Eight murders, and Arnold’s a suspect!

Arnold is a 1973 American horror comedy about a dead old man whose preserved corpse marries his young mistress to spite his widow.

Produced and directed by George Fenady (The Wax Museum of Horror) to a script by Jameson Brewer (The New Scooby-Doo Movies; The Addams Family Series) and John Fenton Murray (Lost Saucer; Sigmund and the Sea Monster Series; Atomic Kid).

Fenady Productions-Bing Crosby Productions (BCP) with Stella Stevens, Roddy McDowall, Elsa Lanchester, Shani Wallis, Farley Granger and Victor Buono.

Plot:

Lord Arnold Dwelin (Norman Stewart) and his mistress Karen (Stella Stevens) have just married. But this is no ordinary wedding… because Arnold is a real corpse. There are some interesting circumstances here as well: Arnold is not buried but remains in the family mansion, and Karen, in order to access her inheritance, must remain in her mansion forever.

This arrangement does not go down well with everyone, including Arnold’s younger brother Robert (Roddy McDowall) (with whom Karen is having a secret affair), Lady Jocelyn (Shani Wallis), his widow, and Douglas Whitehead (Patrick Knowles), his cousin in the legal profession. The only one happy with the situation is Hester (Elsa Lanchester), Arnold’s sister.

While everyone is trying to break Arnold’s will and find a huge sum of money hidden somewhere in the family estate, greedy claimants are faced with mysterious death traps, apparently planned by Arnold long before his death and tailored to each of his victims.

Meanwhile, a local police officer (Bernard Fox) investigates mysterious deaths in a less efficient way: …..

Reviews [click on links to read more] :

The humor is intentionally obvious, filled with goosebumps-inducing puns, and the whole film is something of a campy delight, especially considering the cast. No one is at their best here, but at least everyone is in a good mood, and it’s hard not to get carried away – but it’s also not hard to let go after 15 or 20 minutes. AllMovie

Arnold’s a nut job. The lighting is weak, the music is terrible, the sets are paper-thin, and Stevens is a bad female lead. Worst of all, Arnold is shy. If the folks at Bing Crosby Productions (yes, really!) had bothered to develop a narrative style as clunky as the film’s base, Arnold could have been a milestone in the evolution of bad cinema. As it stands, it’s just trite. All films from the 70’s

…the direction is flat and boring, and it’s not very funny. Victor Buono does his best as the priest who performs the wedding, but it’s a cameo, and most of the funny moments are given to characters who have nothing to do with the main plot of the film. Fantastic music movies and trolls

As off his best scene, the rest of the humor gets very broad. There are occasional entertaining send-offs for the various cast members, the funniest being when Roddy McDowall puts on one of Arnold’s costumes to strangle him. Moria

It has too many elements of old-fashioned horror movies without bringing anything new. Even when done in the spirit of parody, it’s too cheap. The scenery is unimaginative and cheap […] The humour is scarce and relies mainly on banal phrases. Scopophilia

An utterly inadequate black comedy/lesson […] The plot itself isn’t that bad, the tangled American humor that permeates everything, the impossible balladry and the way the actors pause in their acting as if waiting to laugh make Arnold unbearable. Time Out (London)

Lots of beautiful and creative kills in this awful copy, including acid face cream and a retractable suit, to quote a local agent: If they keep dying like that, we’ll have to bury their pigs in the back. An unusual wedding scene is in order. Complete guide to cult and trashy movies for video enthusiasts

Dialogue about the elections:

Robbie: Fucking Hindu zombie. She’s the perfect housekeeper for a corpse.

The actors and characters:

Stella Stevens… Karen
Roddy McDowall… Robert
Elsa Lanchester… Hester 19, Shani Wallis… Lady Jocelyn Duellin
Farley Granger… Evan Lyons
Victor Buono… Secretary 19 John McGeever… Governor
Bernard Fox Agent Hook
Patrick Knowles… Douglas Whitehead
Jamie Farr… Dibby
Norman Stewart… Lord Arnold Duellin
Ben Wright… Jonesy
Wanda Bailey… Flo
Stephen Marlo… First
darts player Leslie Thompson gets the chance to…
Murray Matheson’s sophomore dart… Lord Arnold Duellin (voice) (uncredited)

Locations:

Paramount Studios – 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Technical details:

94 min. Aspect ratio
: 1.85 : 1
Audio : Mono

 

Liberation:

In the United States, Arnold was distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation (CRC) at 16. November 1973 published. It was released on VHS by Lightning Video, but there doesn’t seem to have been a DVD.

Trailer:

YouTube Reviews:

Evaluation:

Associated companies

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