Twice Told Tales (1963) starring Vincent Price, Sebastian Cabot, Beverly Garland, Richard Denning, Jacqueline de Wit
Twice Told Tales, is a three-part horror story anthology taken from the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, starring Vincent Price in all three.
Synopsis of Twice Told Tales
In Twice Told Tales, this three-part horror story is taken from the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Vincent Price stars in all three tales starting with Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment. Heidegger (Sebastian Cabot) attempts to restore the youth of two elderly friends and tries to resurrect his fiancee 38 years after her death. Rappaccini’s Daughter finds Price as a demented, overprotective father inoculating his daughter with poison so she may never leave her garden of poisonous plants. The House of the Seven Gables has Beverly Garland, Richard Denning, and Jacqueline de Wit accompanying Price, who retains his horror hero status that alternates between villain and victim.
Cast of characters
- Vincent Price (House on Haunted Hill) … Alex Medbourne / Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini / Gerald Pyncheon
- Sebastian Cabot (The Jungle Book) … Dr. Carl Heidigger
- Brett Halsey (Return of the Fly) … Giovanni Guasconti
- Beverly Garland (Alligator People) … Alice Pyncheon
- Richard Denning (Creature from the Black Lagoon) … Jonathan Maulle
- Mari Blanchard (Abbott and Costello Go to Mars) … Sylvia Ward
- Abraham Sofaer (A Matter of Life and Death) … Prof. Pietro Baglioni
- Jacqueline deWit (Little Giant) … Hannah Pyncheon, Gerald’s Sister
- Joyce Taylor (Atlantis: The Lost Continent) … Beatrice Rappaccini
- Edith Evanson (Rope) … Lisabetta, the landlady
- Floyd Simmons (The Deadly Mantis) … Ghost of Mathew Maulle
- Gene Roth (The Spider) … Cabman
Editorial review of Twice Told Tales courtesy of Amazon.com
After the horror-triptych format proved a box-office winner in Tales of Terror, Twice Told Tales repeated the idea — this time not with Edgar Allan Poe stories, but the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Good idea, as Hawthorne delivered some eerie stories in his time, but the execution here is less than scintillating. The first story, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, is the most entertaining of the bunch, in part because Vincent Price (the star of all three stories, natch) and Sebastian Cabot appear to be enjoying the premise: two old friends discover a Fountain of Youth elixir. This will come in handy in erasing their own wrinkles and gray hair, as well as reviving the corpse of Cabot’s long-dead bride … but be careful what you wish for.
The second is Rappaccini’s Daughter, with Price as an overly protective father with a novel way to keep his daughter from the sins of the flesh. It is fatally dull, and the final segment, a severe condensation of Hawthorne’s novel The House of the Seven Gables, is even more annoying, although at least it moves along a bit. The story does offer foxy scream queen Beverly Garland in her prime. Journeyman director Sidney Salkow is responsible for the deadly pace, which leaves only Vincent Price as the reason to watch the proceedings. He’s just dandy, but the Roger Corman films of the same era are the ones to see. —Robert Horton
Updated January 5, 2022.