Taste of Fear (1961)

Taste of Fear (1961)

Susan StrasbergAnn ToddRonald LewisChristopher Lee
Seth Holt


Taste of Fear (1961) is a English,French,German movie. Seth Holt has directed this movie. Susan Strasberg,Ann Todd,Ronald Lewis,Christopher Lee are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1961. Taste of Fear (1961) is considered one of the best Horror,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

Penny Applebee's parents were divorced when she was quite young and she grew up with her mother. After her mother's death, the wheelchair-bound Penny has accepted her father's invitation to live with him. She arrives only to learn that her father is away though her stepmother - who she is meeting for the first time - proves to be quite welcoming. On her first night however, she sees a light in the summerhouse and upon investigation, sees her father sitting there, apparently dead. Others can find nothing there and tell her she must have imagined it. She later sees his body in library and then again in the pool. She comes to believe that her stepmother and her father's friend, Doctor Pierre Gerard, are plotting to drive her insane. She gets a sympathetic ear from Bob, the chauffeur, who feels there has to be some rational explanation for what has been happening.


Taste of Fear (1961) Reviews

  • Superb chilly chiller mystery from the house of Hammer.


    God bless the internet and god bless DVD. The reason I say that is because once hidden gems like this film are now being discovered by a bigger audience. Taste Of Fear (AKA:Scream Of Fear) is produced out of that bastion of British horror, Hammer Films, it's directed by Seth Holt (The Nanny), written by Jimmy Sangster (X:The Unknown/The Curse Of Frankenstein) and stars Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis, Ann Todd & that cornerstone of Hammer Horror, Christopher Lee. Shot in moody black & white by Holt and cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, and eerily scored by Clifton Parker, the story sees a young paralysed woman return to her family home in France to visit her father who she hasn't seen for years; and to finally meet her new step-mother. Upon arrival she is informed that her father has had to go away on business, which becomes a problem as she starts to see his dead body, first in the summer house, then in the lounge! The mind can play tricks, especially to the traumatised, but she's convinced that what she is seeing is real. Even the family doctor (Lee in a suitably suspicious role) thinks there are mental issues here. Undaunted she enlists the help of friendly chauffeur Bob and sets about unravelling either her mind, or the mystery that lurks at the Appleby home. The film opens with an attention grabbing sequence as police drag a lake for a body, from there on the film becomes essentially a four character piece. Now it's been said in some quarters that this structure telegraphs where the film is going to end up. There's a tiny bit of truth in that but there are at least three twisty kickers here to steer this far away from charges of predictability. In fact the finale has a double whammy that is most rewarding. The whole film pulses with atmosphere and is cloaked in shadows and low tone conversations. The sound work here is also top quality, the constant jabber of the crickets gnaw away at the ears, while the swish of the nearby sea instills a calm that ultimately sets up a false sense of security. The acting is on the money too, be it Strasberg perfectly conveying a multitude of emotions from her wheelchair, or Todd doing a nice line in the "too good to be true?" wholesome step-mom routine. All parties ensure that the story is built up right and that the pay off provides maximum impact. Christopher Lee once said that this was one of the best Hammer Horror film's he was ever involved with, that's a fine selling point to be sure. A different kind of Hammer Horror, one that drips with dread and thrives on its mystery elements. Taste Of Fear is highly recommended to genre fans who prefer psychological chillers over blood letting and overkilled boo jump movies. 8/10

  • A stylish chilling little thriller


    Yes, this is indeed a very nice little horror film. It is chilling and suspense. The acting of the three major actors is really well done, they all fit the roles, and the whole atmosphere of the film has maked it rather stylish. Using Susan Strasberg for that role is a good choice. She's rather pretty charming actually, especially when compared with those star actresses of nowadays. This is a small production of the early 60's, but none of the big budget Hollywood horror films can compare with it even though they might have tried to copy part of its shadow. I do not know how to explain, but you if have watched the movie, you will feel something, you will feel the film having the style in its own way. You simply cannot find such kind of stylish production often on TV or in theaters. Like the other film fan from UK, I have recorded it down few weeks ago, and watched it in the afternoon the day after. It's good that I have not watched it alone at night. I am really glad that I have now the whole movie in its original theatrical wide screen format on my own DVD. Here I specially thank for the TV-listing information of the Dutch inter net site and the film information in IMDb. They made me have a chance to know and discover this nice film and take action to record it down. If you have a chance to watch this film, don't miss it! You will surely like it in a way!

