After the horror-triptych format proved a box-office winner in Tales of Terror, Twice Told Tales repeated the idea? this time not with Edgar Allan Poe stories, but the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Good idea, as Hawthorne d... more »elivered some eerie stories in his time, but the execution here is less than scintillating. The first story, "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," is the most entertaining of the bunch, in part because Vincent Price (the star of all three stories, natch) and Sebastian Cabot appear to be enjoying the premise: two old friends discover a Fountain of Youth elixir. This will come in handy in erasing their own wrinkles and gray hair, as well as reviving the corpse of Cabot's long-dead bride? but be careful what you wish for. The second is "Rappaccini's Daughter," with Price as an overly protective father with a novel way to keep his daughter from the sins of the flesh. It is fatally dull, and the final segment, a severe condensation of Hawthorne's novel "The House of the Seven Gables," is even more annoying, although at least it moves along a bit. The story does offer foxy scream queen Beverly Garland in her prime. Journeyman director Sidney Salkow is responsible for the deadly pace, which leaves only Vincent Price as the reason to watch the proceedings. He's just dandy, but the Roger Corman films of the same era are the ones to see. --Robert Horton« less
Robert S. Clay Jr. | St. Louis, MO., USA | 05/30/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is an obvious attempt by another filmmaker to copy the success of the Roger Corman/American International/Edgar Allan Poe tales starring Vincent Price. They even went so far as to cast Price in the lead role. The anthology of three tales based on the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne is worth viewing, but you have to be a determined collector of gothic horror flicks to take an interest in this one. The movie suffers in comparison with the Poe product. Instead of Corman's creepy camp worthy of multiple viewing, we have straight-faced tales of the supernatural. The first story, "Dr. Heidigger's Experiment" fares the best. Price and Sebastian Cabot discover the secret of rejuvenation and resurrect Cabot's love of 38 years ago. Instead of a dusty skeleton in a grungy gown, we now have a dishy blonde in a plunging negligee. Combined with the color photography and period detail, the mood here begins to resemble the heaving bosoms of Hammer. "Rappacini's Daughter" plods along, slow paced and poisonous, with its tragic romance. "The House of Seven Gables" tries to capture the mood of the classic novel, but it only achieves modest results before it collapses on itself. The supernatural overtone of the stories is subdued. Vincent Price grimaces and tries to look tragically sorrowful. The no frills Midnite Movies edition of the DVD includes the original trailer, but no bonus extras. Proceed at your own risk. ;-)"
On the original movie.
Dave. K | 08/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scoff all you want to about whether or not this movie is scary by todays terms. I haven't see the DVD but I saw the original movie back in 1963 as a six year old. First movie I think I ever saw in a theater and it gave me nightmares for YEARS. I have searched for this movie for years in ANY format to see (as an adult) what so terrified me in my youth. After 40 years I have finally found it available in a format I can purchase and view - and have just ordered it. After a long search, glad I finally found it."
Despite the 2-star rating, Twice Told Tales is a decent watc
Dave. K | Staten Island, Ny | 11/19/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Twice Told Tales was released in 1963 during an era in which the Anthology was quite popular and would remain that way until about the early 70s when they were being produced few and far between. Twice Told Tales stars horror legend Vincent Price and all 3 stories are written by Robert E. Kent based off the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and all 3 segments are directed by Sidney Salkow who also worked with Price on The Last Man on Earth.
The biggest complaint when it comes to Anthology's is a lot of the times people feel the stories needed to be longer, but in the case of Twice Told Tales I felt the opposite, with 3 stories in 120-minutes they seemed to drag on a bit longer than they needed to be. Despite my rating I did enjoy Twice Told Tales, but I do feel as if the running time on each story could have been cut down a bit and while it wouldn't make this a classic of the genre it would make it more enjoyable.
The first story was Heidegger's Experiment and in my opinion was the best of the three. This story is about a potion that can restore youth and not only preserve a body in perfect condition, but can also bring them back to life. This one is mostly filled with talk, but it's quite interesting and the potion leads to secrets, betrayal and murder. I quite enjoyed this story a lot, but in all honestly it could have been cut down by a few minutes to help the pacing. But when all is said and done this was highly enjoyable.
The 2nd story was Rappaccini's Daughter; Price plays Rappaccini and he infects his daughter with a poison, so she can never leave the garden and anything she touches dies. A young Brett Halsey also stars. Like the first story, this one tends to drag in some areas and while editing would have helped the pacing unlike the first story it wouldn't help that much. Rappaccini's Daughter is a good story, but also kind of boring at times. This one has Romeo and Juliet type ending and again is good, but slightly boring and a little on the slow side at times.
The last story is The House of Seven Gables and was probably the most interesting of the three, but doesn't quite work; it's slightly slow paced and at times just not that interesting where as other times it is very interesting. This one though is growing on me after another viewing or so, I would possibly rate this higher.
Overall Twice Told Tales is a fun Anthology, but has some pacing problems I would recommend this to those who like Anthology's and or Vincent Price. It's a decent watch, but doesn't hold up as well on repeated viewings in my opinion. The biggest problem really is the pacing. Like I said most complaints with Anthology's is the stories need more time where as in this one, they might have been better off with a lesser running time; Still worth checking out at least once."
Twice watched flick
Mart Sander | www.martsander.com | 02/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nice flick, and yes, reminicent of Corman in a slightly more straightforward way. Not only does it lack Corman's dreamy camerawork, but the picture also seems by bits to be suffering from too much bright lighting, where there should be shadows and mid-tones. The film is well presented, the copy is very good, with probably the best picture / sound quality available. Definitely not terryfying to modern viewer, but worth buying, if you have all the Corman films, and still want more!"
Classic tales of the supernatural
z hayes | TX | 11/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Though the three stories contained in this collection are by no means good adaptations of the original sources,they are still worth viewing if only to watch the incomparable Vincent Price. The stories here are very loosely adapted from the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The first story "Dr Heidegger's Experiment" is perhaps the best of the three - it centers around two old friends who suddenly find the source of life and youth dripping from the ceiling of a crypt. Before long, the two friends restore their youth and also bring a long-dead corpse back to life but discover that some things are best left as is. "Rappacini's Daughter" is the weakest of the three - Vincent Price stars as Dr Rappacini, whose possessiveness of his daughter goes to literally toxic lengths with predictably tragic consequences. The plot here was rather plodding and lacked credibility as the story felt rushed through.
Finally,in "The House of the Seven Gables", Gerald Pycheon returns to his cursed ancestral home much to the chagrin of his estranged sister and the horror of his wife, who senses a strange affinity to the place. This story would have played out a lot better if it were not confined to the ridiculous length of abt 35 minutes [imagine an entire novel being shortened into a short story] and everything plays out so quickly and abruptly that the story ends up being more of a farce than true horror.
All in all, I'd recommend this to fans of Vincent Price and those who get a kick out of the classic horror movies of yesteryear."