You Don’t Know Which Way to Turn, There’s No Place to Hide, Nowhere to run…: The Blue Gardenia (1953)

“By now you must be frightened out of your wits. You don’t know which way to turn, there’s no place to hide, nowhere to run… except to me. So take my advice, Blue Gardenia. Go to the nearest phone booth and invest a dime on the rest of your life.”

So I watched this movie years ago on TCM. I remember loving it and trying to find it again to watch, bit everytime they played it again they never showed it at a time I could watch it.

The other day I was shelving at the library and found it, I immediately had to check it out and watch it again to see if it is as good as I remember.

The film starts off with a jaunty tune as we follow reporter Casey Mayo (Richard Conte) as h heads to a phone company for a story. There he runs into Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr), artist and player.

Yes, Harry is always coming by and using the phone operators as “models”, starting with sketching, then aking them out to a fancy dinner and plying them with drinks, later taking them home.

Harry has his eye on Crystal Carpenter (Ann Sothern), but she’s not buying it. She let him draw her but refuses anything else as she is dating her ex-husband.

Harry turns to Crystal’s roommate, Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter), but she has eyes only for her long-term biyfriend who is a soldier in the Korean War.

That night Crystal, Norah, and their other roommate Sally Ellis, continue their plans for the night. Crystal is going out with her ex-husband, Sally is getting the newest Mickey Mallet novel and going ro read it.

For Norah, she has something very special planned. It’s her birthday and she has a letter from her biyfriend. She can’t have him here for the celenration she really wants-so sje does the next best thing. She bought a new dress, made a roast, and bought champagne to go with it.

After her roommayes leave, Nora gets everything ready and then opens the letter.

Dear Norah, You’ve probably learned by now that I’m not so hot as a letter writer. I remember when we were kids in Bakersfield and I worked vacations in San Joaquin Valley. You used to bawl me out for not writing. Well, I guess I’ve gotten worse. But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about you… a lot. And also thinking about someone else, Norah. A nurse I met in Tokyo when I took a load of Commie shrapnel with me. Angela, that’s her name, supplied the strength and the courage and everything else to pull me through. I didn’t want it to happen but… there’s nothing a guy can do about the real McCoy, and that’s what this is. We’re in love. And when I get out we’re going to be married. That’s the story, Norah. And, I guess there’s nothing else to say except I hope you’ll understand. With affection, always… and best wishes for your future. “Best wishes for your future”. Yours very sincerely. Yours very… truly.

Oh MY GOSH…seriously????? This is the real McCoy? So all those times you said I love you it was a lie!!!???  What a major jerk!!! And ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!!

Norah is upset and doesn’t know what to do. The phone rings and she answers it. It is Hrry calling to ask Crystal out. Norah tries to tell him that she’s not Crystal, but he diesn’t listen to her.

Norah decides to take Harry up on his offer and goes down to The Blue Gardenia resturant. There Harry is waiting with Polynesian Pearl Diverswhich has like three different kinds of rum in it and Harry asks for extra rum.

Casey Mayo sees Harry there and they say a quick hello as Casey goes on the prowl for his own dame.

Harry is surprused to see Nora, but in his mind one beautiful girl is just as good as another. Norah enjoys the drinking as she wants to forget the beginning of the night ever happened. Harry supplies lots and lots of drinks and Norah keeps on drinking. She is extremely wasted.

Its just what Harry wants, and he asks her to come to his place for a party with friends.

Yes his friends rum, rophynal, and rape.

They get to his place and he shows her his pitures. It atctually reminds me of Blackmail. While there Norah is startung to nod off, Harry puts on the song The Blue Gardenia and gives her coffee. Coffee that tastes odd to Norah.

Harry starts to put the moves on Norah as she starts to question wjere the friends are. When he goes on her she attacks him, pulls away, breaks the mirror, and…fade to black.

The next morning all the girls are up and early, except Norah. She has a headache and a hangover. The girls rhik she went out drinking as rhey both read her letter. Norah can’t remember anything.

The police start investigatong Harry’s deth. The naid has alreay started cleaning up before she fund the bdy and ashed two sets of dishes-no dice on DNA. All they have to go on is black suede shoes size 5. And that she was a beautiful blonde-Harry’s type.

Casey directs the police to the phone company, knowing that where Harry found his ladies. He heads to the newspaper office, hit with the fantastic idea of calling her “The Blue Gardenia” after the song and the resturant.

They question girl after girl, Norah bcoming more and more upset with each one, omre afraid as bits of the previous night come back to her piece by piece.

She can emember being there and if she was there that night she must have murdered him. Se comtinues to grow restless and snappish, haing her friends and roommates questioning her.

Then Casey gets told he will have to be sent elsewhere to report on something, but he wants to see the Blue Gardenia play out. He gets the idea from a joke of a coworker to write a ltter ad see if she will speak to him.

A Letter to an Unknown Murderess. Dear Blue Gardenia, Any day now, any hour… any minute, the police are going to catch up with you… But, all they want is a quick confession… I want to help you. When I say “I”, that means my newspaper and me. To us you’re a story… a big story! If we get it first we will go all out for you. You can trust me. And, I promise not to print a line without your permission. By now you must be frightened out of your wits. You don’t know which way to turn, there’s no place to hide, nowhere to run… except to me. So take my advice, Blue Gardenia. Go to the nearest phone booth and invest a dime on the rest of your life. Dial Madison 60025. And ask for, yours very earnestly, Casey Mayo.

Norah decides to answer. But will she end up in prison? Could a nice girl who has never done wrong have to spend a lifetime paying for a mistake?

Didn’t realize that the film was so close to Blackmail. It had similarrities with the painting scen and walking at night in the fog, regretful.

 

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What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)

What happened to Ally Palmer?

So my friend picked up this movie and we plnned on watching it together. I thought it was one I had seen the end of on TV. The story was of a girk who they think is dead but turns out to be alive and stays with a mortician. The townspeople thinking she was kidnapped when she stayed on purpose.

This wasn’t that movie. It was very interesting and a bit confusing.

So th film starts off as we follow Mr. Gibb, history teacher. He lives a sad abd boring life-kids don’t respect him at the high school, he has no car, he lives in a dumpy trailer, life os lah.

His neighbor is super interested in him and does all she can to get his attention, but he ignores her.

One night he is watching TV at home and sees a car commercialk fir Phil Palmer’s used cars, staring his daughter Aly Palmer (Hayden Panettiere). In American Beuty-like fashion, he behins to fantasize about her and watch hr.

One student who particularyly hates him is Amber (Sarah Steele). She is comstntly calling him a pervert and gross old man, even lettig him know that she knows what “kind” of videps he rents from her job, the video rental place in town.

Mr. Gibb becomss so enamored with hr he stops her after class one day i compliment her abd then gies to the car lot to see her, puchassing th first car he spots. And how does he pay for it? He’s got a bunch of money socked away in a suitcase.

One day, Mr. Gibb is after scholl getting ready to leave when he witnesses an arguement between Ally and her boyfriend, Brett (John Gallagher Jr.). She starts yelling “I can’t believe you did this” and sits in the hall crying. Brett is yelling at her angrily and slams his fist into the locker saying that it is her fault and she made hoim do this.

