|Fenella Fielding and Tom Poston.|
The Femm family is still an unusual lot, but that's to be expected when you're home-bound. It turns out that the Femm children's great, great grandfather was the pirate Captain Morgan who, before being hanged, wrote a will with a peculiar provision. Each family member must appear at a midnight gathering or forfeit his or her share of the family fortune. Thus, every time a Femm dies, the survivors grow richer.
|Joyce Grenfell as Agatha Femm.|
|Janette Scott as Cecily Femm.|
As the hero, Tom Poston executes the required pratfalls and looks of distress. However, he lacks the comic flair necessary to carry off this kind of role (Bob Hope and Lou Costello did it much better). Poston was always more at home as a TV series supporting player, where he found great success. For the record, he also starred in another William Castle picture: the previous year's fantasy-comedy Zotz!
The Old Dark House boasts an unusual production pedigree in that it's a co-production between Castle and Hammer Films. The film's crew includes many names familiar to Hammer fans: set designer Bernard Robinson, editor James Needs, cinematographer Arthur Grant, and others. Allegedly, Hammer's Anthony Hinds co-produced The Old Dark House at Bray Studios in Great Britain. However, his name is missing from the credits. Furthermore, the last two credits are very unusual: "Produced and directed by William Castle" is followed by the redundant "Directed by William Castle."
Speaking of the stylish credits, they were done by the famous cartoonist Charles Addams (creator of The Addams Family). His hand appears on screen as he signs his name in cursive. Hey, even Saul Bass, the most famous creator of credits, never got to do that.