The Haunting], death knows no rest ...
In "La maison du diable" [The Haunting] you can shout ... No one will hear you ...
In een rustige streek van Nieuw Engeland heeft "Hill House" een vreselijke reputatie. Meer dan negentig jaar geleden stond het er al en was het bekend als een duivelshuis. De vrouw voor dewelke het gebouwd werd zag het huis nooit. Zij verongelukte even tevoren toen het paard van haar gespan tegen een boomstronk reed en men haar lijk onder de wrakstukken uithaalde. Zij was aldus het eerste slachtoffer van het spookhuis. Toen nog andere slachtoffers volgen, geloofde het volk vast dat het een echt duivelshuis was. Mrs. Sanderson de huidige eigenares, tracht door haar verschrikkelijke verhalen Dr. John Montague van zijn plan af te brengen het huis voor een zomer te huren. Maar Dr. Montague , professor in de antropologie, is een nieuwsgierige geest. Zo'n echt spookhuis kon hem van pas komen in zijn wetenschappelijke opzoekingen. Dr. Montague's echtgenote houdt helemaal niet van de experimenten van haar man. Luke Sanderson, een neef van Mrs. Sanderson, en later erfgenaam van het huis, zal de professor vergezellen. Onder degenen die aan het onderzoek deelnemen bevinden zich ook twee charmante jonge dames: Theodora, die over een buitengewone feeling beschikt voor alles wat buiten het gewone ligt, en Eleanor Vance, die zicht van haar tiende jaar af al verwikkeld zag in een zaak met een "klopgeest". Eleanor vooral voelt zich aangetrokken tot die geheimzinnige sfeer van het huis. Dr. Montague, Luke, Theodora en Eleanor reageren elk op hun eigen manier op de zonderlinge en vreesaanjagende gebeurtenissen in Hill House. Zijn hun ervaringen de vrucht van bedrog of van hun verbeelding ? Is er een zakelijke verklaring mogelijk ? Ware Eleanor niet verliefd op Dr. Montague, wie zal zeggen hoe de zaak zou verlopen. Theodora kent Eleanor's geheim, en Eleanor van haar kant weet niet dat Dr. Montague gehuwd is. De onverwachte komst van Grace, de echtgenote van Dr. Montague, brengt nog meer spanning in de steeds stijgende onheimelijkheid en de nachtelijke verschrikkingen in Hill House. Niet allen spot Grace met de spoken, doch ze daagt hen uit, met het gevolg dat ze even snel verdwijnt... Zou Hill House nog een slachtoffer voegen bij zijn akelige lijst ? ... En wat gebeurt et dir laatste dolle nacht op Hill House ? ...
Dutch trivia (echo)
Producer Robert Wise ontdekte in Ettington Park, nabij Stratford-upon-Avon, waar Shakespeare geboren werd, het oude gotische huis dat hij omvormde tot Hill House, het duivdelshuis.
Om aan het huis het akelig uitzicht te geven dat aan zijn film die sfeer van gruwel verleent, fotografieerde Wise het van uit de zonderlingste hoeken. Het resultaat was niet erg bevredigend, het huis bleef zijn gedegen burgerlijk uitzicht behouden. Toen kwam Wise op het idee films in infra-rood te gebruiken die hij in België besteld had. En nu was het effekt volkomen. Hill House, opgenomen in infra-rood, kreeg onmiddellijk een spookachtig uitzicht. Zelfs get groen van de tuin kreeg een troebel-witte kleur...
Dutch slogans (slagzinnen)
Een nachtmerrie van hoogstaande klasse.
In "Het duivelshuis" kent de dood geen rust ...
In "Het duivelshuis" mag U schreeuwen ... niemand zal U horen ...
This superb 8-page mini booklet in black & white features promotional pictures as well as an summary of the movie.
Handlingen (Original Danish)
Næsten triumferende ligger Hill House dér som en skygge mod den sene aftenhimmel — triumferende over de tre dødsulykker, det har været vidne til eller forårsaget for snart hundrede år siden — nydende sin legende om det, der er sket.
Dr. Markway, professor i antropologi, er stærkt interesseret i det overnaturlige, og han har sat sig for at udforske de skjulte kræfter, der efter sigende virker i Hill House, et såkaldt »spøgelseshus«. Han lejer huset, og sammen med et lille team, som han har udvalgt med megen omhu, slår han sig ned på stedet.