After Brett leaves, Mr. Gibb comes over and offers to give Ally a ride home. She goes with him and they talk a bit, she telling him that Brett ans ger were planning on leacing tow together bit he lost the money, and then him giving her her recent test with an A on it. She kisses him in pleasure and then goes into the house.

When she us inside we hear noises and see a masked man with a bowling bag kisap her.

Immediately, everyone suspects Mr. Gibb as he was the last one to admit to seeing her. Her dad doesn’t seem that broken up about it as he uses her disapperance to start a sale ans makes a tpm pf money off her. Infact everyone is. Everyone has been selling things from prom tickets to lemonade to “support the sarch fir Aly”.

People call Mr. Gibbs a ton of names and even spray paint pervert on his trauiler. Things get worse when a picture of him and Ally kissing gets printed in the paper. Yes, Amber took a pictre and put it out as she hates Mr. Gibbs.

Now this nade no sense to me, why wasn;t anyone questiuoning Amber? What was she douing there the day Akky disapperaed. And from the angle it was taken from she had to be hiding in the bushes on Ally’s property or in her house. Isn’t that weird? Why does no one care?

So which one is it?

Mr. Gibbs? Obsessed with Ally-could he have kidnapped her as he wanted her?

Phil Palmer, her dad? Was this all a scheme to make a ton of money?

Brett, the boyfriend? He wants money to escape the town, did he do this for ransom?

Amber, the outsider? She has always been jealous ay Ally, is this her revenge? Or was it because she jates Mr. Gibbs so, that she wanted to frame him?

The Janitor? He’s creepy and when they show where Ally is being held, it looks school basementlike.

But there is more to all this people than meets the eye. But which one is the kidnappr? The clues could lead to anyone of them, but which are the red herring and which one the real deal?

SPOLIER ALERT

So totally saw the Amber and Phil relationship ffrom the wauy they talk in the video store. I thought she was going to bethe kidnapper asshe was there when the photo was taken, shge has to be involved or seen somwting, but the moviw didsnlt gi that way.

Instead the had Mr. Gibbs be the kidnapper whuch seemed weird to me. If he was gong to kidnap her why dd he take her home? hy didn’t he try to establidsh a better alibi. How could he quickly change into the kidnapper’s clothes when he just saw her 2 mins before. Where doid jhe heveefn get those clothes when we only see him wear one uotfit the entire movie. Most people say it was just on the spot that’s why he used a obwling bag bit if it was just on the spot then how did he have th drugs? You can’t be planned out enough to carry something biutr then working in the momoent at the same time.

I think they wanted to pull one over on the audienxe ans went with tht twoist when ur actually mles no sense, And where was he keeping her? How did no one find her?

I thoughtthe execution of rhe film was good intil the end. It completelu fell spart for me.

And what is with the title of the fulm? She has een struggling and finaly earned an A. Is that what it means? In fact we know zero about Ally sje is hardly in the film except for Mr. Gibbs lusting after her. Other than that we know nothing about wjat she likes and duslikes.  Its kinsa weird.

They’re Moving From Planet to Planet…After They’ve Consumed Every Natural Resource They Move On…and We’re Next:Independence Day (1999)

They’re like locusts. They’re moving from planet to planet… their whole civilization. After they’ve consumed every natural resource they move on… and we’re next.”

I had never seen this movie all th way through. The only parts I had seenwas when Bill Pullman gives his speech on a top movie presidents’ list they had on TV Guide in honor of the 4th of July, and of cpurse-that last line about fireworks by Will Smith.

Well it was time to finally take a watch.

On July 2, 1996 an enourmous alien ship takes place outsode major cities all around the world, this impcts our four groups of characters.

Russell Casse is a Vietnam veteran and former pilot. He has a cropdusting company, but due to his alcohoilsm he doesn’t do anytrhing well. He and his family notice the ships and move their trailer out of there.

Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) is a marine and fighter pilot who dreams of being a NASA pilot. He lives wqith his stripper girlfriend and her son. He’s supposed to have the weeknd off, but when he sees the ships-heheads to base.

David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is a MIT-educated technological expert. He is still in love with his ex-wife and grumpy/mad at the world. He doesn’t believe the alien stories at forst but after he sees it with his own eyes he starts focusing on their communcations sent. He discovers that it is a countdown and travels with his dad to Washinton D.C. to warn his wife.

President Thomas J. Whitmore, (Bill Pullman) is being crucified in the press as he was a War Hero who knows zip about running a country in a “peaceful world”. He is prepared to spend th holiday with his daughter, as his wife is out of town for work, and best friend/communications diractor, Constance Spano (David’s wife).

David warns the President and the gruop manage to just barely make it out before the click its zero and all the ships disintergrate the cities.

They send the military in to shoot, like Captain Steve Miller, but the alien’s advanced weaponry is too much for them. All are killed, except Miller. He manages to knock an alien out and carry it with him. He meets up with the Casse family and they head for Area 51.

Miller’s girlfriend, Jasmine, manages to save hersekf and her son. They pull out with a few survivors they find in LA (including the president’s wife) and head off to Miller’s base. They find it destroyed,and druve off-heading to Area 51.

Air Force One-containing Levinson, Spano, and the President-head to Area 51 after a UFO conspiracy is revelaed. It turns out that an alien ships such as these we see today landed in 1947, and the government has been testing and studying it under, Dr. Brackish Okun.

When the Dr. studies Miller’s alien, it wakes up. It uses Okun to speak, then kills him. Later merging with the President to read his mind. But when the secret service kill the alien, it turns out that the Presidnt was able to get into his mind as well and knows thir plans.

Nothing they have seem to stop the aliens, but then Davod comes up with a plan. They will inject a virus into the mother ship and it wil cause the forcefields to go down and allow them to stop them.

David and Miller volunteer to head up to space-with the President calling in every single person who has flown a plane before to help fight, including himself.

Will they suceed?

Such an amazing ilm. I was totally sucked into it. I couldn’t stop watching and will be seeing this eother every 4th of July or October.

 

It Should Have Been a Movie or a Miniseries: American Gothic (2016)

I came upon American Gothic when I was browsing Amazon Prime, looking for something new.

Hmmm….

It is an interesting premise. Boston’s most notorious serial killer, the Silver Bell Killer (SBK), would kill wealthy people, strangling them, and arranging them -the final act being placing his moniker, a silver bell, just out of reach. The bell being a mark of their station and inability to use their influence.

A tunnel collapses and a new victim of the SBK turns up, bringing new evidence to light that it must have been someone connected to or a member of, the Hawthorne family.

Mitchell Hawthorne (Jamey Sheridan) is the patriarch and the owner of Hawthorne Concrete. It is hard to pin down what type of man he is as each member of the family has a different view of him. His children find a box of silver bells hidden away, the mom explains that it is because of his love of unsolved murders and memorabilia. When Hawthorne collapsed and went to the hospital, long estranged son Garrett is overheard saying “I’m going to tell them it was you.” And when Mitch is lying in the hospital he tells his wife he wants to tell the truth, she kills him-rather than having it be put out there.

