The Skull

Plot

The film begins with a pre-credit sequence set in the 1800s, in which Pierre, a phrenologist (Maurice Good), robs the grave of the recently buried Marquis de Sade. He takes the Marquis' severed head and sets about boiling it to remove its flesh, leaving the skull; before the task is done, Pierre himself has met an unseen and horrific death.
The story then moves to the modern day. Christopher Maitland (Cushing), a collector and writer on the occult, is offered the skull by Marco (Wymark), an unscrupulous dealer in antiques and curiosities. Maitland learns that the skull has been stolen from Sir Matthew Phillips (Lee), a friend and fellow collector. Sir Matthew, however, does not want to recover it, having escaped its evil influence. He warns Maitland of its powers. At his sleazy lodgings Marco dies in mysterious circumstances; Maitland finds his body and takes possession of the skull. He in turns falls victim as the skull drives him to hallucinations, madness and death.

Notes

Christopher Lee is billed as "guest star" in the film's credits; he plays a supporting, and unusually, non-villainous role.
The film's final twenty-five minutes contain almost no dialogue. When it was released in France, promotional materials had to be changed at the very last minute by pasting a new title, Le crane malefique ("The Evil Skull"), over the original French title Les Forfaits du Marquis de Sade ("Infamies of the Marquis de Sade") on posters and lobby cards, after legal action by the present-day Sade family.
In real life the Marquis de Sade's body was exhumed from its grave in the grounds of the lunatic asylum at Charenton, where he died in 1814, and his skull was removed for phrenological analysis. It was subsequently lost, and its fate remains unknown.

The Skull Author: Philip K. Dick Release Date: October 14, 2009 [EBook #30255] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SKULL *** Produced by Greg Weeks, Stephen Blundell and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net _Conger agreed to kill a stranger he had never seen. But he would make no mistakes because he had the s.....

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox Release Date: October 14, 2009 [EBook #30256] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE HEART OF THE NEW THOUGHT *** Produced by Al Haines THE HEART OF The New Thought WRITTEN BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX Associate Editor of "NEW THOUGHT." ELEVENTH THOUSAND PUBLISHED BY .....

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