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The Skull
Der Schadel des Marquis de Sade

1965       Peter Cushing

Teaser Storyline for The Skull

Between Professor Christopher Maitland (Peter Cushing), and his lifelong friend, Sir Matthew Phillips (Christopher Lee), there has always existed the kind of rivalry which can only be found among collectors. Sharing a common interest in witchcraft and black magic, they often find themselves in competition for collectors' pieces.

Maitland, however, is puzzled when, in an attempt to purchase some satanic figures at an auction, his friend bids an excessive amount. Phillips explains that something seemed to have taken possession of him and forced him to make the bid.

Later that evening Maitland has a caller-Marco (Patrick Wy-mark), a shifty character who is obviously resented by both the maid (Anna Palk) and Mrs. Maitland (Jill Bennett). Marco, however, insists that he has something that Maitland would like to see.

Marco informs Maitland that he considers him his favorite client. He produces a volume, apparently bound in vellum. Maitland jibs at the price, until Marco tells him that the binding is not vellum
-it is human

skin-a woman's skin. Maitland is intrigued and purchases the book.

The following evening Maitland settles down to read the volume. He is interrupted once again by Marco, who announces that he has a unique collector's piece to offer. It is a skull. The price is a thousand pounds. Maitland retorts that no skull is worth that amount, but Marco tells him that this is no ordinary skull, it is that of the Marquis de Sade, stolen from his grave in France in 1814 by a phrenologist who, wishing to study it to decide if the Marquis was really insane, was himself found dead the next morning.

The skull was brought to England in 1850. When he refuses to pay the money, Maitland is surprised to find that Marco seems anxious to dispose of the skull for half the price. He still refuses and Marco angrily leaves.

Alone, Maitland is absorbed in the life story of de Sade. He is hypnotized by what he reads, and appears to have a series of terrifying nightmares, from which he emerges to find himself in the dingy apartment of Marco. He returns home, unable to remember how he got to Marco's.

But the possession of the skull is uppermost in his mind, and during a game of billiards with Sir Matthew Phillips he confides to his friend. "That skull was stolen from me," Phillips confesses, but says he is glad. It radiates evil, and he advises Maitland to have nothing to do with it.

Ignoring his friend's advice, Maitland goes once again to Marco's home. He finds Marco dead. The skull lies leering at him from a corner of the room. The temptation is too great-he must have the skull. But the minute he has it in his possession, he faces disaster. Against his will, he becomes the victim of evil and is engulfed in a morass of crime, proving that the vileness of the man whose name to this day remains a symbol of all that is worse in human nature, still reaches out beyond the grave.

Item Details:
1-Sheet German 27x41 single-sided folded

The Skull

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CAST of The Skull

Christopher Maitland .................. PETER CUSHING
Marco .......................... PATRICK WYMARK
Sir Matthew Phillips .................. CHRISTOPHER LEE
Mrs. Maitland .......................... JILL BENNETT

Credits for The Skull

Produced by ............. Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg
Directed by .......................... Freddie Francis
Screenplay by .......................... Milton Subotsky
Based on a story by .......................... Robert Bloch

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