6.7/10
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The Tingler (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror | 29 July 1959 (USA)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
An obsessed pathologist discovers and captures a parasitic creature that grows when fear grips its host.

Director:

William Castle

Writer:

Robb White
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Dr. Warren Chapin
Judith Evelyn ... Mrs. Martha Ryerson Higgins
Darryl Hickman ... David Morris
Patricia Cutts Patricia Cutts ... Isabel Stevens Chapin
Pamela Lincoln Pamela Lincoln ... Lucy Stevens
Philip Coolidge ... Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins
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Storyline

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the screen screams you'll scream too...if you value your life! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

29 July 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tingler See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)| Stereo (partial)

Color:

Color (one scene)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film marked the return of William Castle to this home studio, Columbia Pictures. It also marked the first film for Castle's own production company. See more »

Goofs

At 36 minutes, as Dr. Chapin is dictating his experimental protocol into a tape recorder, he states that the average injection of LSD will be 50 micromilligrams. Experienced researchers would not use a double metric prefix of "micro-" (one millionth) plus "milli-" (one thousandth). They would simply combine them into "50 nanograms" for the overall 50 billionths of a gram being administered. See more »

Quotes

William Castle: Remember, if you scream at just the right time, it might just save your life.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally had a short sequence filmed partially in color. It was the scene when the deaf-mute Mrs. Higgins (Judith Evelyn), terrified by unknown forces, runs into a bathroom to hide and sees blood coming from the faucets of her sink and her bathtub filled with blood. Everything else in the scene is black and white except for the blood, which appears in garish red color - a typical William Castle gimmick. The USA home video release and the Turner Classic Movies print shown on Oct. 31, 2008 include the restored partial-color sequence. The short sequence is grainy and appears to have been inserted from an old deteriorated copy, or possibly a 16 mm print, as the rest of the movie's quality is crisp and sharp. Or possibly the image quality jump is due to an optical process or however the color was achieved, adding a generation of grain. See more »

Connections

Featured in Under the Skin with Joseph LeDoux, Ph. d (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant campy fun from William Castle and Vincent Price
20 July 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

The Tingler marks the second teaming for horror's greatest actor - Vincent Price, and horror's greatest showman - William Castle. This film was released later in the same year that their first venture - House on Haunted Hill - was unleashed upon audiences across the world, and the film sees the two men deliver more of what they did with their first feature. House on Haunted Hill was much loved then - and now - for it's ludicrous plot line and hammy performances, and The Tingler marks another successful fusion of these elements. The plot line is even sillier this time round, and it follows Vincent Price's scientist as he conducts his experiments into fear. He discovers that when we get frightened, a thing, which he called 'the tingler', manifests itself on the spinal column and the only way to rid oneself of this 'tingler' is to scream. Deaf mute's cant scream, however, and soon after discovering that his friend's wife suffers from that condition, and has an acute fear of blood, Price gets to work on attempting to isolate and remove the tingler.

William Castle shows his flair and passion for entertaining his audience throughout this film, with the whole film being, basically, a metaphor for the horror genre on the whole. Castle uses several different methods of getting his audience to scream, and while this film isn't very scary by today's standards - watching this master of entertainment weave his magic is always delightful. Another thing that's delightful about this film is the fact that Vincent Price is in it. Price has an amazing ability to command to the screen, and while this movie doesn't feature his best performance - he's always entertaining, and it's always a pleasure to see him on screen. Castle's special effects are hokey, with the central monster - the tingler - looking rather silly, but that adds to the fun effect of the movie and if the effects had been terrific examples of how good special effects can be - the film wouldn't have been nearly as fun as it is. The Tingler is silly throughout, and it gets really ridiculous towards the end, but if you watch knowing that this isn't to be taken seriously, you'll enjoy yourself just like Castle intended.


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