  • Almost Forgotten Classic


    As my title suggests, "Scream of Fear" (UK title) is barely known and this is hardly surprising since the film is very rarely shown in the UK and last time was put on at half past three in the morning - therefore unlikely to pick up many new admirers. I consider this to be very poor treatment of a movie that serves as a great example of the sort of thriller we used to be able to produce in this country. A brief summary of the story is that wheel-chair bound Penny Appleby travels to France to re-unite with her father who she has not seen for some nine years and to meet her new step-mother. Her father is not there when she arrives however and she begins to get suspicious that all is not as it seems... This can arguably be ranked among the best of the Hammer Horror series (though of course there are some other worthy contenders) with more emphasis on the cinematography, the script, the chilling atmosphere and great acting than things like painfully obvious plastic bats on strings that mar other efforts. The story is a little predictable and cliché, but it is well-worked and contains some genuine surprises and real chills. I saw some twists coming, but certainly not all. The similarity to Psycho is clear, but the tone also reminded me a little of another Hitchcock classic, Rebecca. The setting of the creepy French villa adds a great macabre touch to the proceedings, but the brilliant swimming pool scene is the one that sticks in the mind long after viewing. The filming of it in black and white is very effective and the lack of gaudy primary colours that dominate many of the Hammer films (due to the fact they were the first horror films in colour) is welcome. Of course this was filmed in Black Park in Buckinghamshire and not France but the production looks deceptively expensive. For anybody who hasn't seen it, do not expect this to be a Christopher Lee film (though it has been billed as such on the BBC) per se as his actual screen time is limited at best, though he makes a solid contribution as always. Instead it is left to Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd and Ronald Lewis to carry the film and they play their parts to perfection. "Scream of Fear" not available on DVD anywhere as far as I know except Japan, but this is well worth looking up for anybody who enjoys a good thriller or horror.

  • Excellent B&W Hammer


    Scream of Fear aka Taste of Fear (1961) is a marvelous, unknown (at least to me) Hammer film. The story concerns a girl in a wheelchair going to live with her Dad whom she hasn't seen in years. Upon arrival, she meets her stepmother for the first time and is informed that her Dad is away on business. That night, she investigates a strange light in the summer house and discovers here dead father. In her horrified state, she falls into the pool. After she's revived, an investigation of the summer house reveals nothing. As the strange events continue to occur, the local doctor begins to doubt her sanity. But, with the help of the chauffeur, she's determined to get to the bottom of the mystery before she is either killed or driven insane. Anymore of the story would ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen the movie. I've seen some call Scream of Fear "predictable". While I agree to a certain extent, there are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep most anyone guessing. While I may have seen some of the events coming, I could have never guessed the ending. To me, it was an "edge of the seat" movie from start to finish. The acting is first rate. All four of the major characters are brilliantly played. Susan Strasberg is convincingly fragile as the wheelchair-bound Penny Appleby. Ronald Lewis and Ann Todd are perfect as the chauffeur and stepmother, respectively. And, although all he does is come to dinner and talk psycho mumbo jumbo, Christoper Lee is mysterious and convincing as Dr. Gerrard. Everything else about this film, from the beautiful black & white photography to the creepy score, is perfect. I've really got nothing bad to say.

  • Good, atmospheric chiller


    I had this movie so idealized in my mind from childhood, that I was afraid when I finally found it on video (after 4 solid years of searching!), that it wouldn't be as good as I remembered, but it holds up surprisingly well, thanks to director Holt's atmospheric direction and the crisp performances. What I recalled as the movie's biggest fright (the swimming pool) isn't all that scary, but the twist-ending surprise (no spoilers here!) still caught me off guard, and the last couple of minutes of the movie are genuinely suspenseful and more than cap the film's slow, steady buildup. All in all, a wonderful little chiller. Now, if I could only find my other, hard-to-find treasure, "Twisted Nerve"--anyone know if it holds up well? Anyone know where to find it on video or DVD?


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