Af den udvalgte gruppe af folk, der har haft forbindelse med det overnaturlige, er der dog kun to, der har mod til at tage del i hans eksperimenter.
Eleanor er den ene. Hun har engang i sin barndom været udsat for overnaturlige hændelser og har derfor været et nærliggende valg.
Theo, en smuk ung kvinde, har vist sig at være clairvoyant, men hun er en ukonventionel, bohemeagtig natur, der nærmest er gået med til forsøget for at tilfredsstille et lune.
Det fjerde medlem af gruppen er Luke Sannerson. Han er kommet med, fordi han er arving til Hill House, og han er komplet skeptiker.
Spøgeriet begynder meget stilfærdigt — kun som et slags isnende kærtegn, der går over Eleanor's ansigt. Derefter bliver det mere pågående — Eleanor's navn skrevet på væggen, hendes ansigt materialiseret i en antik statue, barnegråd, banken og buldren, stemmer og mange slags lyde. Men Eleanor nægter stadig at forstå.
De onde kræfter når til en dæmonisk klimaks, da Dr. Markway's kone, Grace, pludselig dukker op på Hill House. Hun er en praktisk jordbunden kvinde, der kun ønsker, at hendes mand skal opgive sine uhyggelige eksperimenter. For at vise hvor lidt hun tror på det overnaturlige, forlanger hun at tilbringe natten i barneværelset, der efter tidligere eksperimenter har vist sig at være stedet, hvorfra de psykiske kræfter udgår.
Ved midnatstid bryder det hele for alvor løs. En skrigende bragende bølge af voldsomhed og rasen farer igennem huset. Eleanor er midtpunktet, som det hele samler sig om, og endelig ser hun sandheden i øjnene. »Åh Gud!« hvisker hun, »det er mig, det ønsker — det ved, jeg er her!«
Denne nat er Hill House ikke længere noget hus, men en vridende, hvæsende organisme — og det råber på Eleanor...
Vil hun svare på denne gysende invitation?
Actions (English translation)
Almost triumphant, Hill House lies there like a shadow against the late evening sky — triumphant over the three fatal accidents it witnessed or caused nearly a hundred years ago — enjoying its legend of what happened.
Dr. Markway, a professor of anthropology, has a keen interest in the supernatural and has set out to explore the hidden forces said to be at work in Hill House, a so-called "haunted house". He rents the house and, together with a small team he has carefully selected, settles in.
However, of the select group of people who have had dealings with the supernatural, only two are brave enough to take part in his experiments.
Eleanor is one of them. Having once been exposed to supernatural events in her childhood, she was an obvious choice.
Theo, a beautiful young woman, has proven to be clairvoyant, but she is an unconventional, bohemian nature who has almost agreed to the experiment to satisfy a whim.
The fourth member of the group is Luke Sannerson. He's joined because he's the heir to Hill House, and he's a complete skeptic.
The haunting begins very quietly — only as a sort of icy caress passing over Eleanor's face. Then it gets more brash — Eleanor's name written on the wall, her face materialized in an antique statue, baby talk, banging and banging, voices and all sorts of sounds. But Eleanor still refuses to understand.
The forces of evil reach a demonic climax when Dr. Markway's wife, Grace, suddenly appears at Hill House. She is a practical down-to-earth woman who only wants her husband to give up his creepy experiments. To show how little she believes in the supernatural, she demands to spend the night in the nursery, which after previous experiments has been shown to be the place from which psychic powers emanate.
At midnight, all hell breaks loose. A screaming, roaring wave of violence and fury rushes through the house. Eleanor is the center around which it all gathers, and she finally faces the truth. "Oh God!" she whispers, "it's me it wants — it knows I'm here!"
That night, Hill House is no longer a house, but a writhing, hissing organism — and it is calling to Eleanor...
Will she respond to this chilling invitation?
This superb 3-fold, 2-sided Guide publicitaire was issued by MGM France to promote the movie. It features the two French movie posters, some graphical ads designed to be published in newspapers, some recommendations regarding the font sizes of printed ads, some advertising slogans and well as a long movie synopsis. It is in black and white, except for the cover page using some pale blue. Magnificent!
