The Terror

  • 1963
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Horror

More famous for the story behind its making than for the story it actually tells, THE TERROR stars a young Jack Nicholson as Andre Duvalier, a Napoleonic officer who wakes up on the Baltic Coast and sees the figure of a woman, who then disappears. After seeing her several more times, he follows her trail to the castle of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff),...read more

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More famous for the story behind its making than for the story it actually tells, THE TERROR stars a young Jack Nicholson as Andre Duvalier, a Napoleonic officer who wakes up on the Baltic Coast and sees the figure of a woman, who then disappears. After seeing her several more times, he

follows her trail to the castle of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff), where he spots a portrait of the woman on the wall. It turns out that she is Helene (Sandra Knight), Leppe's long-dead wife. Refusing to believe this, Duvalier searches the house for the woman and learns from Leppe's servant (Dick

Miller) that the baron isn't really the baron, but a man who killed the real baron years ago and took his place. After much confusion the bogus baron is drowned when the sea invades the castle, and Duvalier rescues Helene, who ends up falling apart in his arms, for she is nothing more than a

rotting corpse.

Perhaps the most legendary film in Roger Corman's entire career, THE TERROR began as a brainstorm the director had while finishing THE RAVEN. Hating to see the massive RAVEN set go to waste, Corman decided to shoot another picture on the set during the five days remaining before it was to be

dismantled. With only a vague idea of a story, Corman had writer Leo Gordon write some scenes for Karloff and Nicholson, both of whom agreed to hang around for a few days after completion of THE RAVEN. Corman shot their scenes, then became involved with another project, so he had his assistant,

Francis Ford Coppola, finish the film. Coppola took Nicholson and Knight to Big Sur and shot some more scenes, then he got an offer from producer Ray Stark and also left the picture. Several other directors helped finish the film, including Monte Hellman, Jack Hill, Dennis Jacob, and Nicholson

himself. Months later, Corman sifted through the footage and realized the story didn't make any sense, so he called Nicholson and Miller back to shoot another scene, one in which an angry Duvalier forces the baron's servant to tell him what's going on. Thus Miller explains the confusing plot to

Nicholson--and the audience. AIP got even more mileage out of the RAVEN set when clips from the Karloff-Nicholson scenes of THE TERROR ended up four years later in Peter Bogdanovich's TARGETS as the film being shown at a drive-in during the climax.

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  • Review: More famous for the story behind its making than for the story it actually tells, THE TERROR stars a young Jack Nicholson as Andre Duvalier, a Napoleonic officer who wakes up on the Baltic Coast and sees the figure of a woman, who then disappears. After se… (more)

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