Madeleine Hawthorne (Virginia Madsen) is a blue collar girl who married and shed that skin taking on the role of socialite. She hides her past from everyone and thats not all she is hiding. If anyone has hordes of secrets it is her. Every question they have about their father, any time anything comes up weird or doubts arise-their mother always has an answer for everything. And she is very good at shifting the blame on anyone but a member of her family. Everyone assumes the SBK is man, could it be a woman?

Oldest Hawthorne child is Garret (Antony Starr) long estranged from the family. He was going to marry his long term girlfriend, but he and his father argued one night and he took off. He’s been gone and extremely off the grid for fourteen years, leaving the same time the Silver Bell Killing stopped. Garrett is not only strong but looks like a serial killer, could he be the SBK?

Then there is Alison Hawthorne-Price (Juliet Rylance), city council member and running for Mayor of Boston. She wants to be completely unhelpful to the police and worries about how this will affect her campaign-trying to find a way to spin everything and keep it away from her family. She is always calm, collected, emotions under control, and used to keeping things secret. But is she really interested in saving her family and keeping her campaign running, or is she trying to steer things away from the real killer, herself?

Suspicious

Then comes Cam (Justin Chatwin), the artist in the family and famous cartoonist. He is also a recovering drug addict, trying to get clean but always falling back into it because of the bad influence of his wife Sophie. Cam was only a teenager when the killings happened, but he was already using then and said some weird things about dead bodies and killings. Was it just drug induced hallucinations, withdraw, or something more? Plus his son exhibits all the signs of a serial killer-attacking the neighbors cat, no empathy, obsessed with murder and dead bodies. Who could he have inherited that from?

Hmm…

Tessa Hawthorne-Ross (Megan Ketch), was way too young to have been the serial killer, but how much does she know? She seems like a sweet schoolteacher, always seeing the good in everyone, but is that true or all an act?

Also involved is Tessa’s husband, Brady Ross (Elliot Knight). Brady has just made detective and given the SBK case when the new evidence comes to light. Will he do his job or protect the family? It’s a hard place he’s in and which side will he go to? Find justice and a killer? Or protect his family?

Suspicious

Or could it be someone not in the family? Is there a person out there who is targeting them? Who is the Silver Bell Killer?

So everything sounds good and interesting, what went wrong?

Hmm…

It is too long.

Huh?

The series is thirteen episodes, which is standard, but too long for this story. It starts off very strong and gets you into it, but you quickly lose interest when they keep finding the killer only to switch it again.

Now this kind of plot twist is fun and great in mysteries, but having an episode with a twist and the next with a twist makes it hard to keep on going. It makes you feel as if the writers are just messing with you and gives you that sense of rage quit.

First it is the dad, then the gardener, then the brother, then the other brother, then the dad…etc. It kind of tiring.

I think it would have been stronger if it was a film or an even shorter a mini series. I mean the end was pretty good, the road was just a bit to long to get there.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to The Jewel Carries a Curse: Ruby in the Smoke (2006)

For more serial killers, go to Jason’s Out There… Watching… Ready to Kill… Thirsty for Young Blood: Friday the 13th, Part II (1981)

For more Amazon picks, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

The Jewel Carries a Curse: Ruby in the Smoke (2006)

So I was shelving films in the library when I spotted this. A mystery starring Billie Piper, the actress who played Fanny in Mansfield Park?

And J.J. Feild who was the incredible Mr. Tilney in Northanger Abbey?

I just had to watch it.

Victoria Beatrice “Sally” Lockhart’s (Billie Piper) father has died and left her with nothing more than questions and a mean relative that insults her and abuses her.

She receives a letter telling her to question Mr. Marchbanks and to stay away from The Seven Blessings.

Hmmm….

She has a lot of unanswered questions and heads to the merchant’s office where her father held a position. She tries to get answers from one of the head clerks, but as soon as he hears The Seven Blessings he becomes angry, orders her out, has a heart attack, and dies.

They call the police and deal with everything, the only good thing coming out of it is that an errand boy, Jim (Matt Smith, yes Dr. Who himself) agrees to help Sally.

Sally has no other leads so she sends a letter to Mr. Marchbanks to get some answers.

Meanwhile, there is an ugly (the character’s comments not mine) woman who has been torturing, killing, and hunting something. She has kidnapped a sailor, Matthew Bedwell, and is trying to get information out of him, but he refuses as he has a message for Sally Lockhart alone.

Sally hears from Mr. Marchbanks and heads out to meet with him. She stops to ask handsome and dreamy photographer Frederick Garland (J.J. Feild) for directions. The part that I really likes is how he looks at her when he is talking to her, but once she starts talking about photography he really looks at her-and is amazed: like what a gorgeous brilliant woman. I thought it was cute.

So sweet

I just love J.J. Feild in everything I have seen him in. He’s just so dreamy.

Anyways, he sends Sally on the right way hoping to get her name, but no dice. She goes to Mr. Marchbanks, but he tells her he can’t talk as Mrs. Holland is in the house. Sally has no clue what he is talking about, but listens to him as he gives her a package and asks her to leave as Mrs. Holland is dangerous and will try to kill her.

I’m out!

Sally runs off while Mrs. Holland comes and tries to get the package from Marchbanks. It turns out that Mrs. Holland is the woman who has been chasing and killing all the people-“the old hag”.

When Mrs. Holland returns from the other room, Mr. Marchbanks taunts her- telling her that she is out of luck and never going to get the package. Mrs. Holland becomes so angry she kills him.

A Maid sees her, and in fear for her life tells her that a Sally Lockhart was here and just left pointing the way she went. Mrs. Holland runs after Sally and Sally has only moments to hide. She runs to Fredrick, and he hides her in his photography tent. To show her gratitude she gives him her name and takes a train back to London.

As she rides the train back to her Aunt, she opens the package and sees it contains a journal. She starts to read and discovers that her father, Captain Lockhart, was given a giant ruby from the Maharajah when he was a soldier in India. But before she can continue she falls asleep.

Unbeknownst to Sally, Mrs. Holland has a thief on the train, Mr. Hopkins. He steals the journal but doesn’t notice one page falls out.

When Sally wakes up she discovers she only has the last page which give clues to where to find the Ruby. When Mrs. Holland sees that the most important page is missing, Mr. Hopkins travels to Sally’s aunt’s house to steal the last page. His arrival wakens Sally and instead of wondering if she is okay her Aunt accuses her of making the whole business up for attention, Sally moves out and in with Fredrick and his sister Rose (played by Hayley Atwell-who also starred in Mansfield Park as Mary Crawford,) an actress.

Fredrick is a very educated man and deduces the Latin in the riddle. Meanwhile, Matthew sends a servant girl, Adelaide to give them a message. Sally searches for Matthew Bedlam but ends up taking some opium and sees a memory from the past.

Meanwhile, Matthew and Fredrick break into Holland’s place to get Matthew out. Matthew reveals to Sally that a criminal called Ah Ling, head of the Chinese Triads called The Seven Blessings killed her father, Captain Lockhart.

