Best Thriller Movies of 1961
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.
The Pit and the Pendulum
Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the most brutal 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!
A suburban dinner party is interrupted by a bulletin warning of an impending nuclear attack. As the neighbors scramble to prepare themselves, they turn against the one family that installed a permanent bomb shelter.
The Midnight Sun
When the Earth falls out of orbit, two women try to cope with increasingly oppressive heat in a nearly abandoned city.
In early 1960s London, barrister Melville Farr is on the path to success. With his practice winning cases and a loving marriage to his wife, Farr's career and personal life are nearly idyllic. However, when blackmailers link Farr to a young gay man, everything Farr has worked for is threatened. As it turns out, Farr is a closeted homosexual -- which is problematic, due to Britain's anti-sodomy laws. But instead of giving in, Farr decides to fight.
Cash on Demand
A charming but ruthless criminal holds the family of a bank manager hostage as part of a cold-blooded plan to steal 97,000 pounds.
Blast of Silence
A hired killer from Cleveland has a job to do on a second-string mob boss in New York. But a special girl from his past, and a fat gun dealer with pet rats, each gets in his way.
Taste of Fear
A wheelchair-bound young girl returns to her father's estate after ten years, and although she's told he's away, she keeps seeing his dead body on the estate.
A bitter young man sets out to get back at the gangsters who murdered his father.
The Young Savages
A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy.
A woman named Emily checks into a hotel and offers the bellboy $2000 to temporarily marry her. We soon find out Emily is the caretaker of a wheelchair-bound mute named Helga, who was the childhood guardian of a pair of siblings: Miriam Webster and her half-brother, Warren, who is about to inherit the estate of their late father. Who is the mysterious Emily and what are her intentions?
The Shadow of the Cat
Tabitha, once the placid, gentle and devoted pet, adopts all the characteristics of a ferocious, wild animal following the murder of her mistress. The three guilty people are all trapped by the cat's power and each will come to untimely deaths of horrific proportions without anyone being able to solve the mystery that surrounds their brutal death.
The Naked Edge
Michael Anderson's 1961 suspense thriller stars Deborah Kerr as a London wife who suspects her wealthy husband (Gary Cooper) might be a murderer. The cast also includes Eric Portman, Diane Cilento, Hermione Gingold and Michael Wilding. This was Gary Cooper's last film.
What a Carve Up!
Ernie's Uncle Gabriel has just died but to claim his inheritance he must spend the night in the ancestral family home with the rest of his rather eccentric relatives. Ernie's imagination has been affected by his constant immersion in cheap horror novels, but his wildest fears turn out to be justified when the guests begin to drop dead.
Pit of Darkness
When Richard Logan, the partner in a safe making firm, is found unconscious, on an old deserted bomb site, he finds that he has no recollection of the last three weeks. Then he discovers that the private detective, hired by his wife, has been found murdered, and a safe that his firm installed in a large country house, has been cleverly opened, and the contents are missing. So with the help of his wife, he sets out to uncover the truth.
The Third Alibi
A composer (Laurence Payne) is stuck in a middle-class marriage and finds that his affair with his wife's half-sister (Jane Griffiths) has resulted in a pregnancy. When his wife refuses to give him a divorce he hatches a murder scheme that is too clever by half.
The Secret Partner
A shipping tycoon with a record becomes a suspect when money goes missing from the company vault.
Helmed by Edmond O'Brien, this slick crime thriller stars Jeffrey Hunter as naïve Matt Jameson, whose Korean War pal Vince Biskay talks Matt into helping commandeer nearly $4 million from a Central American dictator. After Vince is wounded in a gun battle as they're making off with the loot, the duo holes up at Matt's house -- where his boozy, promiscuous wife puts the moves on Vince.
The Cat Burglar
Unwitting pickup artist Jack Coley (Jack Hogan) nabs a briefcase holding a costly scientific formula, turning himself into a moving target for owner Alan Sheridan (John Baer), foreign agents and the fuzz -- all bent on a blistering game of finders, keepers. In this stylized crime drama, the quarry coolly eludes the pack while eliciting the aid of an unlikely party: blonde beauty Nan Baker (June Kenney), the attaché's original carrier.