Synopsis (Original French)
Dans une région retirée de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, une étrange demeure, nommée "Hill House", a une terrifiante et sinistre réputation. Depuis plus de quatre-vingt-dix ans, elle est un symbole de malheur et de mort.
La femme pour qui Hill House fut construite ne l'a jamais habitée. On peut encore voir dans l'allée centrale du parc, sur un arbre géant, une énorme cicatrice marque l'accident qui lui a coûté la vie lorsque les chevaux emballés de sa voiture vinrent se jeter contre un tronc.
Elle fut la première victime de "Hill House". D'autres devaient suivre, soit par suicide ou par mort violente. Ces victimes — apparitions d'un autre monde — continuent-elles à hanter "Hill House" ? Les gens de l'endroit en sont persuadés.
Mme Sannerson (Fay Compton), la propriétaire actuelle, espère que, par la description terrifiante qu'elle a faite de la maison au Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson), celui-ci renoncera à louer "Hill House" pour l'été. Mais c'est le contraire qui se produit. Le Dr. Markway, professeur d'anthropologie, possède, comme tout bon scientifique, une insatiable curiosité. "Hill House", authentique maison hantée, offre à cet effet une merveilleuse opportunité pour la recherche psychique.
Le Dr. Markway aura avec lui des assistants qualifiés pour l'aider dans ses expériences. Ils seront choisis d'après une liste qu'il a mis des années à établir. Tous les candidats sont d'une intelligence supérieure et ont eu, d'une manière ou d'une autre, des contacts avec le monde de l'Au-delà. Parmi ces assistants ne figurera pas la femme du Dr. Markway qui, elle, désapprouve totalement les recherches de son mari dans le royaume du surnaturel. Luke Sannerson (Russ Tamblyn), le neveu de Mme Sannerson qui lui doit un jour hériter de "Hill House", secondera le Dr. Markway.
Parmi les personnes qui reçoivent des invitations pour participer aux études sur "Hill House" se trouve deux jeunes femmes. L'une est Théodora (Claire Bloom), une brune aux charmes envoûtant, qui a été choisie non pour sa beauté, mais parce qu'elle est douée de pouvoirs télépathiques. L'autre est Eléanor Vance (Julie Harris) qui, d'après les renseignements fournis par la Société Internationale de Métapsychique, a été l'objet, à l'âge de dix ans, d'une expérience surnaturelle. Pour Eléanor, l'enquête qu'on va mener à "Hill House" est un moyen comme un autre d'échapper à sa vie routinière et monotone et c'est pourquoi elle accepte d'y participer. De tous, c'est elle qui est la plus attirée par "Hill House" et son mystère.
Le Dr. Markway, Luke, Théodora et Eléanor vont réagir de façons différentes aux manifestations de l'Au-delà qui vont se succéder dans la maison. Eléanor, hypersensible, aux nerfs fragiles est celle qui résiste le plus mal au climat d'angoisse qui devient de plus en plus lourd. Elle est comme prisonnière de cette étrange maison, elle en est la proie... Mais les expériences que font les uns et les autres pourront-elles être prises pour le fruit de leurs imaginations surexcitées, ou faudra-t-il les considérer comme réelles ? Les épouvantes de "Hill House" sont-elles véritables, ou de pure imagination ?
Si Eléanor n'était pas tombée amoureuse du Dr. Markway, comment toute cette histoire se serait-elle terminée ? Quant à Théodora, elle connaissait le secret d'Eléanor, mais surtout elle savait que le Docteur était marié, ce qu'Eléanor ignorait encore.
L'arrivée inattendue de Grace (Lois Maxwell), la femme du Dr. Markway, ajoute une note pittoresque aux bizarreries et terreurs nocturnes de "Hill House". Grace, non seulement se moque éperdument des fantômes, mais encore s'amuse à les défier.
Mais ce défi ne restera pas sans réponse. Cette nuit-là la terreur régnera à "Hill House", une terreur sans visage mais dont la présence pourtant est indéniable. Et soudain, on s'aperçoit de la disparition de Grace... L'angoisse s'intensifiera encore. Plus que hantée, il semble bien que "Hill House" soit possédée, qu'elle agisse comme un être pensant, volontaire, tenant d'accomplir quelque obscure vengeance.
Il lui faut une victime : sera-ce Eléanor ou bien Grace ?