Also Sally and Fredrick have been growing closer together…

Mrs Holland figures out the riddle and heads to find the ruby but it is gone. She has Matthew killed and Adelaide kidnapped. Fredrick and Jim run after and try to get her back, but while they stop her people, Mrs. Holland and Adelaide slip out of her grasp.

But what happened to the Ruby?

Sally goes under the opium to remember what happened as a child. She decides to go after the ruby, but Rosa reveals that Jim found it a long time ago and hid it to protect Sally’s life.

Sally goes to meet Mrs. Holland, against Rose’s wishes, and brings the ruby. The truth is revealed. Captain Lockhart is not Sally’s father.

Mr. Marchbanks was Sally’s father.

Mr. Marchbanks was an opium addict and actually caused the death of the Maharajah when he left for his fix. Captain Lockhart saw Marchbanks’ daughter in the opium den, and afraid for what would happen to her he traded the ruby for Sally.

Mr. Marchbanks said the Ruby belongs to Sally-her inheritance, but Mrs. Holland said it was hers. It turns out that when she was a young girl she traded her virginity in exchange for the ruby, but the Maharajah reneged in the deal.

Sally tosses the Ruby in the water, as she doesn’t need it. Mrs. Holland follows the ruby that she desire so much she has killed, stolen, and destroyed many things to acquire.

Meanwhile, Sally is approached by one of her father’s trusted men, Hendrik Van Eeden. She expects him to give her a ride home but he ends up kidnapping her!

It turns out that he isn’t who she thought he was. He is Ah Ling.

Not kidding, I thought the same thing. Turns out that he is biracial-Dutch and Chinese. H goes by Ah Ling as his criminal name in moving the opium, and then using his father’s name to fool the English soldiers. He has been killing all kinds of people who interfered with his opium trade, like Sally’s father. He threatens Sally with a knife, but unbeknownst to him her father taught her well, and Sally always carries a gun on her.

After all this turmoil with Sally returns to the Garland home with her friends-Frederick, Rose, and Jim-deciding to remain Lockhart (as he was her real father) and just taking each day by day.

It was a good movie-with a great twist. I did not see the Ah Ling being Van Eeden.

It has wonderful characters that I’m sure you will enjoy.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Go Ahead and Shoot…As Far As Killing Me, Well, I Don’t Think You’re That Good a Shot: Possessed (1947)

For more J.J. Feild, go to Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

For more Mansfield Park, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Northanger Abbey, go to No One Would Have Ever Guessed

Go Ahead and Shoot…As Far As Killing Me, Well, I Don’t Think You’re That Good a Shot: Possessed (1947)

Well, go ahead and shoot. Mathematically, the chances of your hitting me are slight. And as far as killing me, well, I don’t think you’re that good a shot.

So I was watching the lifetime film Widow on the Hill, which is based on the true story of a hospice nurse who ended up marrying her wealthy patient’s husband (after the patient died) later being arrested for his murder after he died under suspicious circumstances. It was not a bad film, but all I could think as I was watching it was that it reminded me of a film I saw years ago, Possessed, starring Joan Crawford and Van Heflin.

***Side Note***: This film is nothing like the 1931 film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, yes Joan Crawford is the only actress to ever have been in two completely different films that share the same name.

This a film-noir which you know I adore. It deals with mental illness, Joan and the director visiting different psychiatric wards to make sure they depicted things accurately.

Wow!

Anyways, the film starts off with Louise Howell (Joan Crawford) roaming the streets having suffered a psychotic break and saying the name “David” over and over again.

She gets picked up and taken to an asylum.

Dr. Harvey Williard: It was pain that made her this way.

Yes a man damaged her-poor girl. We then get a flashback to how her life was before.

Louise was a nurse hired to help the horrible, mean, invalid Mrs. Graham. True she is sick, but how she treats and accuses Louise constantly of cheating with her husband- makes Louise hate Mrs. Graham and every day of her life.

Believe me, living with that abuse it horrible. Every day is hell on earth.

Dean Graham (Raymond Massey), the husband, is kind and caring-very friendly. But Louise isn’t interested. Truth is, she would have left a long time ago except for one thing-David.

David Sutton (Van Heflin), is the handsome, engineer, next door neighbor and started a relationship with Louise. He doesn’t really care for her, but to Louise it is love. She becomes more obsessive, more possessive, more desperate-hoping to hold on to him, hoping to marry, hoping to be taken away from this life.

Except in this situation Louise is the desperate one.

David grows tired of her not understanding “the game” and leaves for a job in Canada. Louise begs him to take her with him, but he refuses-not wanting anything to do with her.

David Sutton: I’m sorry, Louise. I seldom hit a woman, but if you don’t leave me alone, I’ll wind up kicking babies.

I hate men like that:

Ugh

Louise becomes more and more distressed and finds it harder to keep her life together. Especially with Mrs. Graham on her back. One night when Louise is gone, Mrs. Graham drowns herself…or does she. Hmm…

Suspicious

Louise is going to leave, but Dean asks her to stay on to help with his kids, college age Carol and little Wynn. Carol, however, hates having Louise here as she believes her mother’s accusations about Louise and her father. Louise wants to leave, but Dean convinces her to stay on.

However, Louise is suffering from hallucinations and starting to break a little. She keeps thinking she hears Ms. Grahame’s voice.

Later David returns and is surprised to find that Louise remained on with the Grahmes. Louise is thrilled to have him back, but he rebuffs her.

Louise Howell: [on meeting again after long separation] Aren’t you going to kiss me?

David Sutton: I had no plans one way or the other.

Louise Howell: All right, then. Go ahead and kiss me. You don’t have to mean it. [He gives her the briefest peckI didn’t expect you to mean it that little.

David Sutton: When a woman kisses me, Louise, she has to take pot luck.

This guy! UGHHHHH!!!!

Dean however, has fallen for Louise and wants to marry her. She tells him that she does not love him and probably never will, but he is fine with that. He will take her anyway he can:

He believes that through time she will grow to love him.

Carol apologizes for her accusations, and it looks as of Louise and her might have a good relationship. But one thing ruins it all:

One day they are out and run into David. David couldn’t care less about Louise buts finds Carol intriguing.

David Sutton: [upon meeting Carol again who he last saw when she was a bratty 11-year-old girl, but is now a shapely 20-year-old woman] Let me look at you. Mm-hmm. Well, you… you haven’t grown very much, but… then again, you have.

I can’t stand him!!! Why do they like him??????

Louise begs off early with a headache, but when she gets home starts hallucinating. She believes the two to be in love and plotting against her.

As she is a nurse she goes to a psychiatrist to see what is going on with her. When doing so she finds out that she suffers from schizophrenia. She goes to Dean to try and get him to divorce her, but he refuses, he loves her. He takes her on a vacation but it doesn’t go well.

They go back to the old house, where the former Mrs. Grahame died. There Louise starts to have a complete psychotic breakdown. She believes the first wife is after her, that she is telling her to kill herself.