Twenty Plus Two
A famous movie star's fan club secretary has been brutally murdered. She has in her office old newspaper clippings regarding a missing heiress. Did the secretary know something about the mystery of the heiress? David Janssen investigates.
A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. Barnes, who is soon plunged into the nightmare world of the mask.
Fear No More
Accused of killing a woman on a train, Sharon Carlin runs home to find another corpse there too!
Five Minutes to Live
A guitar playing killer terrorizes a housewife while his partner robs the bank where her husband works.
Blueprint for Robbery
A gang of career criminals plots the robbery of an armored car company's headquarters. Although the robbery itself goes off as planned, it's not long before the gang members are fighting among themselves over everybody's share of the loot and trying to avoid capture by the police, who are pouring all their resources into capturing the robbers. Based on a real-life 1950 Brinks Armored Car Co. robbery in Boston.
The Secret Ways
Vienna, 1956. After Soviet tanks crush the Hungarian uprising, soldier-of-fortune Michael Reynolds is hired to help a threatened Hungarian scientist escape from Budapest.
Freedom to Die
Paul Maxwell plays Craig Owen, an incarcerated criminal whose cellmate holds the secret to the valuable contents within a safe deposit box. When the cellmate dies, Owen breaks out of jail in search of the stash. Unable to open the box, the fugitive abducts Linda (Felicity Young), the dead man's daughter. Tension mounts as the girl plays for time to prevent her own demise.
The Gambler Wore a Gun
The professional gambler Case Silverthorn wants to quit and retire to a small ranch in Marlpine he bought recently. On the way there he saves the Sheriff's life, who got into an ambush. However another man is dead, Will Donovan, from whom he bought the ranch! Neither the Sheriff nor Donovan's children know about the sale. So Case has to switch back to his former profession, while he tries to clarify the situation. He comes across a group of cattle thieves.
The Flight That Disappeared
A cross-country airliner, whose passengers include a nuclear physicist, a rocket expert, and a mathematical genius, is drawn beyond radar range by an unknown, unbreakable force.
Return of a Stranger
An obsessed man returns to claim the woman he loves.
Anatomy of a Psycho
The crazed brother of a condemned killer sent to the gas chamber swears vengeance on those he holds responsible for his brother's execution.
The action takes place under the Restoration, at the Château de Savigny, near Nerville, a devout and prudish little town in the Cotentin region. Doctor Torty is the doctor. He tells a story of which he is the only one to know the secret, that of a criminal couple, without any remorse. The pretty Hauteclaire Stassin, daughter of the master of arms, meets the Count of Savigny, married to the noble and languid Delphine. Madly in love with the count, Hauteclaire joined the castle as a servant. Shortly after, the countess died of poisoning. Will the guilty lovers go unpunished?
The Spiral Staircase
Based on the screenplay by Mel Dinelli, this story revolves around Helen Warren, a beautiful mute girl, who becomes the target of a mysterious killer who preys on young handicapped women.
Yianni Martakis, a sailor immigrant in New York City, is on a mission to find and kill the man who raped his sister. Along the way he becomes entangled with the sweet, unassuming Niki Vassos, and must decide whether he should forget his path of vengeance and perhaps begin living a normal life.
Secret of Deep Harbor
A reporter learns that his girlfriend's father, an old sea captain, is being paid by the mob to transport gangsters out of the country.
Early short film by director Michael Reeves, where two young men break into a house and terrorise the woman who ives there.
Honeymoon of Terror
A couple honeymoons on a deserted isle called Thunder Island. When the husband leaves the island to go for supplies, the wife finds that the island isn't as deserted as they thought it was.
Strip Tease Murder
The unusual death of a dancer at the Flamingo Club prompts the dancer's husband to dig deeper into the case. What he uncovers is a tangled web of blackmail, drug trafficking, and mad science.
Rocket Attack U.S.A.
It's the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union with the Communists launching a spy satellite that has the Free World leaders in a panic. Fears about the nature of the satellite force the United States to send an agent undercover behind the Iron Curtain to discover what the Soviets have learned. What he finds is the Communists have used the information acquired from their spy satellite to help them perfect a new and even more deadly nuclear weapon.