The Skull is a 1965 British horror film directed by Freddie Francis for Amicus Productions. It starred the frequently paired horror actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, alongside Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee and Peter Woodthorpe.
It was one of a number of British horror films of the sixties to be scored by avant-garde composer Elisabeth Lutyens, including several others for Amicus. The script was written by Milton Subotsky, from a short story by Robert Bloch, "The Skull of the Marquis de Sade".
The film begins with a pre-credit sequence set in the 1800s, in which Pierre, a phrenologist (Maurice Good), robs the grave of the recently buried Marquis de Sade. He takes the Marquis' severed head and sets about boiling it to remove its flesh, leaving the skull; before the task is done, Pierre himself has met an unseen and horrific death.
The story then moves to the modern day. Christopher Maitland (Cushing), a collector and writer on the occult, is offered the skull by Marco (Wymark), an unscrupulous dealer in antiques and curiosities. Maitland learns that the skull has been stolen from Sir Matthew Phillips (Lee), a friend and fellow collector. Sir