- -And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)

R | 87 or 91 mins | Horror | April 1973

Full page view
HISTORY

The onscreen title reads: --And Now the Screaming Starts! , but some contemporary and modern sources begin the title with an ellipsis, some end without an exclamation mark and some forego all punctuation. The film's working titles were Fengriffen and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream! . Although "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" was the title of a 1967 Harlan Ellison short story, that story is unrelated to the film --And Now the Screaming Starts! . The onscreen credits include a 1973 copyright statement for Amicus Productions, Ltd., but the film was not registered for copyright until 2 Apr 2001, under registration number RE-846-285.
       The action begins with voice-over narration by Stephanie Beacham as “Catherine Fengriffen,” remembering when she first came to the estate. Peter Cushing, as “Dr. Pope,” reads the following passage from the Bible, Exodus 20:5, in voiceover at the end of the film: “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
       According to Filmfacts , some location filming took place in Bray, England, and as noted onscreen, the studio scenes were shot at the Shepperton Studios. A modern source adds Michael Elphick to the cast. According to Filmfacts , the original running time of --And Now the Screaming Starts! was 91 minutes, which was also the British running time as listed in the Dec 1974 Films and Filming review. The running time for the American release was 87 ... More Less

The onscreen title reads: --And Now the Screaming Starts! , but some contemporary and modern sources begin the title with an ellipsis, some end without an exclamation mark and some forego all punctuation. The film's working titles were Fengriffen and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream! . Although "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" was the title of a 1967 Harlan Ellison short story, that story is unrelated to the film --And Now the Screaming Starts! . The onscreen credits include a 1973 copyright statement for Amicus Productions, Ltd., but the film was not registered for copyright until 2 Apr 2001, under registration number RE-846-285.
       The action begins with voice-over narration by Stephanie Beacham as “Catherine Fengriffen,” remembering when she first came to the estate. Peter Cushing, as “Dr. Pope,” reads the following passage from the Bible, Exodus 20:5, in voiceover at the end of the film: “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
       According to Filmfacts , some location filming took place in Bray, England, and as noted onscreen, the studio scenes were shot at the Shepperton Studios. A modern source adds Michael Elphick to the cast. According to Filmfacts , the original running time of --And Now the Screaming Starts! was 91 minutes, which was also the British running time as listed in the Dec 1974 Films and Filming review. The running time for the American release was 87 minutes.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 May 1973
p. 4588.
Daily Variety
10 May 1973.
---
Filmfacts
1973
pp. 50-52.
Films and Filming
Dec 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 1972.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 May 1973
Section II, p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
5 May 1973.
---
New York Times
28 Apr 1973
p. 21.
Variety
26 Jul 1972.
---
Variety
9 May 1973
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Focus puller
Clapper/Loader
Sd cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Const mgr
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Ward mistress
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd ed
Sd mixer
Dubbing mixer
Boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
MAKEUP
Chief make-up
Chief hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Casting dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Fengriffen by David Case (New York, 1970).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Fengriffen
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream!
Release Date:
April 1973
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 27 Apr 1973
Production Date:
began mid Jul 1972 at Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Middlesex, England
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
87 or 91
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the British countryside in 1795, Catherine and her fiancé Charles Fengriffen arrive at his family estate. Although she is at first delighted by the 300-year-old mansion, she is soon disconcerted by a portrait of Charles’ grandfather, Sir Henry, whose eyes seem alive. Upon examining it more carefully, Catherine sees a hand reach out of the portrait and screams in terror, but Charles assures her she is merely tired. Later, after their wedding, they retire to bed, unaware that a disembodied hand is crawling across the floor toward them. Charles leaves Catherine alone in the room, and as soon as she gets into bed, the door locks, the candles burn out and she is assaulted by an unseen entity. While Charles, hearing her screams, rushes to break down her door, the maid, Mrs. Luke, walks away wordlessly. A few nights later, as the newlyweds make love, Catherine sees a ghostly figure in the room, and later stares at Henry’s portrait until drops of blood pool up on the floor. Frightened, she runs outside to the estate cemetery, but there is further terrified by the woodsman, Silas, who bears a raspberry mark across his cheek. Catherine asks Charles about Silas, but he informs her only that he lives on the estate. One day soon after, she walks to Silas’ cottage to question him. The woodsman declares that Henry bequeathed the estate to Silas’ grandfather, whose name was also Silas. Catherine relates this information to Charles, but when he refuses to discuss it, she turns to their solicitor, Maitland, who confirms Silas’ tale. Seeing Catherine’s distress and confusion, Maitland agrees to talk to Charles, but the next night, while riding to ... +


