The Screaming Woman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Screaming Woman
The Screaming Woman.jpg
Title card
Based onA short story by Ray Bradbury
Written byMerwin Gerard
Directed byJack Smight
StarringOlivia de Havilland
Ed Nelson
Laraine Stephens
Joseph Cotten
Music byJohn Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)William Frye
CinematographySam Leavitt
Editor(s)Robert F. Shugrue
Running time74 minutes
Production company(s)Universal Television
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original networkABC
Original releaseJanuary 29, 1972 (1972-01-29)

The Screaming Woman is a 1972 American made-for-television horror-thriller film starring Olivia de Havilland and directed by Jack Smight. It is loosely based on a short story by Ray Bradbury (which in turn was based on his 1948 radio play for the CBS show Suspense) with a script written by Merwin Gerard. The film was produced by Universal Television and originally aired as an ABC Movie of the Week on January 29, 1972. It features John Williams's last score (to date) for a TV movie. [1]


De Havilland plays Laura Wynant, a wealthy former mental patient who has travelled to her country estate to recuperate. While there, she discovers that a woman has been buried alive on her property. Wynant tries to inform others of what she has found but nobody believes her, and her family begins to suspect a relapse in her mental condition. Because her hands are nearly crippled by arthritis, she is not able to dig the woman up herself. She tries to trick a local boy into assisting her by telling him she is digging for a lost earring but is forced to tell him the truth, resulting in a confrontation with his angry father. While going door-to-door to seek help, she encounters the buried woman's husband, who had in fact buried her after striking her on the head with a shovel and thinking her dead. Wynant is confined to home under doctor's orders and, in a fit of anger, experiences a spontaneous recovery from the arthritis in her hands. She begins to dig up the buried woman, who is still alive, but the murderous husband finds her. The authorities arrive in time and Wynant and the buried woman are rescued.


Television debuts[edit]

The film was first shown in the United States on January 29, 1972, in Sweden on June 23, 1973, and in Great Britain in July 1985.

Other notes[edit]

A television version of The Screaming Woman, much more faithful to the source material - the protagonist here, as in the original play and short story, is a little girl (played by Drew Barrymore) - was shown under that title as episode 5 in season 1 of The Ray Bradbury Theater on February 22, 1986.[2]


  1. ^ IMDB Film Database
  2. ^ IMDB Television Series Database