For Darkness Shows the Stars

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For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1) by Diana Peterfreund

So I picked this book up as you know I will review anything Austen. I thought it was going to be about Pride and Prejudice as most are, but it surprised me and was about Persuasion instead.

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Persuasion was published in 1818 after Austen’s death, alongside Northanger Abbey. Out of all the Austen works, these two seem to have the least amount of fans and notice.

It is sad they don’t have more.

I have always found that strange as I love both of these novels.

Even though it isn’t as loved by people, Persuasion has had two films made of it and a lot of it is based on Austen’s feelings of her first love and a wish fulfillment of being reunited.

Anyways, just in case you’ve never heard of it (and as I have yet to work through it as I am still stuck on Emma) I think we need a quick review.

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Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth fall in love. He asks her for her hand in marriage, but Anne’s father refuses. Anne is unsure and goes to a family friend for advice; as her mother is dead, her father lives in his own world, and her sisters don’t care. This family friend persuades her to say no as Anne is above him in station, Fredrick has no options for promotion (as his family can’t procure it), the likelihood of him dying and living Anne a penniless widow (as her father will leave her nothing) is very high, and the two are so young.

Hmm…

Anne goes to Fredrick and refuses, him becoming angry as he thinks it is just because of his lack of money and station. (In Anne’s defense the real thing that made her unsure was the stressing of him most likely being killed and her being left alone.)

Years pass, Anne has never seen Fredrick again or stopped loving him. She had other men interested, but refused them as she didn’t love them.

What has changed is the Elliot family fortune, her father and older sister have blown through their money so fast that they are being forced to let out their home to a sea Admiral. A Captain Admiral Croft and his wife, Mrs. Croft. Mrs. Croft who turns out to be Fredrick Wentworth’s sister!

Anne goes to stay with her sister, Mary Musgrove, for a while, while her other sister and father are staying in Bath, with Anne to join them later.

When she is staying with Mary, Fredrick Wentworth returns to visit his sister and husband. Now a Captain, he has also become extremely wealthy; having taken so many risks in the war that he excelled monetarily and was promoted. Captain Wentworth is searching for a wife, and is funny and kind to all; but Anne.

It appears that old hangups remain so. Will Wentworth and Anne be reunited? Will Wentworth marry another?

You have to read the book!

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So this science-fiction/Fantasy book takes place in the not too distant future…

Sorry, anyways…there were advancements in technology, so much that they were able to do DNA procedures to make your body excel in ways previously unimaginable, almost cyborg like.

These DNA procedures cause a war between people who believe this is not what God wants, and those who believe that the pursuit of science is the only answer. Unfortunately, they discover they did not know everything, as many of these experiments go wrong as people lose a majority of their faculties.

After wars, bombing, and a complete restructuring of the world they know, the people are divided into two groups: Luddites and the Reduced.

Like the class system in Metropolis.

Luddites are the royalty and own all the land, they care for the Reduced in a feudal system/slave system as the Reduced are tied to the land, but more extensively like slaves, yet not traded and sold as slaves are. Reduced are mutes, who aren’t in complete control of their faculties, need to be supervised, etc.

Recently, things have been shifting as there are “Reduced” who are born very intelligent, able to speak, often called “Children of the Reduced” or “CORs”, and “Post-Reduced” or “Posts” by themselves.

Our main character is Elliot North (Anne Elliot) a wealthy Luddite, one of the oldest Luddite families. She, her father, and sister have a farm; but it is going downhill as her father and sister don’t care about the people, the farm, long term care, but only themselves and what they want. For instance her father has cut down all their apple trees for a “better view” or destroyed Elliot’s planted field for a racetrack.

Elliot tries hard to keep things running, to take her mother’s place, but finds herself drowning in the debt her father and sister, Tatiana North, create. In fact, they have had to rent out her grandfather’s, Chancellor Boatwright, home and ship yard to a set of wealthy free Posts- Admiral Innovation, his wife Dr. Felicia Innovation and their crew: Captain Malakai Wentforth, Andromeda Phoenix, and Donovan Phoenix.

Not good

Elliot’s only solace is the barn, where she would work on her plans, and relive her memories with her old friend, the boy she loved, and Post; Kai. Since she has lost her field and all her months of hard work, nothing seems right. But there is plenty to do on a farm.

When the Innovations and their crew arrive, Elliot finds herself admiring and enjoying the company of the Innovations and the crewman Donovan. Andromeda doesn’t seem to like her one bit, although Elliot has no clue what she could have done to upset her. However, everything changes when she meets Captain Malakai Wentforth. It appears it is her old friend and love has returned-Kai (Captain Fredrick Wentworth).

Years ago the two forged a friendship, (despite her father’s constant striving to keep them apart), a friendship that turned into love. The two made plans to run away together, but in the end Elliot couldn’t do it. She knew she had to fulfill her promise to her mother and take care of the farm and the Posts. She wrote Kai a letter:

Dear Kai,

Please do not hate me. I couldn’t bear it if you hated me.

