Character name: Lucy Harbin
Other actresses considered for the role: Joan Blondell (Originally hired)
Salary for the film: $50,000.00 plus 20% of the film profits
Released by: Columbia Pictures
Release date: January 8, 1964 (America)
Director: William Castle
Author/Screenwriter: Story by Robert Bloch
Music Score: Van Alexander
Joan Crawford - "Lucy Harbin"
Diane Baker - "Carol Harbin"
Leif Erickson - "Bill Cutler"
George Kennedy - "Leo Krause"
John Anthony Hayes - "Michael Fields"
Rochelle Hudson - "Emily Cutler"
Howard St. John - "Raymond Fields"
Edith Atwater - "Mrs. Fields"
Lee Majors - "Frank Harbin"
After 20 years, Lucy Harbin (Crawford) is released from a mental institution for murdering her husband and his mistress with an axe during a fit of temporary insanity. Following her release into society, she begins to feel she is going mad again when a series of new axe murders plague those close to her.
Joan Blondell was originally hired for the role of "Lucy Harbin". Following an accident Blondell had in her home in early May 1963, she was unable to work.
Actress Anne Helm was originally hired for the role of "Carol Harbin," however Helm was fired on the first day of filming and replaced by Diane Baker. Helm later claimed Joan had her fired due to jealously. Click here to read a 2001 interview with Helm discussing her experience on the film.
Click here to view filming locations.
January: William Castle hires writer Robert Bloch to write the film’s screenplay. An April 1963 date was slated for filming to begin.
April: William Castle is offers Joan Blondell for the role of “Lucy Harbin. Blondell later turns down the role due to an accident which prevents her from filming.
April: Anne Helm is hired for the role of “Carol Harbin”.
Mid-May: Joan is hired for the role of "Lucy Harbin".
Early July: Anthony Michael Hayes is hired for the role of “Michael Fields”.
July 11th: Joan attends wardrobe fittings and tests.
July 22nd: Principal photography begins.
July 23rd: Diane Baker is hired to replace Anne Helm in the role of “Carol Harbin”.
August 5th – 9th: The cast and crew film on location in Riverside, California. This on-location filming included the exterior scenes of Joan and Diane Baker on the street shopping, the "Cutler Farm" location, and the Field's Family mansion. For contemporary photos of the Field's mansion, click here.
August 21st: Diane Baker completes her scenes.
Screenings & Release:
January 8th, 1964: The film is released nationally.
Approximately $4,000,000.00 domestic gross ($7,000,000.00 worldwide).