She admits to Dean that she killed Mrs. Grahame. Mrs. Grahame went on the water and started drowning and Louise did nothing. Dean tells her that it is false, that she was in the village and nowhere near Pauline.

So this is interesting, the film leaves it open up to us to decide. Was Louise in the village and just suffering from her psychotic break? Or did she really murder Mrs. Grahame and pretend to being in the village? Hmmm…

But then Carol and David announce they are going to marry. And Louise loses it.

She completely breaks down and does all she can to stop it. David won’t listen to her so she tells Carol all about her and David-that David is in love with her, But Carol won’t believe her.

They decide to admit her, but Louise eludes them and goes to see David. She can’t stay away from him, she can love none but him. If she can’t have him then no one can.

David doesn’t believe she will do it, but Louise proves him wrong.

And you know what, I’m glad. He was an awful man.

We then pick up where the film begins. The doctor is going to treat her and Dean will stay by her side. He really loves her no matter what. It’s sweet and sad.

Its a great film, Joan Crawford is amazing and just does all she can to lead the film. Van Heflin is a great bad guy and a total scumbug being. I recommend it.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For more film-noir, go to The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

For more Van Heflin, go to Why Didn’t You Stop Me, Sam? You Know How Much I Hated Her! Why Didn’t You Stop Me?: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For those of you who follow me on facebook, I promised and am going to deliver.

It has been a while since we have talked about this show so let’s do a quick review. P.D. James, famous mystery writer, decided to write a Jane Austen mystery set years after Pride and Prejudice in which a murder occurs and Darcy, Wickham Colonel Fitzwilliam, are all suspects. Lots of people loved it.  I read it and hated it. If you would like to read the full review of the book, go here.

A Jane Austen mystery

So when they made a TV series, everyone was talking about it. I however was not jazzed, as I hadn’t enjoyed the original source material, but was finally convinced to do it as I would be able to review something Jane Austen for Horrorfest. I was actually surprised by the mini series and enjoyed it much more than the book.

I know, scandalous bit hey-being honest. I then reviewed the second episode a few months later, and planned to finish the last one during Horrorfest VI, but that ended up being a disaster-so here we are.

Just keep moving foward

So the story thus far- Episode I: ALL HOPE IS DASHED-it is Christmastime and Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, their son, Georgiana, the Bingley family, and Bennets are all getting ready to celebrate the Queen Anne’s ball. Colonel Fitzwilliam has money now and is interested in Georgiana, but she is in love with someone else. Also, there is a creepy story about a ghost in the woods surrounding the Darcy estate, just fyi. Everything is fine until Lydia shows up, with Wickham-something they were never supposed to do. But even worse their friend Captain Dennys is DEAD! MURDERED! Who killed him? (Full review click here)

Then we have Episode II-WICKHAM STRIKES BACK-So things are not going well. Stress, tension, hysterics abound in the Darcy house. Wickham is jailed and as Darcy’s brother-in-law is constantly asking him for things to help his stay, and Darcy delivers. Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship is under serious strain, and poor Georgiana-all trauma coming back. In the previous episode there was mention about their butler who has an ailing son. Elizabeth goes to visit with them and discovers they have some serious secrets. Wickham is trying to use his jailed time to make money off his “story” but no matter what the money or things-swears up and down that he did not kill his friend. But if not him, then who? We end with Wickham to go on trial; shouting by all; and a fade to black! (Full review click here)

So let’s see how this one will shape up. I have to say I really enjoyed the last episodes and hoping (fingers crossed) they deliver with this one.

So Wickham is in jail finally realizing that things may not turn out well. Charm can only get you so far and you can’t talk your way out of everything Eventually it catches up to you.

It turns out that the butler’s daughter who was caring for her nephew was lying about that, as she is unmarried, and the baby is her son and Wickham the father.

Seeing her in the courthouse brings back memories of their time together-and also what having this means for his future. For Louisa, she considers killing herself now that she knows they wont be a big happy family. Her Freddie is actually Wickham, a married man.

Wickham wasn’t the only one who noticed Louisa. Sir Selwyn, the magistrate, is very interested in what went on at the trial with Wickham/”Freddie”. They have to reveal to him the truth.

Not good for you man not at all.

Darcy goes to see his dreaded brother-in-law. Wickham has decided to go to America-to get away from the scandal, that is if he goes free.

A while back I did a post on Jane Austen’s aunt who was arrsted for shoplifting and had to jailed until her case went to trial and Mrs. Austen wanted to send Jane to stay as “a comfort”. Imagine if Jane really had to live with her aunt be stuck in on of these cells. yuck

Wickham wants Darcy to keep quiet about his extramarital affair, but Darcy is honorable. He won’t lie. But Wickham asking him too, I can’t help but wonder could there be something here that relates to Denny’s death?

Hmm…

Now Louisa’s family is afraid that Darcy will do something, it is Elizabeth’s sister who is Wickham’s wife. Or worse-what if her father finds out?

Elizabeth questions Louisa to see if she can shine any light on what happened. Louisa was supposed to give the baby Georgie to Eleanor a friend of Wickham’s. She last saw her the day of the murder-she  looks just like the woman Elizabeth saw in the woods!

She was there with Captain Denny, who Louisa thought at first was Wickham. You know soldiers-from a distance they all look alike.

Hmm…

The woman wanted Georgie, but Louisa refused. She didn’t want to sell her child off she wanted a family-husband father, etc. William, the ill son, is upset about what happened that day. He reveals another clue to this mystery-there was a third person in the abbey.

Oh?

Colonel Fitzwilliam.

That’s why he’s been so sketchy.

Elizabeth asks the housekeeper if she knows of anyplace where they can send Louisa’s child-she has a sister near Highbury-could it be Mrs. Goddard from Emma. hmmmm…

Sir Selwyn is looking into more about Wickham’s case. He is a man that looks into everything and anything.

Darcy and Elizabeth are actually talking for once-but just the trial. Elizabeth once again tries to have him see that to him that Col. Fitzwilliam is hiding something-that he was there. But Darcy won’t listen. It is his closest friend and cousin.

That’s my best friend.

Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgina are talking about the future. If Wickham is convicted-all proverbial hell will break loose…but Colonel Fitzwilliam doesn’t stay on that topic for long-he has other things to speak of-marriage.

Georgiana accepts even though she does not love him. Her fear of the future and protectiveness of the Darcy name and Pemberley has caused her to choose safety over the man she really loves.

The next morning Darcy leave early, Elizabth still in bed, and finds a horse in his woods! It is Sir Selwyn investigating the woods. Sir Selwyn wonders if maybe that Denny was running not from Wickham, but to somewhere. Hmmm???

Darcy goes to the trial with trepidation. Newsboys selling papers with the headline “The Wicked Mr. Wickham” Finally someone gets it right! How weird is that the man Georgiana loves, Henry Alveston, defending the man who tried to kidnap and abuse her.

The crowd is very against Wickham-it does not look good.

Okay, let’s stop for a breather here. I’ve read the book. I know exactly how it ends-but I have to say this series is so well done I am getting tense too and full of “What’s going to happen next?”, “Will he get out of this?”, “Who killed Denny?” Bravo, BBC, Bravo.

