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Promotional memorabilia for The Haunting, the 1963 movie

Film stills (aka promotional pictures) for The Haunting

Definition

What are they & What are they useful for?

A film still (sometimes called a publicity still or a production still) is a photograph taken on or off the set of a movie or television program during production. These photographs are also taken in formal studio settings and venues of opportunity such as film stars' homes, film debut events, and commercial settings. The photos were taken by studio photographers for promotional purposes. Such stills consisted of posed portraits, used for public display or free fan handouts, which are sometimes autographed. They can also consist of posed or candid images taken on the set during production, and may include stars, crew members or directors at work.

The main purpose of such publicity stills is to help studios advertise and promote their new films and stars. Studios therefore send those photos along with press kits and free passes to as many movie-related publications as possible so as to gain free publicity. Such photos were then used by newspapers and magazines, for example, to write stories about the stars or the films themselves. Hence, the studio gains free publicity for its films, while the publication gains free stories for its readers. ~ from Wikipedia

I invite you to read all the details on the Wikipedia site.

How many exactly?

In that attempt to count them I'll focus on US promotional pictures. Some foreign countries (outside the USA) issued some promotional pictures, but they were merely reprints of US promotional pictures, with a different movie title and accompanying text.

A first I was simply delighted to have a few 5303-number promotional pictures. Then I realised, from the numbering scheme, that at least 100+ pictures were out there. While augmenting my collection, I got a few 5303-Xnumber pictures; pictures with "technical/making of" scenes. I don't know how many of them were released. Later on, among my collection of "portrait" or "landscape" pictures, I realised that some pictures were available in both formats, with the same reference number.

So at the end of it all, I assume there are roughly 200+ US promotional pictures available: 100+ "portrait" pictures, plus 100+ "landscape" pictures, plus an unknown number of "X"-numbered technical pictures.

Why they are interesting

They are very attracting for several reasons:

  • Some of them were taken from the delete scenes. Notably, the dispute between Theo and her girlfriend, in her artist's atelier.
  • Some of them were taken especially for promotion, depicting actions that do not actually take place in the movie. For instance, Dr. Markway trying to catch Eleanor on her way up the spiral staircase, or Eleanor posing in front of the "Hill House" engraved stone at the gates, or the team in front of the house, all aligned and looking at the same direction.
  • Some of them show the outfit of the characters, probably some wardrobe tests, not taken on the set of the movie.
  • The technical pictures allow us to see elements of the "making of", crew, equipment on set. For instance, a camera on rails on the right side of the main wooden staircase.

Film posters for The Haunting

Definition

What are they & What are they useful for?

A film poster is a poster used to promote and advertise a film. Studios often print several posters that vary in size and content for various domestic and international markets. They normally contain an image with text. Today's posters often feature photographs of the main actors. Prior to the 1990s, illustrations instead of photos were far more common. The text on film posters usually contains the film title in large lettering and often the names of the main actors. It may also include a tagline, the name of the director, names of characters, the release date, etc.

Film posters are displayed inside and on the outside of movie theaters, and elsewhere on the street or in shops. The same images appear in the film exhibitor's pressbook and may also be used on websites, DVD (and historically VHS) packaging, flyers, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, etc.

Film posters have been used since the earliest public exhibitions of film. They began as outside placards listing the programme of (short) films to be shown inside the hall or movie theater. By the early 1900s, they began to feature illustrations of a film scene or an array of overlaid images from several scenes. Other posters have used artistic interpretations of a scene or even the theme of the film, represented in a wide variety of artistic styles. ~ from Wikipedia

I invite you to read all the details on the Wikipedia site

Why they are interesting

Apparently, the foreign distributors had a huge freedom with the posters. In most of these foreign (non US) countries, the movie poster bears no resemblance at all with the original US poster. It's both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because some of these new artworks are really well thought and executed; a curse because some of them are quite sloppy and uninspired, not to say ugly.