Que s'est-il vraiment passé, une fois le crépuscule achevé, dans "Hill House", la maison de l'épouvante ?
Synopsis (English translation)
In a secluded area of New England, a strange mansion called "Hill House" has a terrifying and sinister reputation. For more than ninety years, it has been a symbol of misfortune and death.
The woman for whom Hill House was built has never lived in it. A huge scar can still be seen in the central alley of the park, on a giant tree, which marks the accident that cost her her life when the packed horses of her carriage came to throw themselves against a trunk.
She was the first victim of "Hill House". Others were to follow, either by suicide or violent death. Do these victims — appearances from another world — continue to haunt "Hill House"? The locals are convinced they do.
Mrs. Sannerson (Fay Compton), the current owner, hopes that by her terrifying description of the house to Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson), he will give up renting "Hill House" for the summer. But the opposite is happening. Dr. Markway, a professor of anthropology, has, like any good scientist, an insatiable curiosity. "Hill House", an authentic haunted house, offers a wonderful opportunity for psychic research.
Dr. Markway will have qualified assistants with him to help him in his experiments. They will be chosen from a list he has taken years to compile. All the candidates are of superior intelligence and have had, in one way or another, contact with the world of the Beyond. Among these assistants will not be Dr. Markway's wife, who totally disapproves of her husband's research in the realm of the supernatural. Luke Sannerson (Russ Tamblyn), Mrs. Sannerson's nephew, who one day owes her the inheritance of "Hill House", will assist Dr. Markway.
Among those who receive invitations to participate in the studies on "Hill House" are two young women. One is Theodora (Claire Bloom), a brunette with bewitching charms, who was chosen not for her beauty, but because she is gifted with telepathic powers. The other is Eleanor Vance (Julie Harris) who, according to information provided by the International Society of Metapsychics, was the subject of a supernatural experiment at the age of ten. For Eleanor, the investigation to be carried out at "Hill House" is a way like any other to escape her routine and monotonous life and that is why she agrees to take part in it. Of all, she is the one who is the most attracted by "Hill House" and its mystery.
Dr. Markway, Luke, Theodora and Eleanor will react in different ways to the manifestations of the Beyond that will follow one another in the house. Eleanor, hypersensitive, with fragile nerves, is the one who resists most severely to the climate of anguish which becomes heavier and heavier. She is like a prisoner in this strange house, she is its prey... But can the experiences that each of them makes be taken for the fruit of their overexcited imaginations, or should they be considered as real? Are the horrors of "Hill House" real, or are they pure imagination?
If Eleanor had not fallen in love with Dr. Markway, how would the whole story have ended? As for Theodora, she knew Eleanor's secret, but above all she knew that the Doctor was married, which Eleanor still didn't know.
The unexpected arrival of Grace (Lois Maxwell), wife of Dr. Markway, adds a picturesque note to the quirks and night terrors of "Hill House". Grace not only mocks ghosts, but also has fun challenging them.
But this defiance will not go unanswered. That night terror will reign at "Hill House", a faceless terror whose presence is undeniable. Suddenly, we notice Grace's disappearance... The anguish will intensify even more. More than haunted, it seems that "Hill House" is possessed, that she acts like a thinking, voluntary being, eager to carry out some obscure revenge.
It needs a victim: will it be Eleanor or Grace?
What really happened, once dusk was over, in "Hill House", the house of horror?
Phrases publicitaires (Original French)
Dans le terrifiant royaume des ombres !
Un envoûtant suspense !
La peur y naît au crépuscule !
Angoissant ... Mystérieux ... Insolite !
Un voyage au bout de l'angoisse !
Le domaine de la peur !
Phrases publicitaires (English translation)
In the terrifying kingdom of shadows!
Fear is born there at dusk!
Frightening ... Mysterious ... Unusual!
A journey to the end of anguish!
The domain of fear!
This very original 2-fold, 2-sided promotional folder was issued by Illustrierte Film-Bühne in (West-)Germany to promote the movie. It is a 1-tint coloured black and white document: blue for pages 1 and 4, and sepia for pages 2 and 3. It features a movie synopsis plus an essay titled "Wie fotografiert man ein Nichts?" ("How to photograph a nothingness?"). A superb document.
