|Directed by||William Castle|
|Produced by||William Castle
|Written by||Ranald Graham|
|Music by||Alex North|
|Edited by||David Berlatsky|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|October 9, 1974|
Shanks is a 1974 American horror film about a puppeteer able to manipulate dead bodies like puppets. Mime Marcel Marceau, in his first major film role, plays the titular Malcolm Shanks. It was the last film directed by producer-director William Castle.
Malcolm Shanks (Marceau) is a deaf, mute puppeteer who lives with his cruel sister (Chelton) and her husband (Clay). His skill with puppets is noticed by a doctor who takes him on as a lab assistant. The doctor's experiments involve reanimating the dead and controlling them like puppets. When the doctor dies unexpectedly, Shanks continues the experiments to exact revenge.
- Marcel Marceau as Malcolm Shanks / Old Walker
- Tsilla Chelton as Mrs. Barton
- Philippe Clay as Mr. Barton
- Cindy Eilbacher as Celia
- Helena Kallianiotes as Mata Hari
- Larry Bishop as Napoleon
- Don Calfa as Einstein
- Biff Manard as Goliath
Marceau, who had for decades before performed in his signature white face makeup and without speaking, both spoke and appeared without makeup for this film. He played two roles: Malcolm Shanks, who could not speak, and Old Walker, who could. He had appeared in 20 shorts and films in small and cameo roles, often as his mime character Bip. Director William Castle took an interest in him after watching him perform the pantomime "Youth, Maturity, Old Age and Death" and approached him with the script for Shanks, saying it dealt with similar themes. Said Marceau of the script, "it was exactly what I had been looking for."
Awards and nominations
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