Lobby cards for The Haunting

Definition

What are they & What are they useful for?

Lobby cards are similar to posters but smaller, usually 11 in x 14 in (28 cm x 36 cm), also 8 in x 10 in (20 cm x 25 cm) before 1930. Lobby cards are collectible and values depend on their age, quality, and popularity. Typically issued in sets of eight, each featuring a different scene from the film. In unusual circumstances, some releases were promoted with larger (12 cards) or smaller sets (6 cards). ~ from Wikipedia

I invite you to read all the details on the Wikipedia site

I belong to a generation which witnessed the emergence of Internet in the mid-90s. When I was a teenager, in the 80s, selecting a movie to go and see what very different. There was no YouTube, IMdB, dedicated web sites or apps. Nothing like that. To make a choice, you had consulted the newspapers and magazine reviews, you might had seen the trailer while watching another film in the movie theatre, you might have had advices from friends and family, but very importantly: you had the 10 or 12 lobby cards displayed inside the movie theatre lobby, the main hall, before the cashier. Eventually, in case of doubt, the lobby cards made you select a movie over another one.

Why they are interesting

Their number was quite limited, to be displayed in the lobby of the movie theatres. They were supposed to be teasing, to tempt you in. A smart selection which was enigmatic enough to pique your imagination to find out more, but not too much to spoil the suspense. So, in a way, they are a snapshot of the what the local distributor thought most appropriate to entice you to buy a ticket.

Disclaimer

I had already scanned all of them in the past, but I rescanned everything in summer 2016 with my new scanner, much better than the previous models I used in the past.

I need to state that all the lobby cards reproduced on this site have been digitally "cleaned" and "restored" with appropriate photo editing tools. All my lobby cards are in excellent condition, but one can expect some yellowing of the paper after 50 years or so. The staple marks and other scratches were fixed. The supposedly-white part was whitened. The colour cards (USA, Mexico) were revived with more intense colours. The black and white cards (France, Germany, UK) were rejuvenated with darker black and bright whites. Extra care has been taken not to drown all details with excessive black levels.

I hope I got closer to the original lobby cards, in their 1963 pristine mint condition. But what you see here is not what you will get if you buy your own set of lobby cards.

USA

If you wonder what the inspiration was for the green-tinted cards, then look no further: it comes directly from the superb US posters, mainly black and green.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #1

Card #1
The four intruders on a scientific investigation enter a long-unopened room and experience a gripping chill.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #2

Card #2
Thundering moans and horrible roars follow a screaming Julie Harris through menacing corridors.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #3

Card #3
Beautiful Claire Bloom reacts coldly to Russ Tamblyn, the conceited heir to the house of terror.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #4

Card #4
Reluctantly, a shattered Julie Harris leaves Hill House as Claire Bloom and Richard Johnson stay on.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #5

Card #5
Terrified, the intruders at Hill House listen to the shrieking and crashing of the unknown haunt.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #6

Card #6
Amid the gloom of Hill House, a shy and timid Julie Harris starts to fall in love with Richard Johnson.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #7

Card #7
The scene of suicide long ago holds strange fascination for Claire Bloom, Russ Tamblyn and Richard Johnson.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, USA, #8

Card #8
Julie Harris' mind begins to succumb to the terror of Hill House and her companions have cause to worry.

Mexico

I like these very colourful, very large Mexican lobby cards. It makes me wonder about what the colourized version of the movie looks like.

These cards required a special treatment: their size is beyond the A3 format (a standard European size of paper, 420 x 297 mm) of my already very generously large scanner.

On the lower right side of each card, there is a text that reads:

¡En la casa misteriosa... los muertos están inquietos!
¿Que quieren?
¿Quién podrá calmarlos?
¿Quien puede acallar los lamentos, los aterradores gritos, los ruidos escalofriantes?

Which can be translated as:

In the mysterious house ... the dead are restless!
What do they want?
Who can calm them down?
Who can silence the cries, the terrifying screams, the creepy noises?

