Crescendo (1970 film)
UK quad film poster
|Directed by||Alan Gibson|
|Produced by||Michael Carreras|
|Music by||Malcolm Williamson|
|Edited by||Chris Barnes|
Drawn to the spectacular south of France to research the late composer Henry Ryman, music student Susan Roberts (Stefanie Powers) encounters his son, drug-addicted Georges (James Olson) and his eccentric family. Investigating the haunting strains of an unfinished Ryman concerto leads Susan to discover an empty piano… and a brutally savaged mannequin! Georges tells her she's the lookalike of his lost love. But Susan may not be the only one at the villa with an eerie doppelgänger.
Alfred Shaughnessy wrote the script in the mid 60s. In 1966, Michael Reeves approached Hammer Films with the script. James Carreras tried for two years to make it with Joan Crawford but could not get financing. In 1969, the project was reactivated, with Jimmy Sangster hired to rewrite the script and Alan Gibson to direct.
Crescendo premiered in London on 7 May 1970 at the New Victoria Theatre. It received a general release on 7 June 1970 by Warner-Pathe in support of Taste the Blood of Dracula . It was distributed in the United States by Warner Brothers on 29 November 1971.
Its performance at the box office was disappointing.
In a contemporary review, the Monthly Film Bulletin found the film to be "Another Hammer horror, and within its own terms quite a spirited offering" noting that Gibson has "injected a gratuitous amount of sex into the story but otherwise presents the usual mixture with sure style and a good eye for colour." The review went ont to state that "the dialogue does creak somewhat, but the next Hammer surprise is never far away; even the butler turns out to have a fequent inmate of asylums, though he seems about as normal as anyone else in the film."
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