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The Terror

A youthful Jack Nicholson plays Lt. Andre Duvalier, a 19th-century French soldier in "The Terror" (1963). Separated from his regiment, Duvalier wanders a shoreline until he encounters Helene, the first in a series of strange figures who lead him to the castle of Baron Victor Frederick von Lepp (Boris Karloff). Here, the young officer finds not the rest he seeks but uncanny adventure as, of course, the baron is part of a supernatural secret which includes adultery, murder, ghosts and witchcraft.

Still early in an acting career that has spanned decades, Jack Nicholson also took an uncredited turn at helping director Roger "King of the B Films" Corman film "The Terror". He was joined in this by Francis Ford Coppola, who is credited as the film's associate producer and was to join the pantheon of great American directors with his "Godfather" (1972, '72, '79, '90) juggernaut. Like many other titles in Corman's own impressively long filmography, "The Terror" used one of his favorite cost-saving measures: repurposing sets from other productions. In this case, "The Haunted Palace" (1963) and "The Raven" (1963), which also featured Nicholson (as Rexford Bedlo), have been tagged as likely suspects.

The Science

Brendan Cook

Brendan CookBrendan Cook of Utah's Ghost Investigator Society discusses ghosts, ghost hunters and the film The Terror.

 

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