The Haunted Palace ★★★½

Pure class. Very good entry in the Corman/Price cycle of AIP films. It's beautifully played by a well-rounded cast and sports tons of atmosphere.

Price, of course, is pitch-perfect in the dual roles of Joseph Curwen/Charles Ward. He's backed by our good friend Lon Chaney Jr. (in his sole performance in a Corman film), the always welcome Elisha Cook Jr., and what would be Debra Paget's final film role before retiring from acting in 1965. Well-written, with stunning art direction by Daniel Haller and cinematography by Floyd Crosby (especially considering its budget). This film is also further proof that Corman was a damn good director when he brought his 'A' game.

It's not as fun as "The Raven", nor as essential as "The Pit and The Pendulum", but this deserves better recognition than it gets. I'll revisit the film, and I can see raising this another 1/2 star if it holds up on repeat viewings. Perfect weekend afternoon/late night fare. Recommended.

(Although it's seen burning in the film, I wonder if there's a copy of that painting of Price still around?)

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