Pit and the Pendulum

Synopsis: Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died of a blood disease, but Francis finds this hard to believe. After some investigating he finds out that it was extreme fear that was fatal to his sister and that she may have been buried alive! Strange things then start to happen in the Medina castle.
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Director(s): Roger Corman
Production: American International Pictures (AIP)
Rotten Tomatoes:
80 min

- Yes? | - I wish to see don Medina.

- Yes? | - I wish to see don Medina.

- My name... | - I'm sorry.

Don Medina is not receiving | visitors at present.

You will announce that | Mr. Francis Barnard...

...has come from England | to see him.

What do you think you're doing?

Remove your hand, sir.


What is it ?

This gentleman demands | to be admitted, Dona.

- I've told him... | - You are Dona Medina?

I am.

I am Francis Barnard, | Elizabeth's brother.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Won't you come in, Mr. Barnard?

Please forgive me. | I'm Catherine Medina.


Would you not spend the night | Mr. Barnard?

I am certain | my brother would wish it.

Perhaps Dona. May I see your | brother now?

He is resting.

He has not been well | since the death.

I see. When may I see him?

Perhaps at supper...

...if you will do us the honor.

I will... supper.

May I visit my sister's | grave, now?


I presume there is one.

Not as such, Mister Barnard.

She is interred below.

A family custom, | Mr. Barnard.

I see.

If we may go there then?

Please follow me.

When did she die?

Your brother's letter made | no mention of the day.

About three months ago.

Three months? Why wasn't I | notified sooner?

I'm afraid I...

How did she die?

I know very little of the | details, Mr. Barnard.

This is no longer my home, | you see?

I left it several months before...

...Nicholas married | your sister.

Meaning you don't even...

Damn Heaven!

What's that noise?

Please follow me, Mr. Barnard.

Not that way, Mr. Barnard!

Who are you?

This is Mr. Barnard, Nicholas.

Elizabeth's brother.

Oh, yes.

You are welcome, mister.

Resting, dona Medina?


I told Mr. Barnard | that you were resting, Nicholas.

I thought that you were.

That noise, sir.

This is an apparatus...

...that must be kept | in constant repair.

What brings you to us?

Elizabeth was my sister, | don Medina.

I received your report | of her untimely death...

...the report that was | utterly devoid of detail.

what should I have done, | remained in England?

Yes, you are quite right. | My apology, sir.

Shock and grief...

...restrained me from | more adequate communication.

You have every right | to be provoked.

Perhaps you will show me my | sister's place of interment now.

I told him it would be | alright, Nicholas.

Yes, of course.

Now perhaps you'll be good enough | to tell me how my sister died.

In the illness of | some duration, sir.

And was this illness diagnosed?

- Yes. | - By whom?

Dr. Leon, the physician | of repute.

And he decided?

Something in her blood.


That's all?

Just something in her blood?

I'm afraid so.

And I'm afraid that does not | satisfy me, sir.

Follow me.

May we go now, Mr. Barnard?

This is very painful | for my brother.

And for me...as well.

This form of burial...

...is our family custom, | Mr. Barnard.

Will you stay the night | with us?

The night...

...and more, sir.

Until I know exactly | what has happened to her.

Thank you.


I trust that you will be | comfortable here.

Is this you?


No, that is my father, | Sebastian Medina.

Sebastian Medina, yes.

The resemblance is remarkable.


And the other is my | uncle Bartholomew.

Mr. Barnard, I am aware, | painfully aware...

...of your distrust regarding | Elizabeth's death.

Her death was, and is, | anguish to me.

I beg of you do not | add to it...

I'm sorry, don Medina, but | your word is not enough.

Too many things need | fuller explanation...

...before I can be satisfied | that what you say is true.

Fuller explanation?


Come with me.

Please, come.

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Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the movie Somewhere In Time for which Matheson wrote the screenplay, based on his novel Bid Time Return. Matheson also wrote 16 television episodes of The Twilight Zone, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Steel". He adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television film of the same name that year. Seven more of his novels or short stories have been adapted as major motion pictures — The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), A Stir of Echoes, Steel (filmed as Real Steel), and Button, Button. Lesser movies based on his work include two from his early noir novels — Cold Sweat, based on his novel Riding the Nightmare, and Les seins de glace (Icy Breasts), based on his novel Someone is Bleeding. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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