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #1 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #2 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #3 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #4 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #5 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #6 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #7 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Mexico, #8

France

France was very generously served with many cards! I still miss a few of them. Strangely, they are in landscape or portrait format. Mixing the orientation of the card is weird.

Furthermore, it's the only country where Grace Markways makes an appearance on the lobby cards.

I like the classic "not in the movie" promo picture of the team, in front of the house, all looking in the same direction. It is still very strange for me to realise that I actually slept in that room.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #01 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #02 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #03 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #04 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #05 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #07 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #08 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #09 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #10 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #11 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #06 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #12 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, France, #13

Germany

The German lobby cards are quite interesting too because they make a better use of the surface: the photo covers it all, with just a logo to mention the name of the movie.

There can't be an odd number of lobby cards, so I keep on looking.

In that set, I really like the one where Eleanor is sitting on the spiral staircase, with a strange look in the eye, staring at something.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Germany, #1 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Germany, #2 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Germany, #3 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Germany, #4 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Germany, #5 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Germany, #6 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, Germany, #7

UK

This set also uses the classic "not in the movie" promo picture of the team, in front of the house, all looking in the same direction, this time with a wider frame.

The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #1 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #2 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #3 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #4 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #5 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #6 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #7 The Haunting, 1963, Lobby cards, UK, #8

MGM documents for The Haunting

MGM created promotional items both domestically (US) and internationally.

US Campaign book

In the US, the campaign book is a "must have" in any serious collection. This 12-page extra-large booklet gathers and presents the movie, the actors but more importantly all the promotional material that can be used in the magazines and local newspapers, the various posters, some radio announcements (1m, 30s, 20s, 10s) and a few suggestions to create more buzz about the film.

Flyers and brochures

I was able to buy local brochures and leaflets from France, Belgium, Germany and Japan (several of them). I assume other local promotional material does exist, maybe in the UK, Italy, Spain or South America (Mexico?). If you have other MGM official promotional material, I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

 

MGM Belgium, 3-fold, 2-sided bilingual booklet

This 3-fold, 2-sided promotional folder from MGM Belgium is unusual because it's bilingual: one side for French, the other for Dutch (the two main official languages of Belgium, with German being the 3rd one, but often forgotten or neglected).
To stand out, these MGM Belgian folders are all printed in black and white, with the addition of one bright colour. Yellow was the one selected for "The Haunting".
It features a selection of promotional pictures, some recommendations regarding the font sizes of printed ads, some advertising slogans, some technical facts (Ettington Park, use of belgian infrared film) in addition to a movie synopsis.

The Haunting, 1963, MGM Belgium, 3-fold, 2-sided bilingual booklet, french front The Haunting, 1963, MGM Belgium, 3-fold, 2-sided bilingual booklet, dutch front

French synopsis
Un coin d'apparence paisible de la Nouvelle-Angleterre... Depuis nonante ans toutefois, Hill House, l'une de ses plus somptueuses demeures, terrorise les habitants. C'est la maison du mal, disent-ils...
La femme pour laquelle la demeure fut construite n'y est jamais entrée. Un énorme chêne de l'allée y garde le souvenir de sa mort violente. Ses chevaux y ont fracassé son léger cab. Elle fut la première victime de Hill House, et depuis les locataires successifs y ont tous connu un destin tragique.
Le docteur John Montague, passionné de sciences surnaturelles, veut y passer ses vacances, et tirer au clair le mystère de la maison hantée. L'est-elle réellement, ou bien les rumeurs plaintives que l'on entend la nuit ne sont-elles que le fruit d'esprits terrorisés d'avance ?
Pour le seconder dans ses recherches, le professeur Montague engage deux jolies jeunes femmes, Theoroda et Eleanor. L'une parce qu'elle recèle une sensibilité extra-sensorielle très aiguë, l'autre parce qu'à l'âge de dix ans elle fut soumise à diverses expériences spirituelles. Luke Sanderson, qui doit un jour hériter de Hill House, est accepté dans le groupe. Mme Grace Montague, la femme du docteur, qui est contre ce genre d'expériences, a refusé d'entrer dans le jeu.
Quelques heures après l'arrivée du quatuor à Hill House elle y fait toutefois irruption. A-t-elle pressenti l'attraction qui pousse le docteur Montague et Eleanor l'un vers l'autre ?
Mme Montague, au comble de l'énervement, se moque et défie les esprits de Hill House. Elle disparaît mystérieusement, et personne ne retrouve sa trace. Une victime de plus pour Hill House ? ... Sera-ce la dernière ? Eleanor, Theodora, Luke Sanderson et le docteur se le demandent avec angoisse...