                      But I cannot go with you.

                      I thought I could. Last night, I thought everything was possible. I thought you were right, that there was nothing for me here, either. Mother’s dead, Grandfather’s locked in his own head, and you’re leaving. Why in the world should I stay? It was a beautiful dream. But outside your room, outside the barn, in the cold light of morning, I realized that was all it was. A dream. There is nothing for me here, but that doesn’t mean I am nothing to the North estate.

                     Today, when I was supposed to be packing, I wandered the estate. I watched the Posts in their little cottages, I watched the Reduced in the fields, and I thought about our lots in life.

                    We can’t escape who we are born to be, Kai. The Reduced are Reduced. They will always be Reduced. And I will always be a Luddite. I was born this way. I will die this way. I can’t turn my back on that. Luddites were handed a sacred trust-we are the caretakers of humanity. Without us, the world would have burned, and all mankind would have been destroyed. I cannot ignore that. I cannot forget who I am.

                    But you are not a Luddite.

                    That’s why I cannot go with you. And also why I can’t ask you to stay.

                     God be with you.

Yours,

Elliot

 Elliot’s feelings for Kai resurface but he wants nothing to do with her.

He is rude, cruel, cynical, and nasty around her. He spends a lot of time with their neighbors, the Groves-Horatio and his younger sister Olivia. Olivia has fallen for Kai, and to Elliot’s utter disappointment it looks like he feels the same way.

Noooo!

But Elliot cannot focus on that only as her long lost cousin, Benedict and air to the North estate, returns eager to regain control of the promised land, her grandfather grows more ill, and her father tries to engage her in even more power plays.

During one of her free moments, she joins Andromeda, Kai, Donovan, Olivia, and Horatio on an outing to the sea cliffs. Kai and Donovan jump from incredible distances, and Andromeda explains that they recognize the wind shifts because of their piloting expertise. As they continue, Elliot realizes something is not right.

When Olivia tries to do the jump, she falls and is horribly injured. While they try and help her, Elliot realizes that Kai is hiding a big secret, one that could destroy everything.

Not good

Once again Eliot finds herself at a fork in the road. Should she follow the man she loves? Or cling to her Luddite responsibilities.

***Spoiler Warning***

I thought it was pretty good story and interpretation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Having Wentworth as a slave/serf rather than lower standing put a completely new spin on the relationship.

I liked how in between the time of the novel, there were letters and notes their younger selves passed, giving us a view of how their relationship started.

Aw!

It doesn’t follow the book exactly, but the author did a good job in staying true to the core of the story, while at the same time doing her own thing.

Good job!

Now there are two things I didn’t like.

First, I didn’t like how the author inserted God to create conflict between those who wanted change and mutation and those who wanted things to remain the same. The insertion wasn’t really what bothered me as much as the author not really giving us a stand on how our main character felt. One of the laws is to not try to play with genetics as you are raising yourself for a a fall, messing with things you shouldn’t control, etc. As much as the main character struggles with her ideas and wondering if they are against God, we never see what her relationship to God is. Is she extremely devout? Who or What is her God? What exactly do they believe in their religion? She brings it up constantly, but we never really know why this is such an issue to her because the author chooses to ignore it. We never see her pray, attend church, do any type of worship, etc. In my opinion you either need to go all the way or just leave it out; no in-between.

The second thing that bothered me was how mean Kai was in this. I mean he was horribly cruel. Now in Persuasion she doesn’t really explain herself as to way she refuses him, so he draws his own conclusions. I this Kai knows! He knows that she needs to help care for the people! He knows how her father and sister are, and without Elliot they would be cruel, starve everyone, and run the whole farm down into the groumd! Yet even though he knows this, he is so horrible to her. I understand why the author made him that way, and it completely makes sense as to character to behave in such a way. But it makes it hard to read as he acts like a jerk, before he finally comes to his senses.

But otherwise I thought it was an excellent read and one of the better Austen reinterpretations on the market. I suggest you check it out for yourself.

For more on Persuasion, go to What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

For more Persuasion variations, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

Romantic Moment #11

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Under Capricorn (1949)

So I know it is a little weird to talk about an Alfred Hitchcock film when we are counting down to Valentine’s Day, but hey, he manages to have some real romantic moments thrown in his films.

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This film takes place in early 19th Century Australia. Australia has formerly been a place where England sent their criminals. After they served out their sentence they could remain or return home to England. Now however, more and more “good” citizens have found themselves emigrating to Australia and civilizing the towns. The new Governor, Sir Richard arrives, bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare. Charles meets, Samson “Sam” Flusky, (Joseph Cotten) an ex-convict, former murderer, and prospering land owner.

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Samson intrigues Charles in a business deal and brings Charles to his house, in which he meets Sam’s wife, Lady Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman), who turns out to be an old family friend.

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Charles soon spends all his time at the house and finds something strange about Henrietta’s actions, as she is no longer the same woman he knew. As with all Alfred Hitchcock films, there is suspense, mystery, and an old secret’s truth is revealed.