The woman-Elizabeth and Louisa saw-is in the courthouse Darcy recognizes her-it was Georgiana’s nurse. The one that conspired with Wickham to squirrel her away! What does this mean?

Lady Catherine arrives. UGH!

Wickham is behaving much better at his actual. He’s not so pompish and foolish. The death of his friend has hit him too. You can hear how sad he is over the loss.

Wow!

Wow-Matthew Goode, you actually made feel bad for Wickham. I still want to punch you in the face-but I might feel a twinge of guilt after doing it.

Lady Catherine is doing a number on Elizabeth. And of course it is all Elizabeth’s fault-Wickham would be out of their lives if it weren’t for her family. But the biggest surprise is Lydia-the very presence of Mrs. George Wickham sends Lady Catherine packing. Too bad Elizabeth did not have her with her when she visited Mr. Collins and Charlotte.

Oh, well

The prosecuting attorney brings up the debts Wickham acquired as a way to stain his character. This courthouse is turning into a mockery. Outrage. Objection!

After court Darcy storms off to follow Eleanor Younge. It turns out that Eleanor is Wickham’s sister. What? In the book she was in love with him. That threw me.

She wanted to adopt George-but Mr. Denny ruined it with his offering Louisa money. Darcy wants nothing to do with Eleanor after what she did to Georgiana, and Eleanor feels the same way.

But Darcy finds out that Elizabeth is telling the truth and Colonel Fitzwilliam was lying to him. Colonel Fitzwilliam went to Eleanor. Oh no-Darcy’s favorite guy fell off his pedestal. Now he wants the truth from Col. Fitzwiliam.

Wickham came to Col. Fitzwilliam. He decided to go Eleanor to pay her to take the baby-free the Darcy’s from Wickham. And then…oh no-Colonel Fitzwilliam just— oh no he did not say that about Georgiana. Hurry, Darcy-punch him too.

Col. Fitzwilliam how dare you talk about Georgiana as if she was “damaged gods” tainted” how Georgiana should be happy you would “take her” Oh my-oh my how dare you, how dare you, how dare you-you-prick Like she’s AAAAAAGHH-words can’t describe my anger at you. Get outta here rrrrrggggHHHH

Aw, Darcy apologizes to Georgiana. He feels bad. Its hard when you are a brother who is more a father, that line is a hard one to walk. Now go make amends to your wife.

I love the shot of when he says he is sorry that Elizabeth is above him and he is looking up to her. So much is how everyone comments on how Elizabeth’s family is below the Darcy’s and often he is above her. I thought it was a good way to show equal footing and almost a “I’m on my knees, pretty please forgive me” move while still being classic Darcy.

Darcy admits to Elizabeth he thinks Wickham is guilty. And that if this comes out-as it probably will-things do not bode well for either family. The next day Darcy goes to Alveston to discuss him. Oh Alvestan, such an idealist-he believes in a fair trial while the judge and prosecutor are clear who was guilty from day one.

Now I might not like Wickham and I wish he could pay for his crimes against women, but he shouldn’t hang if he didn’t commit the murder. Im such a Darcy-justice must rule not feelings.

Darcy takes the stand and things do not look well. Especially as Wickham said he killed Denny it as his fault. Darcy is stoic and strong-but oh things look bleak.

Elizabeth and Lydia are going to have a talk…about Wickham. But Lydia already knows-she doesn’t need hear it from her sister. She knows her husband.

The Jury return!!! What will there verdict be???

They find him to be…

Wickham praying.

Guilty! He will hang.

Guilty????!!! What?? Huh??? I don’t know what will happen next? Is this a dream??? No??? Guilty??

Eleanor leaves and Darcy follows.  She is running and leaps into traffic-killed by horses running her over.

Guilty Wickham?  Whaaaaaaaaaa….

Will is also dying. But he won’t see anyone. Elizabeth and the Reverend find it odd and go to speak to him. When they see him, he’s momemts away from his death and he finally tells the truth.

Captain Denny came the night of the murder. Will saw the uniform and believed him to be Wickham. Will was so angry that he had taken his sister’s virtue and ht him hard. Dennys’ staggered as he walked and fell down the hill-smacking his head on a rock and that causing his death.

I’m in shock

Will thought Wickham would get off-but he can’t allow a man to die for the crime he committed. He confesses and writes it out, signing it with witnesses.

We then see Wickham and Lydia.

Oh Wickham and Lydia, these two are cut from the same cloth. It is sweet seeing them together like this. Actually being loving and kind-caring for each other deeper than what they can get out of the other. Very sweet-shows another side of the two.

Very cute

Elizabeth and Will’s father set out to Derby. Will they make it in time? Or is Wickham a dead man walking? Run Elizabeth, run. This feels like that moment in Pocahontas when you are like will she get there in time. Every second seeming to fly by and last forever at the same time.

The music building tension—

Elizabeth shouting and going up on the gallows-scandalous. What would Lady Catherine say?

Ack!

Back at Pemberley–you know I just realized the book takes place at Christmas but BBC there’s no snow.

The two-Lydia and Wickham-all is well. They head off to America to flee scandal and cause more trouble.

Louisa keeps the baby, she and her family raising it-naming him after her brother.

Yay!!!

And Henry Alveston rides to see Georgiana, in Henry Tilney fashion on a horse-to ask of her hand.

And Elizabeth pregnant.

Good job BBC, I enjoyed that tremendously. The only actor I did not like was Elizabeth’s. I thought she was just missing that spark. She always seemed tired, worn out, and too quiet.

And I have to say Matthew Goode was amazing! I have never felt so incredibly sorry for a character, yet at the same time hated his guts and wanted to punch him. He did amazing making Wickham so multi-faceted and giving him those little bits of humanity in the jerkiness and prickness of it all.

Fully amazing!!! A must watch!

And just a quick apology if I don’t get a chance to edit this before it posts tomorrow-I hope it isn’t too addled sounding.

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to TO the Person Who Hated My Review of Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more Jane Austen variations, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 1, The Journey Ahead

For more BBC miniseries, go to I Don’t Care About Money or Class, I Love Her: Episode Three, Doctor Thorne (2016)

Mata Hari Stops At Nothing. Nothing Comes Between Mata Hari and What She Wants: The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Mata Hari stops at nothing. Nothing comes between Mata Hari and what she wants.

This is one of my favorite Doris Day films. It is so hilarious. My mom is a huge Doris Day film so when I was growing up we watched practically every film she has been in.

Out of all of them this was her favorite.

The film starts off with widow Jennifer Nelson (Doris Day). During the week she works at NASA in the PR department and running tours. On the weekends she dresses up as a mermaid and helps her father’s tourism business of a Glass Bottom Boat in Catalina.

One day she is doing the usual performing when she is caught by super genius and millionaire, Bruce Templeton (Rod Taylor).

Bruce is smitten with Jennifer and has his people research her. She lives alone with a menagerie of animals, including her lovable dog Vladimir. She also fills her time after work taking different classes-such as baking (she learned how to make banana cream pie)-and is currently taking writing classes.

