skip navigation
The Fool Killer

The Fool Killer(1965)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

Brief Synopsis

12-year-old George Mellish, tired of beatings for both real and fancied misdeeds at the hands of his foster parents,runs away from home by hopping a freight train and lands somewhere east of the Mississippi River. The first person he meets is Dirty Jim Helliman (Henry Hull)who lives in a fantastically filthy hovel and with whom George feels a kindred spirit, both having "suffered" at the hands of a clean woman. It is (really dirty) Dirty Jim that tells George of the mythical, eight-foot bogey man called "The Fool Killer." George gets sick and Dirty Jim takes him to town where Mrs.Ova Faversham (Charlotte Jones)takes charge of the feverish boy. When Blessing Angeline (Sindee Ann Richards), Mrs. Faversham's 10-year-old daughter, tells George that her mother intends to return him to his foster parents, George hits the road again. He meets Milo Bogardus (Anthony Perkins), a young Civil War veteran, who has been robbed of his memory by a war wound, and is as lost in his own way as George. THey come upon a camp meeting, where the fanatical Reverend Spotts is conducting a revivalist meeting and during the religious frenzy, George blacks out. He comes to and is alone, and is unaware that the Reverend has been murdered, and starts in his search to find Milo. He finds a home with the Dodds (Dana Elcar and Salome Jens), small town store keepers. When, at supper, Dodds makes mention of the murder of the Reverend Spotts, George blurts out that "The Fool Killer done it" and tells them the legend as told to him by Dirty Jim. That evening, while George lies in bed, a shadow appears at his window. It is the figure of a tall, gaunt apparition, axe in hand ready to strike---"The Fool Killer!"

Cast & Crew

Anthony Perkins Milo Bogardus
Edward Albert Jr. George Mellish
Dana Elcar Mr. Dodd
Henry Hull Dirty Jim Jelliman
Salome Jens Mrs. Dodd
Charlotte Jones Mrs. Ova Fanshawe
Arnold Moss Reverend Spotts
Sindee Anne Richards Blessing Angelina
Frances Garr Old crab
Alex Phillips Jr. Director of Photography
Morton Fine Screenwriter

Additional Details

MPAA Ratings:  Premiere Info:  Knoxville, Tennessee, opening: 28 Apr 1965
Release Date:  1965 Production Date:  An Ely Landau Production
none available
Color/B&W:  Black and White Distributions Co:  Allied Artists, Jack J.,, Jr. Dreyfus, Landau Releasing Organization
Sound:  Mono Production Co:  Jack J.,, Jr. Dreyfus, Landau Co.
Duration(mins):  99 Country:  United States
Duration(feet):  not available    
Duration(reels):  not available    

Leonard Maltin Ratings & Review



User Ratings & Review

This title has not been reviewed. Be the FIRST to write a review by CLICKING HERE >

User Ratings & Review

User Reviews:

  • Recommend:

  • Cinema History:

  • Cinematography:

  • Lead Performers:

  • Supporting Cast:

  • Director:

  • Screen Play:

  • Music Score:

  • Title Sequence:

User Ratings:

  • The Fool Killer 'Fools You'

    Bones Kelley-McCoy 2013-08-13

    The story weaves a very good and compelling tale, allowing the characters to further suspicions, innuendo and superstition. It tricks the mind....even... MORE>

  • film released in 1965, "The Fool Killer".

    gregory bourne 2009-06-23

    "the fool killer" had a mystical, haunting quality. I saw it at the time of it's original release date in 1965 at a theatre in dallas, tx. ... MORE>