This is a comparison between the US version ("Horror Hotel") and the UK version ("The City of the Dead").
Student Nan Barlow is fascinated by the dark age's withchunt - especially the case of Elizabeth Selwyn, who was burned on a pyre in Whitewood, Massachusetts. Just before she died, she cursed the villagers. Professor Driscoll encourages her to do some research on location for a few days. Despite all warnings, she gets on her way to Whitewood where she resides in Mrs. Newless' hotel. The villagers react critically to her and it seems as if they are hiding something. Gradually, Nan debunks the secret - at this point, it is already too late.
The first Amicus-movie - one of the biggest competitors to the Hammer Studios - that at this time were still called "Vulcan Productions", released a convincing horror movie. It is no surprise to find out that the witch cult still exists, yet Christopher Lee nails his role and there is an eerie atmosphere all over the place. This makes one forget about some of the rather dull moments. The fog machine makes the studio set look surreal and makes the cloak-wearking people that walk around more scary.
The US version includes two cuts that take out roughly two minutes. Right at the beginning, when Elizabeth is on the pyre and curses the villagers, the scene was cut. The same goes for the discussion between Driscoll and Barlow about the supernatural. The cuts are hardly noticeable and can be ignored. Still, howeger, one should prefer the uncut version. The UK-Blu-ray by Arrow includes both cuts of the movie. Quality-wise, it is superior to the US Blu-ray released by VCI.
In the USA, the movie is public domain and thus can be legally watched on www.archive.org.
UK Version: 74:57 min.
US Version: 73:11 min.
The US version has alternative credits and uses the title "Horror Hotel" instead of "The City of the Dead"
At one point, the movie fades over to the next scene earlier.
24 sec. each
On the pyre, Elizabeth explains that she will practice black magic forever and that she is a servant of evil. Jethrow is also a part of the pact. Elizabeth wants to make an example of the city and will curse it herself. The villagers then call for her burning.
UK Version: 1:06 min.
The dialog between Driscoll and Richard is longer in the uncut version.
Driscoll says that Richard should know the quotation. Richard replies that he cannot believe that someone could ever cause damage with a voodoo doll. Then he says that he will only believe it when he can see it with his own eyes. Also, he says that witches are solely poor women that became victims to hysteria. Driscoll says that there is proof for witchcraft. Richard says that he has never met a witch so far.
UK Version: 40 sec.