Bruce decides that he will do all he can to get her and hires her to write his biography that NASA and a few publishers have been after. He also pretends to like all the things she does to win her, such as banana cream pies even though he actually hates them.

Now this is incredibly messed up behavior and he is a total jerk to do this to her, but it is Rod Taylor. It is hard to look at such an amazing mass of gorgeousness and hunkiness and stay angry. *Sigh* I could just look at that man for days.

Anyways, Bruce is working on a super secret weapon GISMO and his security chief, Homer Cripps, is paranoid that Russian spies may have infiltrated NASA and discovered what Bruce has been working at. And who does he think is the top spy? Jennifer.

Homer Cripps has been watching her and thinks all the classes are questionable, the mermaid thing odd, and above all the calling of Vladimir everyday.

Russian name = Russian spy!

Well Bruce won’t hear it, he and Jennifer have been progressing their relationship.

Meanwhile, Jennifer’s schedule has her out early and not come home until late. In order to ensure her dog has exercise she calls the same time everyday and just talks to her answering machine-her dog going wild jumping and running at the sound of her voice.

Meanwhile, Homer and other head honcho Edgar Hill are trying to convince Bruce that Jennifer is a spy, which she happens to overhear. So not only does she find out that they believe her to be a spy, but that Bruce had her investigated and has been lying about things he likes to date her-insulting her banana cream pie.

Not the pie dude.

Oh Jennifer is angry, she furious and incredibly livid. So she decides to get even.

Bruce and NASA have a big gala at Bruce’s amazing modern “house of the future”. There Jennifer pretends to be a spy-playing with the minds of everyone.

Jennifer Nelson: The recognition signal is: “Vladimir Sent Me”. Over!

But unbeknownst to her, there is a spy infiltration at NASA. Someone is after the secret formula Bruce has been working on. The spy is dressed as a woman and hides the plans in her purse. When Jennifer goes into the bathroom, the two switch purses and Jennifer ends up with the plans.

The spies then go after Jennifer, believing she is a spy working for someone else.

What ensues is hilarious hijinks in a fantastic movie, which you must watch for yourself.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

For more Doris Day, go to You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children: Move Over Darling (1963)

For more spy films, go to I Just Read Books: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Plot Twist

The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Golly, the misery that walks around on this pretty, quiet night.

So a couple years ago I rented a DVD collection Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5, and reviewed two movies from it Backfire and Dial 1119. I really had a hankering for watching Backfire and rerented it. The DVD that holds Backfire, also has this film Deadline at Dawn.

This film is…interesting. The main character is extremely annoying, but the others I love and the ending has one amazing twist. So as you can see I have mixed emotions about it.

The film starts off with Edna Bartelli, a drunk, player of a woman, who uses blackmail to make her money. This morning, she was completely wasted when her ex-husband comes to get his money. But his money is missing. It must have been taken by the guy she was with last night. Edna doesn’t care, but her ex, Sleepy, is none too happy.

We fade and find ourselves with Navy sailor Alex Winkler, annoying dimwitted baby. He’s the character I can’t stand, and I wish that they had someone different.

So Alex wakes up at a newsstand with the mother of hangovers and a wad of cash. He had been sprawled out on the sidewalk until this guy found him and began giving him coffee. He’s on leave and walks about with his radio unsure of what to do next.

Hmm…

He goes to a dance hall and rescues June Goffe (Susan Hayward) from a particularly annoying client. After he uses up his dance tickets on her, she gets off work and the two go get some supper and head to her apartment.

No not that, she’s just tired and the restaurants are packed. They get to her apartment and start talking. Alex is a dope, but sweet and innocent. Don’t have to worry about him doing anything.

They discover that the two grew up in the same area. When Alex is leaving, June asks him to give her mom a message when he heads home. Let her know her daughter is doing good, even though June isn’t.

Alex doesn’t believe in lying, but offers her the $40,000 he is carrying.

Huh?

It’s not his money and he wants nothing to do with it. What happened was the night before he stopped at an Italian restaurant. The brother had him go at gambling and took some money, plying him with drinks. The sister asked him up to her apartment to fix her radio. He went up to fix it, but that wasn’t what she had in mind. She got drunk and was “not being a lady” so he got upset and that’s the last thing he remembers. He woke up drinking coffee in the newsstand with the $40,000. I guess he stole it on his way out.

Oh, well

June convinces him to take the money back. He is such a baby he has June hold his hand through it. They head back to the apartment, he goes up while she waits on the steps. Alex comes back down in shock, the woman, Edna has been murdered.

June Goffe: [walking into Edna’s apartment and seeing that she has been strangled] I hear the whistle blowing.[After a pauseWho did it? You?

Alex Winkler: You mean you think I did it?

June Goffe: Didn’t you?

Alex Winkler: Don’t look at me like that! I think you’d better leave.

June Goffe: Yes. Well, this is New York… where “hello” means “goodbye”.

June feels sorry for the pup, and stays to help him. They look through trying to figure out what to do next. They look at cigarettes, matches, letters, etc. They walk downstairs and try to think where the murderer might go next. They have four hours to solve it before Alex has to take the bus and ship out. Get it, Deadline at Dawn.

They head to a little diner to get a drink, but neither is thirsty. June gets the idea that maybe the murderer did the same thing. They question the soda jerk (real term not referring to personality) and discover a beautiful blonde with a slightly lame leg did the same thing.

June then questions a cabbie to see if his last ride was a blonde with a lame leg. She gets bingo and heads off to follow her. Alex wants to come to but she tells him to try and find the man who murdered Edna. They know that it must be a man as she was strangled.

Alex sees a guy running in a hurry and upset and follows him in a cabbie.

June finds the woman and questions her. She was going to try and get some letters-something Edna was using for blackmail, but hurried home as she found her dead. She was crying because she was happy it was over.

She hears her husband, and begs June to go. She doesn’t want him to know about it. June leaves it as a red herring and heads back to Edna’s to see what Alex uncovered.

The woman and her husband argue, he’s yelling about her going out. She says that she went to a movie and tells her husband that Edna is dead. He repeats you were at a movie? And she says yes, where were you?

Hmm…

Alex’s lead turns out to be a wild goose chase as the man was rushing to have his pet looked after. Alex is disappointed, there are no leads and it doesn’t seem as if there is any other answer then it was him.

Alex Winkler: [sighs in the back of Gus’ cab]

Gus Hoffman: Beg pardon?

Alex Winkler: [distracted] What?

Gus Hoffman: You sigh like the end of summer. Troubled?

Alex Winkler: Personal.

Gus Hoffman: Oh… personal. That’s killed a lot of people in its day.

Alex Winkler: Yes.

Gus Hoffman: [after Alex gets out of the cab] By the way, if it’s not too personal, what was that all about down there?

Alex Winkler: Oh, uh, uh, personal.

Gus Hoffman: All right, I’ll buy it back. Forget I asked. Good night.

Alex Winkler: Good night

Alex meets up with June and both discover they have nothing. Gus follows them up to Edna’s, and ends up joining their investigation. He too feels sorry for Alex. He takes a look around the room and tries to help them find clues.