In the British countryside in 1795, Catherine and her fiancé Charles Fengriffen arrive at his family estate. Although she is at first delighted by the 300-year-old mansion, she is soon disconcerted by a portrait of Charles’ grandfather, Sir Henry, whose eyes seem alive. Upon examining it more carefully, Catherine sees a hand reach out of the portrait and screams in terror, but Charles assures her she is merely tired. Later, after their wedding, they retire to bed, unaware that a disembodied hand is crawling across the floor toward them. Charles leaves Catherine alone in the room, and as soon as she gets into bed, the door locks, the candles burn out and she is assaulted by an unseen entity. While Charles, hearing her screams, rushes to break down her door, the maid, Mrs. Luke, walks away wordlessly. A few nights later, as the newlyweds make love, Catherine sees a ghostly figure in the room, and later stares at Henry’s portrait until drops of blood pool up on the floor. Frightened, she runs outside to the estate cemetery, but there is further terrified by the woodsman, Silas, who bears a raspberry mark across his cheek. Catherine asks Charles about Silas, but he informs her only that he lives on the estate. One day soon after, she walks to Silas’ cottage to question him. The woodsman declares that Henry bequeathed the estate to Silas’ grandfather, whose name was also Silas. Catherine relates this information to Charles, but when he refuses to discuss it, she turns to their solicitor, Maitland, who confirms Silas’ tale. Seeing Catherine’s distress and confusion, Maitland agrees to talk to Charles, but the next night, while riding to the estate, is murdered. Inside, meanwhile, Catherine sees a ghostly image outside her window, which then breaks. When she screams for Mrs. Luke, however, the maid points out that the window is unbroken, causing Catherine to fear for her sanity. Dr. Whittle arrives to examine Catherine and reports that she is pregnant, news that thrills Charles but fills Catherine with dread. In private, Whittle advises Charles to tell his bride the truth about the estate’s apocryphal curse, but Charles refuses. Charles questions Silas but the woodsman proclaims his innocence, declaring “my time is coming.” Catherine, who has stopped eating, begs Mrs. Luke for information, and although the maid is scared to speak, her pity for Catherine prompts her to agree to show her a book. When Mrs. Luke removes the book from the house library, however, the disembodied hand pushes her down the stairs to her death. Upon learning of the latest death, Catherine’s chaperone, Aunt Edith, prepares for them both to leave the house. When she passes Henry’s portrait, however, the hand strangles her, and she dies in front of Catherine’s door. Charles insists Aunt Edith died of a heart attack, but Catherine, nearly undone, begs him to be honest with her. In response, Charles storms out to Silas’ cottage, offering him money to leave the estate, but Silas merely laughs. That night, Catherine wanders the house and slashes at the portrait with a kitchen knife. When Charles finds her, she awakens as if from a trance and falls down the stairs. Whittle is called, and finds that although the baby is safe, Catherine’s mind is altered. He leaves a tonic, and Catherine, in suspicion, throws it into the lake, then returns to her bedroom to find it once again on her bedside table. In desperation, Charles hires famed London psychologist Dr. Pope to attend to Catherine. Upon his arrival, Pope is immediately alarmed by the dire predictions of the new maid, Bridget, and by the presence of Silas lurking under his bedroom window. In the morning, after deducing that Catherine slashed the portrait, Pope asks her to tell him everything that has happened. Later, he spots her in the library reading the book that Mrs. Luke had been carrying when she died. Examining it after Catherine leaves, Pope notes that it is a treatise on witchcraft and demons. Pope turns to Whittle, who reluctantly admits that the house has a legend connected to it, but as soon as he beings to explain, the hand, now invisible, chokes him to death. Pope then questions Charles about the recent deaths, and Charles admits that he is finally beginning to believe the legend, which he relates to Pope: Fifty years earlier, Henry lives in debauched squalor, hosting bacchanalian parties at the manor. On the day that Silas’ grandfather is married, Henry leads a group of drunken men to the cottage and demands his right to have sex with the new, virgin bride. When Silas attempts to protect his terrified wife, Henry cuts off his hand in punishment and rapes the woman. Silas vows to avenge the act by cursing the next virgin Fengriffen bride. Years later, Henry tries to make restitution to Silas, who refuses him until Silas sires a son, after which he demands the perpetual right to live on the estate. As Charles finishes his story, Catherine, who has been listening at the door, steals away to her room, where she raises a knife above her belly, but then collapses in grief. Pope counsels Catherine that the legend, and the book, have no basis in fact, and she responds that she fears not the legend but her conviction that the baby is the child of the ghost. Soon after, she goes into labor, and when she sees the ghost in the room, is given a sedative. After she delivers the baby, Charles sees the raspberry stain across its cheek and its missing hand, and runs out in horror. Pope follows as Charles races to Silas’ cottage, where he kills the woodsman, then heads to the cemetery to break open Henry’s tomb with an ax. As Pope tries but fails to stop him, Catherine awakens and looks at her son, and although she initially pushes him away, eventually she accepts him into her arms. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.