Wie fotografiert man ein NICHTS? (essay) (Original German)
Schon in früheren Filmen von Robert Wise hat man beobachten können, wie meisterhaft dieser Zelluloid-Hexenkünstler es verstand, Effekte zu zaubern. Da wurde die Kamera fallen gelassen aus zehn Meter Höhe auf eine Menschengruppe; da tanzten farbige Nebel und gaben ein zwinkerndes Augenpaar frei; da schwebte die Kamera durch die Slums einer Großstadt hinein in ein Fenster. Für sein Filmwerk "West Side Story" bekam er den "Oscar", jene in aller Welt so heißbegehrte Trophäe für großartige Leistungen auf — oder in seinem Falle hinter der Leinwand ...
Hinter der Leinwand lag auch sozusagen das wahre Problem der Verfilmbarkeif des Stoffes "Bis das Blut gefriert". Die Novelle der Bestseller-Autorin Shirley Jackson "The Haunting of Hill House" beschreibt in fesselnder Art, wie ein Phänomen, ein Konglomerat aus Überlieferung, überreizter Phantasie, natürlichen und halbnatürlichen Geräuschen zeitweise reale Gestalt annimmt.
Eine Erscheinung bemächtigt sich der Besucher des alten Hauses. Absonderliche Dinge gehen vor in Hill House. Und doch ist nirgends etwas. Wirklich nirgendwo? Eleanor, ist sie hier am richtigen Platz ? In ihrer Jugend hat sie kleine, unbedeutende Ereignisse voraussehen können. Sie ist ein Medium zu irgendeinem Phänomen — und es zieht sie zu bestimmten Zeitpunkten wie magisch an bestimmte Plätze dieses morschen Hauses. Keiner sieht die Erscheinung; trotzdem ergreift sie nun Besitz auch von der Phantasie und den Nerven der anderen.
Da ist "Thea", jene attraktive, hübsche junge Frau. Immer mehr wird auch sie Zeuge, wie sich das Phänomen des Gefühles aller Beteiligten bemächtigt. Da ist Dr. John Markway, der nüchtern und mit wissenschaftlicher Überlegenheit der Sache auf den Grund gehen will. Seine Frau geht nur schnell ins andere Zimmer — und kommt nie mehr wieder.
Ja, wie dieses NICHTS fotografieren ? Regisseur Robert Wise ging mit Gründlichkeit ans Werk. Ein Team von Tontechnikern verschanzte sich eine Woche (!) lang in einem verlassenen Schloß, um mit empfindlichen Geräten alle "lebenden" Geräusche festzuhalten. Also, wie ein Fußboden geht, wenn keiner auf ihm läuft; wie eine Tür arbeitet, wenn sie gar nicht betätigt wird; wie Temperaturschwankungen die Holzkonstruktion des Daches zum Arbeiten bringen — und vieles mehr.
So nahm rein technisch das NICHTS Gestalt an. Wise ließ sich noch weit mehr einfallen, jenes Phänomen in die unoptische Wirklichkeit zu projizieren: ein Spezial-Make-up für die Hauptdarsteller, kaum zu unterscheiden von normaler Schminke — dazu ein Spezialfilter vor die Kamera. — Eine Diplomarbeit aus der Schockküche. Leinwand-Horror nach strengem, ausgeklügeltem System. Es ist eine neue Visitenkarte eines Mannes, der Filme nicht nur mit der linken Hand macht. Robert Wise, der Meister aus "West Side Story", transponiert ein Phänomen über den Umweg des Gefühls in das Hirn des Filmbeschauers: "Bis das Blut gefriert" ...
How to photograph a NOTHING? (essay) (English translation)
In earlier films by Robert Wise, one could observe how masterfully this celluloid wizard knew how to conjure up effects. The camera was dropped from a height of ten metres onto a group of people; coloured mists danced and revealed a pair of blinking eyes; the camera floated through the slums of a big city into a window. For his film "West Side Story" he was awarded the "Oscar", the trophy for great performances on — or in his case behind — the screen, which is so much coveted all over the world ...
Behind the screen, so to speak, was the real problem of making the film "Bis das Blut gefriert" [The Haunting]. The novella by bestselling author Shirley Jackson "The Haunting of Hill House" describes in a captivating way how a phenomenon, a conglomerate of lore, overwrought imagination, natural and semi-natural sounds temporarily takes on real form.
