Twice-Told Tales (1963)

twice-told tales poster 1963 movie vincent price horror
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Vincent Price makes it fun

Stories miss some potential

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Twice-Told Tales

Studio:  United Artists

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movies

Release Date(s):  September 1963

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Nothing is more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day!

Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment—Carl (Sebastian Cabot) and Alex (Vincent Price celebrate Carl’s seventy-ninth birthday with a discovery of a water-like fluid which restores youth.  When Carl uses the fluid to bring back his fiancée Sylvia Ward (Mari Blanchard) that died on the day of their wedding, he uncovers more than he planned.  Rappaccini’s Daughter—Beatrice (Joyce Taylor) is held captive in her father’s courtyard home but finds herself falling in love with her young neighbor Giovanni Guasconti (Brett Halsey).  Beatrice’s father Giacomo Rappaccini (Vincent Price) however is determined to keep his daughter for himself.  House of the Seven Gables—Gerald Pyncheon (Vincent Price) has returned to his family home with his wife Alice (Beverly Garland) and is determined to reclaim his family fortune.  Unfortunately, the family curse of stolen land has also returned.  When Alice finds herself in a spiritual connection with the deceased Mathew Maulle (Floyd Simmons), only his descendant Jonathan (Richard Denning) may save her from the madness of the Pyncheon family curse.


Oh no! Your head got in the way of my pick-axe!

Directed by Sidney Salkow, Twice-Told Tales is an anthology horror film based upon the stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne.  “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” comes from the 1837 collection Twice-Told Tales (though the original title was “The Fountain of Yonder” when it first was published in The Knickerbocker magazine that same year).  The second story “Rappaccini’s Daughter” came from Mosses from an Old Manse in 1844.  The final story “The House of the Seven Gables” was a stand-alone novel from 1851.

I love anthologies.  I always feel like they are the best of both worlds.  You generally get a nice strong story and if you don’t like a story, it is soon over and you get a second chance with another story.  This anthology film I feel has a rather plateau of slightly above average stories that never achieve their full potential.


Dad, you are not getting a Father’s Day card

I like all the stories presented in the story though most are tweaked from the original tale to make them a bit more horrific.  Possibly the weakest and most altered is the more famous of the stories The House of the Seven Gables which has the historic home’s destruction.  Most of the stories make Price the sinister villain of the tales when the stories didn’t really have sinister villains.

Price, like in all of his films, eats up the screen.  You can say one thing about Vincent Price, no matter how much of a turkey a movie is, he seems to make the best of it.  Most of the stories have a small cast and Price seems to work well with them.


Ok…the floor might be a bit uneven and it drips blood…but it is still a good buy!

The movie looks like a typical horror film from the ’60s.  It is full of cheesy skeletons and sometimes bad effects.  Despite this, it is kind of what you expect from the film.  It does build atmosphere and despite not being a Hammer film, the movie does really feel like one.

Twice-Told Tales is a fun, but unbalanced horror film.  The tales have a lot of potential but miss on most of them.  It is still a fun ride, and Price still manages to provide viewers with fun.  Hawthorne’s horrific tales are sometimes forgotten (these were not all maybe considered horror), but it is good to see some other influential “horror” writers get some screen time when Poe often dominates this period.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Comments are closed.