Scared to Death
|Scared to Death|
original 1947 theatrical poster
|Directed by||Christy Cabanne|
|Produced by||William B. David|
|Written by||W.J. Abbott|
|Based on||play Murder on the Operating Table by Frank Orsino|
|Music by||Carl Hoefle|
|Edited by||George McGuire|
Golden Gate Films
|Distributed by||Screen Guild Productions|
Scared to Death (1947) is a horror film directed by Christy Cabanne and starring Bela Lugosi. The picture was filmed in Cinecolor. This movie is historically important as Bela Lugosi's only color film (outside of his brief unbilled appearance in 1931's Fifty Million Frenchmen, which today exists only in black & white) and Viennese Nights in 1930.
The film opens with the disclosure by morgue examiners that a beautiful woman has literally died of fright. The plot reveals how she reached the fatal stage of terror.
The woman is married to the son of a doctor, the proprietor of a private sanatorium, where she is under unwilling treatment. Both the son and the doctor indicate they want the marriage dissolved. Arriving at the scene is a mysterious personage identified as the doctor's brother who formerly was a stage magician in Europe. He is accompanied by a threatening dwarf.
After it is apparent that the wife is terrified of the foreigners, it is disclosed that she is the former wife and stage partner of a Paris magician known as René, who was believed to have been shot by the Nazis. Attempts to draw a confession that she had betrayed her magician husband and had collaborated with the Nazis led to the use of a device employing a death mask of the supposedly dead patriot, which literally frightens her to death.
Although the young newspaperman hero and his sweetheart guess the answer to the story, they allow the diagnosis "scared to death" to stand.
- Bela Lugosi as Prof. Leonide
- George Zucco as Dr. Joseph Van Ee
- Nat Pendleton as Bill Raymond
- Molly Lamont as Laura Van Ee / Laurette La Valle
- Joyce Compton as Jane Cornell
- Gladys Blake as Lilybeth
- Roland Varno as Ward Van Ee
- Douglas Fowley as Terry Lee
- Stanley Andrews as Pathologist
- Angelo Rossitto as Indigo
- Lee Bennett as Rene
- Stanley Price as Autopsy Surgeon
The film was featured in an episode of Deadly Cinema.
- Mark Thomas McGee, Talk's Cheap, Action's Expensive: The Films of Robert L. Lippert, Bear Manor Media, 2014 p 108
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scared to Death (1947 film).|
- Scared to Death at the Internet Movie Database
- Scared to Death is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Scared to Death at AllMovie
- Scared to Death at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Paul Lewis, 2009: Review of Scared to Death at DVDCompare
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