An apparition takes possession of the visitors to the old house. Strange things are happening in Hill House. And yet there is nothing anywhere. Nowhere at all? Eleanor, is she in the right place? In her youth she foresaw small, insignificant events. She is a medium to some phenomenon — and it draws her magically to certain places in this rotten house at certain times. No one sees the apparition; nevertheless, it now takes possession of the imagination and nerves of the others as well.
There is "Theo", that attractive, pretty young woman. More and more, she too witnesses how the phenomenon takes possession of the feelings of everyone involved. There is Dr. John Markway, who soberly and with scientific superiority wants to get to the bottom of the matter. His wife only goes quickly into the other room — and never comes back.
Yes, how to photograph this NOTHING? Director Robert Wise went about his work with thoroughness. A team of sound technicians holed up in an abandoned castle for a week (!) to capture all the "living" sounds with sensitive equipment. So, how a floor walks when nobody walks on it; how a door works when it is not operated at all; how temperature fluctuations make the wooden construction of the roof work — and much more.
Thus, in purely technical terms, NOTHING took shape. Wise came up with much more to project this phenomenon into the un-optical reality: special make-up for the main actors, hardly distinguishable from normal make-up — plus a special filter in front of the camera. — A thesis from the shock kitchen. Screen horror according to a strict, sophisticated system. It is a new calling card of a man who makes films not only with his left hand. Robert Wise, the master from "West Side Story", transposes a phenomenon into the brain of the film viewer via the diversions of feeling: "Until the Blood Freezes" [The Haunting] ...
Inhalt (synopsis) (Original German)
Seit über neunzig Jahren hat die Villa Hill House einen gespenstischen Ruf. Man sagt, ein böser Geist geht um, und tatsächlich läßt sich an Hand der Schicksale aller Besitzer, von denen keiner eines natürlichen Todes starb, nachweisen, daß irgend etwas nicht stimmt. Dr. John Markway, Professor der Anthropologie, hat es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, mit einem Stab hervorragender Experten und Wissenschaftler der Sache auf den Grund zu gehen. Die ablehnende Kälte der gegenwärtigen Besitzerin, Mrs. Sannerson, reizt ihn nur noch mehr, sein unheimliches Vorhaben auszuführen. Das Haus scheint ihm ein wahrer Schatz für psychologische Untersuchungen. Nicht nur in Begleitung seines Stabes zieht Dr. Markway in. das Geisterhaus ein, er hat, um seine Studien gründlich durchzuführen, zwei attraktive Frauen gebeten. Thea, die über ein besonders feinsinniges Empfinden für übernatürliche Kräfte verfügt, und Eleanor Vance, die, wie den Unterlagen der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Psychische Forschung zu entnehmen ist, im Alter von zehn Jahren von Erscheinungen heimgesucht wurde. Für Eleanor bedeutet die Einladung nach Hill House eine willkommene Abwechslung von ihrem einsamen, unerträglichen Leben. Sie fühlt sich am meisten von allen von der unheimlichen Atmosphäre in dem unheimlichen Haus angezogen.
Jeder der Ankömmlinge reagiert auf seine Weise auf die überirdischen Geräusche, das unheimliche Rumoren in dem merkwürdigen Gebäude. Aber sind ihre erstaunlichen Erfahrungen mehr als pure Einbildung einer überforderten Phantasie, oder gibt es stichhaltige wissenschaftliche Erklärungen ? Ist Glaube an Aberglauben das gleiche wie Glaube an das Übernatürliche? Sind die Geräusche in Hill House real oder nur das Produkt irrationaler Ängste ? — Hätte sich zwischen Eleanor und Dr. Markway nicht eine Romanze entsponnen, wer weiß, wie alles geendet hätte. Jeder weiß von jedem etwas, aber keiner alles über jeden. So kennt Thea Eleanors Geheimnis, aber Eleanor weiß nicht, daß ihr Geliebter verheiratet ist.
Die unerwartete Ankunft von Grace, Markways Frau, verleiht der schon überspannten Atmosphäre und den nächtlichen Ereignissen in der Villa eine besonders bizarre Note. Für Grace existieren keine Geister, ja sie mokiert sich über die, die daran glauben. Plötzlich ist Grace verschwunden. Wie ? Wann ? Wohin ? Hat Hill House sein neues Opfer gefordert?