French trivia (écho)
C'est à Ettington Park, près de Stratford-upon-Avon, où naquit Shakespeare, que Robert Wise découvrir la vieille demeure gothique qu'il transforma en Hill House, la maison hantée.
Pour lui donner cet aspect lugubre qui donne à son film un ton de cauchemar, Robert Wise l'a photographié sous les angles les plus insolites. Sans résultat d'abord ; la maison gardait un vague caractère de haute bourgeoisie. Il décida alors d'utiliser des films à infra-rouge commandés en Belgique. L'effet fut immédiat : Hill House tourné à l'infra-rouge prit aussitôt un aspect fantomatique. Même le vert du jardin vira au blanc trouble.

French slogans
Un cauchemar de grande classe ...
Dans "La maison du diable", la mort ne connaît pas de repos ...
Dans "La maison du diable", vous pouvez crier ... Personne ne vous entendra ...

Dutch synopsis
In een rustige streek van Nieuw Engeland heeft "Hill House" een vreselijke reputatie. Meer dan negentig jaar geleden stond het er al en was het bekend als een duivelshuis. De vrouw voor dewelke het gebouwd werd zag het huis nooit. Zij verongelukte even tevoren toen het paard van haar gespan tegen een boomstronk reed en men haar lijk onder de wrakstukken uithaalde. Zij was aldus het eerste slachtoffer van het spookhuis. Toen nog andere slachtoffers volgen, geloofde het volk vast dat het een echt duivelshuis was. Mrs. Sanderson de huidige eigenares, tracht door haar verschrikkelijke verhalen Dr. John Montague van zijn plan af te brengen het huis voor een zomer te huren. Maar Dr. Montague , professor in de antropologie, is een nieuwsgierige geest. Zo'n echt spookhuis kon hem van pas komen in zijn wetenschappelijke opzoekingen. Dr. Montague's echtgenote houdt helemaal niet van de experimenten van haar man. Luke Sanderson, een neef van Mrs. Sanderson, en later erfgenaam van het huis, zal de professor vergezellen. Onder degenen die aan het onderzoek deelnemen bevinden zich ook twee charmante jonge dames: Theodora, die over een buitengewone feeling beschikt voor alles wat buiten het gewone ligt, en Eleanor Vance, die zicht van haar tiende jaar af al verwikkeld zag in een zaak met een "klopgeest". Eleanor vooral voelt zich aangetrokken tot die geheimzinnige sfeer van het huis. Dr. Montague, Luke, Theodora en Eleanor reageren elk op hun eigen manier op de zonderlinge en vreesaanjagende gebeurtenissen in Hill House. Zijn hun ervaringen de vrucht van bedrog of van hun verbeelding ? Is er een zakelijke verklaring mogelijk ? Ware Eleanor niet verliefd op Dr. Montague, wie zal zeggen hoe de zaak zou verlopen. Theodora kent Eleanor's geheim, en Eleanor van haar kant weet niet dat Dr. Montague gehuwd is. De onverwachte komst van Grace, de echtgenote van Dr. Montague, brengt nog meer spanning in de steeds stijgende onheimelijkheid en de nachtelijke verschrikkingen in Hill House. Niet allen spot Grace met de spoken, doch ze daagt hen uit, met het gevolg dat ze even snel verdwijnt... Zou Hill House nog een slachtoffer voegen bij zijn akelige lijst ? ... En wat gebeurt et dir laatste dolle nacht op Hill House ? ...