Gus Hoffman: [looking over Edna’s correspondence] The Divine Being made many loathsome creatures, but none so low as a woman with a cold heart. She held these letters for blackmail, even her own brother. [Looks at photographs of various men on the wallA blind man can see how many boyfriends she had. Evidently the water tasted good, so she jumped down the well.

They discuss what to do next when a woman comes in looking for Edna, she wants her blackmail letters back. She ends up giving them the slip and they are back at square one.

There are two leads they discover, a bad check from a Lester Brady and that there is someone watching them downstairs. They send Alex to talk to Lester, while June and Gus drive away to see who the follower is.

Lester Brady is extremely nervous and prepared to do anything to get that check and his letters back. But then the woman who gave them the slip, Mrs. Nan Raymond appears. She came to tell Lester that Edna is dead and about the Scooby-Doo gang. They decide to call Edna’s brother and try and weasel a way out of the situation with the letters.

Meanwhile, June and Gus discover who their stalker is. It is the guy from the dance hall that was bothering her. He still wants to be with her.

Gus and June have a bit of time talking. Gus shares that the reason June really wants to help is because she’s in love with Alex. He shares his backgrund how his wife left him and all he had was his daughter, the apple of his eye. She is married, her husband having some trouble, but they have a baby. They head back to the apartment but no Alex, they hurry after him.

Meanwhile Alex was jumped by Edna’s brother Val Bartelli. You may recognize him as Dancer in The Thin Man Returns. They head back to Edna’s looking for the blackmail, and Gus and June get there in time. All convene and head to the club to see of maybe the ex-husband, Sleepy did it.

I have to say I love how they just keep picking people up and having them join them investigating. A regular Scooby-Doo gang.

After they leave, one of Edna’s boyfriend’s goes up to her room and finds her body He calls the police.

Meanwhile the group goes to the club, interrupting a police officer’s birthday bash, ooh.

They question Sleepy, who turns out to be blind, but no dice -he didn’t do. The police officers arrest Alex and strike a confession out of him.

Oh no, its all over. June is horrified and angry, Gus tries to calm her down.

***Spoiler Alert***

But it turns out they already have a confession at another station. In come the blonde with a lame leg and her husband. Her husband confessed to killing Edna. They had a relationship and she was blackmailing him and he killed her.

But after questioning them, it is clear that this is not the guy. He got the murder wrong and obviously has no clue what they are talking about. Who is he protecting? The wife?

Hmm…

But it turns it it is not the wife. She was protecting her father-Gus the cabdriver.

Yes, Gus. Gus was tired of the relationship between Edna and the husband. He wanted her to stop, his daughter and son-in-law were having a baby. Edna refused, that jerk.

Gus became angry and in the heat, killed her. He kept trying to get rid of Alex, send him home, and felt so sorry for him he began helping him. In the end he couldn’t let anyone take the rap for him, but admits the truth.

He sends June off with Alex, the two taking the bus together, and all ends as dawn’s light arises.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more from the Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5, go to It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

For more film noir, go to Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

The murderer is never the one you initially suspect.

I love Agatha Christie:

This was one of the first stories I ever read of hers. When I was about 10, my nana heard I liked mysteries and asked if I had ever read Agatha Christie. I hadn’t so she gave me a collection of stories in a book: Murder in the Mansions, which contained The Seven Dials Mystery, Ordeal by Innocence, and Crooked House.

All of them amazed me, but especially Crooked House. When I saw it on Amazon Prime, I had to watch it right away.

The film starts off with millionaire Archimedes Leonides’ death. He is survived by Brenda Leonides, his 30-year old widow; his sons, Phillip and Roger; his daughter-in-laws, Magda and Clemency; his grandchildren: Sophia (Stefanie Martini), Eustace (Preston Nyman), and Josephine (Honor Kneafsey); along with his sister-in-law, Lady Edith de Haviland.

Charles Hayward (Max Irons [Jeremy Irons’ son]) is an ex-embassyman in Egypt, and OSS agent, and has become a private investigator. Things haven’t been booming, but it appears that today will be different. He has a client today!

When he goes in he sees Sophia Leonides, otherwise known to him as Sophia de Haviland, an old flame.

Sophia and Charles met in Egypt when she worked for Sotheby’s, using her mother’s maiden name to hide her true identity. They had a relationship but it was broken off when Sophia found out that Charles was dating her not only for her, but to also find out information on her grandfather.

She comes to him to ask him to investigate as her grandpa did not die of natural causes. Someone poisoned him with his eyedrops. In order to avoid scandal she would rather he come in than Scotland Yard. Charles agrees and goes to the “Crooked House”.

With this term you know that no one in here will not be a suspect. All characters are duplicitous and dishonest. And all have a reason to kill Archimedes. He’s was a mean man who would tease and pull and play with all those around him, enjoying his power. Everyone is stuck in this crooked house and have to follow his rules-there is no ability, money, or anything they can do to leave.

We’re trapped

First we have Lady Edith de Haviland (Glenn Close), she always cared for Archimedes, but he married her sister. After her death Lady Edith stayed on in the house helping to raise the boys and their grandchildren. Could his marriage to Brenda finally made him snap? Did she hate how he was controlling the children and grandchildren?

Brenda Leonides (Christina Hendricks) is the 30-year old widow and the one who gave her husband his medicine every day. She’s the most likely to slip it in, but why? Could it be she regretted being cooped up with that old man? His family? Could she have a lover that she wants to be with, but with Archimedes’ money?

Phillip (Julian Sands) burnt through his trust fund with gambling and had to be rescued by his father. He is stuck there as his history books and screenplays are nothing nobody wants. He wrote a new play, something his wife could star in, but his father won’t fund it. It could help him break away-could he have murdered his father for freedom?

Magda (Gillian Anderson [Yes Scully from X-Files]) is a former actress in the theater. Her husband and father-in-law have both thrown money at her plays and lost and lost. Now this screenplay could be her ticket back to stardom but Archimedes would not pay. Did she do it?

Roger (Christian McKay) inherited one of the family buisnesses, the catering and restaurants. He completely dropped the ball on it, his dad constantly having to pull him out of a black hole. This time his dad said no more money. Did Roger take care of it?

Clemency (Amanda Abbington) has never wanted to stay in the crooked house. She has always wanted to leave, but her husband was Daddy’s boy and never could. Did she finally snap and take care of it?

Sophia was called back from Sotheby’s to “help” with the family business, however she didn’t do much. Did she regret being in the house? Did she want to leave and felt there was only one way out?

Eustace had polio when he was younger, giving him a limp in one leg. His grandfather made him be tutored at home, i order to “keep him from being bullied.” But Eustace has always resented this control and being stuck in the house his whole life. He wants to go out, be with real people, out in life. Did he finally snap?

Hmm…

Josephine is always writing and scribbing in her notebook-a Harriet the Spy. She goes from room to room watching, observing-mostly undetected. Did she see something? Or was she mad that he stopped her dream of becoming a ballerina?

Hmm…

To make things worse, Charles still has feelings for Sophia. Will this cloud his judgement?

Which one which one? And will Charles survive the crooked house?