Content (synopsis) (English translation)
For over ninety years, Hill House has had a ghostly reputation. It is said that an evil spirit is haunting it, and indeed the fates of all the owners, none of whom died of natural causes, prove that something is wrong. Dr. John Markway, professor of anthropology, has taken on the task of getting to the bottom of the matter with a staff of outstanding experts and scientists. The hostile coldness of the current owner, Mrs. Sannerson, only tempts him even more to carry out his sinister project. The house seems to him a real treasure for psychological research. Not only does Dr. Markway move into the haunted house accompanied by his staff, but in order to carry out his studies thoroughly, he has asked two attractive women. Theo, who has a particularly sensitive sense of supernatural powers, and Eleanor Vance, who, according to the records of the International Society for Psychical Research, was haunted by apparitions at the age of ten. For Eleanor, the invitation to Hill House is a welcome break from her lonely, unbearable life. She is most attracted of all to the eerie atmosphere in the eerie house.
Each of the arrivals reacts in their own way to the unearthly sounds, the eerie rumblings in the strange building. But are their astonishing experiences more than pure imagination of an overtaxed imagination, or are there valid scientific explanations ? Is belief in superstition the same as belief in the supernatural? Are the noises in Hill House real or just the product of irrational fears ? — Had it not been for the romance between Eleanor and Dr. Markway, who knows how it would have ended. Everyone knows something about everyone, but no one knows everything about everyone. So Thea knows Eleanor's secret, but Eleanor does not know that her lover is married.
The unexpected arrival of Grace, Markway's wife, adds a particularly bizarre note to the already overstimulated atmosphere and the nightly events in the villa. For Grace, ghosts do not exist, indeed she mocks those who believe in them. Suddenly Grace has disappeared. How? When ? Where did she go? Has Hill House claimed its new victim?
This double-sided promotional card was issued by MGM Television in 1981. The summary of the movie is questionable: Not only does it not faithfully tell the story, but it also spoils the pleasure by revealing the end. As a consolation, it is a nice object.
Hill house, a New England mansion in which three mysterious deaths have occurred and which has a legend of being evil and haunted, is being investigated by a team of psychic research workers.
Led by Dr. John Markway, they are: Eleanor, who has a childhood history of experience with the supernatural, Theo, who has a background of abilities in ESP... although she appears to be joining the experiment to satisfy a whim, and Luke Sannerson, nephew of Hill House's owner and a sceptic.
The haunting ensues, first with nothing more than an icy caress from nowhere across Eleanor's cheek. Then her name is spelled out in dust and her face materializes on a piece of sculpture. The evil reaches its highest pitch when Markway's wife, Grace, arrives at the house. To prove her disbelief in the experiment, she prepares to spend the night in the nursery, believed to be the source of all mystery. At midnight, in a writhing, hissing chill, Eleanor's name resounds through the corridors of the house. Five minutes later she is found dead. The questions of Hill House still remain unanswered as the doctor and associates depart.
~ New York Daily News
© 1981 MGM Film Co.
Mr. Schifrin's contribution to the movie remains a total mystery to me. I've read in his Wikipedia article that he was under contract with MGM at that time. So, who asked Lalo Schifrin to get involved? Was it the MGM? Was it Robert Wise (I seriously doubt that)? Was it an initiative of Lalo Schifrin himself?
Fortunately — from my point of view — this material was not used in the movie. If you play it today, you will probably conclude that it was totally unfit and inappropriate for the tone of the movie. I wonder: did he really see the movie that he pretends inspired this?
According to the notes found in the FSM (Film Score Monthly) 5CD boxset "The Cincinnati Kid: Lalo Schifrin Film Scores, Vol. 1, 1964–1968":
"Electronic" stereo. Let me translate that for you: mixed in mono, and transformed into fake stereo with reverb and other tricks during mastering. The formless result spreads over the left & right channels, but no instrument will be perfectly positioned in the stereo space.
No, seriously. Humphrey Searle had composed a perfect film score that was used in the soundtrack of movie. Still, it was not commercially released and remains unavailable today. Instead, we've got this unrelated Lalo Schifrin material on vinyl (on several records) and CD. How infuriating!
Very surprisingly, the music score was allowed to use the movie logo (despite the fact that it is just "inspired by").
LP format: meaning that the theme track — one 2:23 song — was coupled with many unrelated tracks, and often even songs by another composer.