Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Horror > Mystery > Two On A Guillotine (1964/Warner Archive DVD)

Two On A Guillotine (1964/Warner Archive DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: C+



William Conrad was one of the great character actors, but he was also one of the great voices of entertainment, from radio dramas, to overall narration to having a solid, clear actor’s voice that served him well and helped make him on of the most enduring performers in Hollywood history.  What many do not know is that the star of Cannon was also a director and an interesting one at that.  Besides many TV shows, he made three feature films for Warner Bros. in the 1960s and Two On A Guillotine (1964) is the first.


Happy to try and cash in on Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) and Aldrich’s Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962), we get a semi-dark black and white thriller with big name stars (some who would usually never make such films or be “caught” in such a genre) and for about ten years or so, many such derivative films tried to cash in.  Here, eccentric stage magician Cesar Romero (just before more mega-success as The Joker on the Adam West TV hit Batman) beheads his wife and assistant and dies.  This leaves his young daughter in a bad way, but when Cassie grows up (now played by Connie Stevens, then best known for her hit TV show Hawaiian Eye before her many game show and comic TV appearances) inherits the big family home and something is very wrong there.


Befriended by Val (Dean Jones before his Disney family film streak), he actually is a reporter trying to get a story, but becomes more interested in Cassie as he gets more involved than he expected.  Then things become more and more bizarre.


The screenplay was co-written by Henry Slesar (the original Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Hour) and John Kneubuhl (The Screaming Skull (1958)) so they knew the tone and the genre, but the film does not pay off, some of it does not work and the actors do not always cohere in their interplay.  Still, Conrad pulls off some moments of suspense and the film is so unusual for reasons no one could have imagined while making it, it is worth a look for al serious thriller fans.  There are also enough interesting moments that it never becomes boring.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 black and white image was shot in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision by Sam Leavitt, A.S.C., (A Star Is Born (1954), Shock Treatment, Major Dundee) and features fine compositions and depth throughout, though in this DVD-R format, has softness not from the print.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono can show its age and some compression, but it is a newer transfer and is still good for its age despite the lossy codec.  There are no extras.


You can order the film exclusively on the WarnerArchive.com site at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com