Dutch trivia (echo)
Producer Robert Wise ontdekte in Ettington Park, nabij Stratford-upon-Avon, waar Shakespeare geboren werd, het oude gotische huis dat hij omvormde tot Hill House, het duivdelshuis.
Om aan het huis het akelig uitzicht te geven dat aan zijn film die sfeer van gruwel verleent, fotografieerde Wise het van uit de zonderlingste hoeken. Het resultaat was niet erg bevredigend, het huis bleef zijn gedegen burgerlijk uitzicht behouden. Toen kwam Wise op het idee films in infra-rood te gebruiken die hij in België besteld had. En nu was het effekt volkomen. Hill House, opgenomen in infra-rood, kreeg onmiddellijk een spookachtig uitzicht. Zelfs get groen van de tuin kreeg een troebel-witte kleur...

Dutch slogans (slagzinnen)
Een nachtmerrie van hoogstaande klasse.
In "Het duivelshuis" kent de dood geen rust ...
In "Het duivelshuis" mag U schreeuwen ... niemand zal U horen ...

 

MGM France, 3-fold, 2-sided booklet

This superb 3-fold, 2-sided Guide publicitaire was issued by MGM France to promote the movie. It features the two French movie posters, some graphical ads designed to be published in newspapers, some recommendations regarding the font sizes of printed ads, some advertising slogans and well as a long movie synopsis. It's in black and white, except for the cover page using some pale blue. Magnificent!

The Haunting, 1963, MGM France, 3-fold, 2-sided booklet, front The Haunting, 1963, MGM France, 3-fold, 2-sided booklet, back

