Crescendo


1h 23m 1972
Crescendo

Brief Synopsis

Research on a recently deceased composer gets a music student mixed up with his dysfunctional family.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Horror/Science-Fiction
Horror
Release Date
1972
Production Company
Hammer Films
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

Research on a recently deceased composer gets a music student mixed up with his dysfunctional family.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Horror/Science-Fiction
Horror
Release Date
1972
Production Company
Hammer Films
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Crescendo


Were it not for Michael Reeves' untimely death at age 25 in February 1969, Crescendo (1970) might have been another feather in the cap of the visionary young director of The Sorcerers (1967) with Boris Karloff and Witchfinder General (1968) with Vincent Price. Reeves had collaborated on the original screenplay, initially titled Appassionata, with feature director turned TV writer Alfred Shaughnessy; the partners took as their pillars of inspiration Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) for the tale of a mad family ensconced in the French countryside, and the visiting American who exposes their shameful secrets. After Repulsion distributors, Compton Films, passed on the pitch, the script drifted and, following Reeves' death, ended up in the hands of Hammer Film Productions. Rewritten by Jimmy Sangster, the script was retitled Crescendo and an invitation was extended by Hammer to Hollywood icon Joan Crawford to appear as the duplicitous widow Danielle Ryman; when Crawford proved unavailable (she instead starred in Trog and then swiftly retired), British actress Margaretta Scott was cast in her place. Through Christopher Lee expressed an interest in costarring with leading lady Stefanie Powers, Warner Bros. wanted an American and cast James Olson as the haunted (and heroin-addicted) Georges Ryman. At the time of its theatrical release in the UK, Crescendo drew unfavorable notices from the British critics, prompting Hammer to pair it with the tried-and-true Taste the Blood of Dracula (1971). For its belated American release, Warners programmed Crescendo alongside Dracula AD 1972 (1972).

By Richard Harland Smith
Crescendo

Crescendo

Were it not for Michael Reeves' untimely death at age 25 in February 1969, Crescendo (1970) might have been another feather in the cap of the visionary young director of The Sorcerers (1967) with Boris Karloff and Witchfinder General (1968) with Vincent Price. Reeves had collaborated on the original screenplay, initially titled Appassionata, with feature director turned TV writer Alfred Shaughnessy; the partners took as their pillars of inspiration Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) for the tale of a mad family ensconced in the French countryside, and the visiting American who exposes their shameful secrets. After Repulsion distributors, Compton Films, passed on the pitch, the script drifted and, following Reeves' death, ended up in the hands of Hammer Film Productions. Rewritten by Jimmy Sangster, the script was retitled Crescendo and an invitation was extended by Hammer to Hollywood icon Joan Crawford to appear as the duplicitous widow Danielle Ryman; when Crawford proved unavailable (she instead starred in Trog and then swiftly retired), British actress Margaretta Scott was cast in her place. Through Christopher Lee expressed an interest in costarring with leading lady Stefanie Powers, Warner Bros. wanted an American and cast James Olson as the haunted (and heroin-addicted) Georges Ryman. At the time of its theatrical release in the UK, Crescendo drew unfavorable notices from the British critics, prompting Hammer to pair it with the tried-and-true Taste the Blood of Dracula (1971). For its belated American release, Warners programmed Crescendo alongside Dracula AD 1972 (1972). By Richard Harland Smith

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Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1972

Released in United States 1972