The movie was a hoot and a half. It runs on threadbare logic but who cares when you've got the magnificent Vincent Price in all of his menacing glory. Price was a tall, commanding figure with a great voice and terrific screen presence. Even when he's in a turkey (which was often), he's always fun to watch. You've got to love Vinnie!
The exteriors of the title house were filmed at a real location, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. The sound stage interiors do not match the exterior and layout of the house and instead feature a cliched "old-dark-house" style Victorian Gothic mansion.
About that real house. In 1994, my buddy Kelly Greene and I flew to Los Angeles for a weekend. We were scheduled to visit the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman (of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND fame) at his storied "Ackermansion" on Saturday. We arrived on Friday and decided we'd drive up into the hills and scope out the exact location of Forry's house.
While we were driving the twisting, turning streets of the hills (Kelly was behind the wheel, I was navigating), we suddenly came around a curve and there it was, right in front of us, in all of its' glory: the House on Haunted Hill!
I immediately recognized the exterior from the film and shouted to Kelly to stop the car. We jumped out and snapped some photos (which I have around here somewhere) and then drove on. The next day, when we were visiting Forry, he pointed out one of his greatest treasures, "the House on Haunted Hill", which was visible on the hillside above Forry's house.
I'll write about our visit with the "Acker-monster" in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!