Synopsis
Dans une région retirée de la Nouvelle-Angleterre, une étrange demeure, nommée "Hill House", a une terrifiante et sinistre réputation. Depuis plus de quatre-vingt-dix ans, elle est un symbole de malheur et de mort.
La femme pour qui Hill House fut construite ne l'a jamais habitée. On peut encore voir dans l'allée centrale du parc, sur un arbre géant, une énorme cicatrice marque l'accident qui lui a coûté la vie lorsque les chevaux emballés de sa voiture vinrent se jeter contre un tronc.
Elle fut la première victime de "Hill House". D'autres devaient suivre, soit par suicide ou par mort violente. Ces victimes — apparitions d'un autre monde — continuent-elles à hanter "Hill House" ? Les gens de l'endroit en sont persuadés.
Mme Sannerson (Fay Compton), la propriétaire actuelle, espère que, par la description terrifiante qu'elle a faite de la maison au Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson), celui-ci renoncera à louer "Hill House" pour l'été. Mais c'est le contraire qui se produit. Le Dr. Markway, professeur d'anthropologie, possède, comme tout bon scientifique, une insatiable curiosité. "Hill House", authentique maison hantée, offre à cet effet une merveilleuse opportunité pour la recherche psychique.
Le Dr. Markway aura avec lui des assistants qualifiés pour l'aider dans ses expériences. Ils seront choisis d'après une liste qu'il a mis des années à établir. Tous les candidats sont d'une intelligence supérieure et ont eu, d'une manière ou d'une autre, des contacts avec le monde de l'Au-delà. Parmi ces assistants ne figurera pas la femme du Dr. Markway qui, elle, désapprouve totalement les recherches de son mari dans le royaume du surnaturel. Luke Sannerson (Russ Tamblyn), le neveu de Mme Sannerson qui lui doit un jour hériter de "Hill House", secondera le Dr. Markway.
Parmi les personnes qui reçoivent des invitations pour participer aux études sur "Hill House" se trouve deux jeunes femmes. L'une est Théodora (Claire Bloom), une brune aux charmes envoûtant, qui a été choisie non pour sa beauté, mais parce qu'elle est douée de pouvoirs télépathiques. L'autre est Eléanor Vance (Julie Harris) qui, d'après les renseignements fournis par la Société Internationale de Métapsychique, a été l'objet, à l'âge de dix ans, d'une expérience surnaturelle. Pour Eléanor, l'enquête qu'on va mener à "Hill House" est un moyen comme un autre d'échapper à sa vie routinière et monotone et c'est pourquoi elle accepte d'y participer. De tous, c'est elle qui est la plus attirée par "Hill House" et son mystère.
Le Dr. Markway, Luke, Théodora et Eléanor vont réagir de façons différentes aux manifestations de l'Au-delà qui vont se succéder dans la maison. Eléanor, hypersensible, aux nerfs fragiles est celle qui résiste le plus mal au climat d'angoisse qui devient de plus en plus lourd. Elle est comme prisonnière de cette étrange maison, elle en est la proie... Mais les expériences que font les uns et les autres pourront-elles être prises pour le fruit de leurs imaginations surexcitées, ou faudra-t-il les considérer comme réelles ? Les épouvantes de "Hill House" sont-elles véritables, ou de pure imagination ?
Si Eléanor n'était pas tombée amoureuse du Dr. Markway, comment toute cette histoire se serait-elle terminée ? Quant à Théodora, elle connaissait le secret d'Eléanor, mais surtout elle savait que le Docteur était marié, ce qu'Eléanor ignorait encore.
L'arrivée inattendue de Grace (Lois Maxwell), la femme du Dr. Markway, ajoute une note pittoresque aux bizarreries et terreurs nocturnes de "Hill House". Grace, non seulement se moque éperdument des fantômes, mais encore s'amuse à les défier.
Mais ce défi ne restera pas sans réponse. Cette nuit-là la terreur régnera à "Hill House", une terreur sans visage mais dont la présence pourtant est indéniable. Et soudain, on s'aperçoit de la disparition de Grace... L'angoisse s'intensifiera encore. Plus que hantée, il semble bien que "Hill House" soit possédée, qu'elle agisse comme un être pensant, volontaire, tenant d'accomplir quelque obscure vengeance.
Il lui faut une victime : sera-ce Eléanor ou bien Grace ?
Que s'est-il vraiment passé, une fois le crépuscule achevé, dans "Hill House", la maison de l'épouvante ?

Phrases publicitaires
Dans le terrifiant royaume des ombres !
Un envoûtant suspense !
La peur y naît au crépuscule !
Angoissant ... Mystérieux ... Insolite !
Un voyage au bout de l'angoisse !
Le domaine de la peur !

Promotional material for television

MGM Television, USA, 1981

This double-sided promotional card was issued by MGM Television in 1981. The summary of the movie is questionable: Not only does it not faithfully tell the story, but it also spoils the pleasure by revealing the end. As a consolation, it's a nice object.

The Haunting, 1963, MGM Television promo card, front
The Haunting, 1963, MGM Television promo card, back

Synopsis
Hill house, a New England mansion in which three mysterious deaths have occurred and which has a legend of being evil and haunted, is being investigated by a team of psychic research workers.
Led by Dr. John Markway, they are: Eleanor, who has a childhood history of experience with the supernatural, Theo, who has a background of abilities in ESP... although she appears to be joining the experiment to satisfy a whim, and Luke Sannerson, nephew of Hill House's owner and a sceptic.
The haunting ensues, first with nothing more than an icy caress from nowhere across Eleanor's cheek. Then her name is spelled out in dust and her face materializes on a piece of sculpture. The evil reaches its highest pitch when Markway's wife, Grace, arrives at the house. To prove her disbelief in the experiment, she prepares to spend the night in the nursery, believed to be the source of all mystery. At midnight, in a writhing, hissing chill, Eleanor's name resounds through the corridors of the house. Five minutes later she is found dead. The questions of Hill House still remain unanswered as the doctor and associates depart.
~ New York Daily News
© 1981 MGM Film Co.

Lalo Schifrin related work for The Haunting

Mr Schifrin's contribution to the movie remains a total mystery to me. I've read in his Wikipedia article that he was under contract with MGM at that time. So, who asked Lalo Schifrin to get involved? Was it the MGM? Was it Robert Wise (I seriously doubt that)? Was it an initiative of Lalo Schifrin himself?

Fortunately — from my point of view — this material was not used in the movie. If you play it today, you will probably conclude that it was totally unfit and inappropriate for the tone of the movie. I wonder: did he really see the movie that he pretends inspired this?

According to the notes found in the FSM (Film Score Monthly) 5CD boxset "The Cincinnati Kid: Lalo Schifrin Film Scores, Vol. 1, 1964–1968":

The Haunting (Inspired by the M-G-M Motion Picture The Haunting). Schifrin composed this subtly Latin theme (with wordless chorus), "inspired" by Robert Wise's 1963 MGM horror film The Haunting, for a 1963 MGM Records single (K13163). Completely unrelated to Humphrey Searle's score for that film, the recording (made in New York on July 2, 1963) also appeared on the aforementioned Medical Center and Other Great Themes LP. This particular master comes from the MGM Records album for The Prize, in which "The Haunting" figures as one of the B-side tracks supplementing the Jerry Goldsmith selections from that film. The only stereo master to Schifrin's "The Haunting" appears to be in "electronic" stereo.

"Electronic" stereo. Let me translate that for you: mixed in mono, and transformed into fake stereo with reverb and other tricks during mastering. The formless result spreads over the left & right channels, but no instrument will be perfectly positioned in the stereo space.

No, seriously. Humphrey Searle had composed a perfect film score that was used in the soundtrack of movie. Still, it was not commercially released and remains unavailable today. Instead, we've got this unrelated Lalo Schifrin material on vinyl (on several records) and CD. How infuriating!

Records

7inch Vinyls

The Haunting, 1963, Lalo SCHIFRIN, 7inch, Canada, MGM 13163X, Side 1
Flag Canada
Lalo SCHIFRIN and orchestra
Haunting / Theme From "Dime With A Halo"
Canada
Reference: MGM 13163X

 

The Haunting, 1963, Lalo SCHIFRIN, 7inch, Promo, UK, MGM 1218, Enveloppe
The Haunting, 1963, Lalo SCHIFRIN, 7inch, Promo, UK, MGM 1218, Insert
The Haunting, 1963, Lalo SCHIFRIN, 7inch, Promo, UK, MGM 1218, Side 1
Flag UK
Lalo SCHIFRIN and orchestra
Haunting / Theme From "Dime With A Halo"
Promotional copy
UK
Reference: MGM 1218

My copy came with a beautiful white/deep blue insert, and an MGM envelope (sent domestically in the US from New York to California). So, I guess it should contain the US edition, and not the UK edition of the single. Does anyone have an explanation for this?

 

The Haunting, 1963, Lalo SCHIFRIN, 7inch, Promo, USA, MGM K13163, Side 1
Flag USA
Lalo SCHIFRIN and orchestra
Haunting / Theme From "Dime With A Halo"
Promotional copy
USA
Reference: MGM K13163

LP Vinyls

LP format: meaning that the theme track was coupled with many unrelated tracks.

  • LP "Twilight Of Honor" (MGM E/SE-4185 mono or stereo)
  • LP "The Prize" (MGM E/SE-4192 mono or stereo)
  • LP "Medical center" (MGM SE-4742 stereo)

CDs

CD format: The Cincinnati Kid: Lalo Schifrin Film Scores, Vol. 1 1964–1968 (6-3855-80282-2-3) a 5CD compilation.

Music score

Very surprisingly, the music score was allowed to use the movie logo (despite the fact that it is just "inspired by").

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