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Most Romantic Moment: I Will Suffer to Protect You

***Spoiler Warning***

Now if my little synopsis has encouraged you to watch the film, then stop reading. If you aren’t interested in watching the film, proceed.

So at first we think that maybe Samson is evil or cruel as all we see is a tough, gruff man. But in the end we realize that Samson has been through so much because he loves his wife.

From Under Capricorn

From Under Capricorn

Sam was a stableboy and fell in love with the Lord’s daughter, Henrietta and the two eloped. Henrietta’s brother came to take her back and kill Sam, but Henrietta killed him instead.

Not wanting his wife to suffer, he chose to take the blame, picking Australia and going to jail for her sake.

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He then does all he can to make money and a good life for Henrietta, not caring how people treat him, view him, or the names they call him. As long as he can protect his wife he is happy.

Aw!

Aw!

How romantic and incredibly sweet!

So romantic!

So romantic!

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For the previous post, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

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For more on Under Capricorn, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Samson Flusky, go to The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to You’re a Detective, Let Me Give You a Tip. Don’t Wave Important Evidence in a Telephone Booth. They Have Glass Windows: Blackmail (1929)

For more on Joseph Cotten, go to You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

For more Ingrid Bergman, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

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He’s married to a corpse. He has a corpse bride. There must be some way to undo what’s been done.

Every year I do an animated movie as part of my Horrorfest review. As I was trying to decide which one, I finally settled on The Corpse Bride as I thought it was high time I reviewed a Tim Burton film. I have been trying to do Edward Scissorhands or Sleepy Hollow (1999), for years now but it just seems as if 31 days is never enough time to do everything I wish.

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So I have never seen this whole film from beginning to end. Starting with ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween, and just seeming to continue on, I always only catch the end of this film. So here we go!

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I didn’t like this movie.

Something is not right!

To me it seemed like Tim Burton was trying to recapture The Nightmare Before Christmas with the style and characters, but the story just wasn’t that good.

See ya!

Why didn’t I like it? Well let’s get started.

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So the story begins with Victor Van Groot (Johnny Depp), nouveau rich, as he prepares to marry Victoria Everglot, from an old important family (who unfortunately has no money). There marriage is supposed to be one of convenience, but Victoria and Victor have fallen for each other.

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However, even though Victor is in love with Victoria, he is extremely nervous about the wedding and messing things up. He ruins the rehearsal when he drops the ring, (symbolizing his death) and accidentally catches Mrs. Everglot’s dress on fire.

ouch Hermione

He runs away embarrassed and tries to work on his vows. He manages to knock them out of the park, but when he gets to placing the ring on the finger (a stick off a tree) it turns out that he has awaken the dead, a zombie bride.

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He then gets dragged down…I don’t know actually know where. Is it is heaven, hell, purgatory, or final resting place for the townspeople? They never explain.

It works

Is it for everyone or just the village? And how was she even able to drag Victor down if he isn’t dead?

Anyways, they give him the story behind the Corpse Bride, Emily. She was engaged to marry a man her parents disapproved of. She stole all their money and jewels as the two planned to elope. But when Emily arrived, her betrothed strangled her and took off with everything. She then decided she would wait there until her true love awoke her.

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Victor wants to leave, but Emily doesn’t want him too. He convinces her to let him return to the world above so that they can see his parents. They go, but instead of seeing his parents, he tries to tell Victoria what has happened.

Emily follows him, and upset at his betrayal, drags him back down to the underworld.

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Victoria is worried and tries to seek help, but everyone thinks she is crazy. Her parents are desperate for money, so when Lord Barkis, (who has just arrived in town and no one knows him but he gives the appearance of being wealthy and from a distinguished family) offers to marry Victoria, her parents accept. Victoria on the other hand is completely distraught.

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Meanwhile, below the ground, Victor’s coachman has just arrived and given him the news about Victoria. Heartbroken that she would marry another, Victor agrees to spend eternity with Emily. In order to make the ceremony lawful, they must return topside, preform the wedding ceremony, and Victor must take poison so that he can join Emily in the afterlife.

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They come in right after Victoria and Lord Barkis have performed the ceremony. Everyone is terrified including the townspeople.

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However, after they discover that the skeleton/zombie creations are their dead relatives, they are happy to have their loved ones back.

Double double yay

Lord Barkin wants to flee and tells Victoria to get all her family’s money so they can take off. Victoria reveals they have no money, now they both are unhappy.

I am not happy

I am not happy

Victor and Emily are getting ready to perform the ceremony when Victoria arrives at the church. Emily sees how much Victor loves Victoria and stops the ceremony. Victor and Victoria are together, but unfortunately they can’t really be together as she is already married, something Lord Barkin reminds everyone. But as he comes to take Victoria away, it is revealed that he was the one who killed Emily.

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All the other skeletons and zombies are furious, but there is nothing that can be done by the dead as he is still alive. Lord Barkin laughs at this and takes a drink of the wine set out for the wedding ceremony, making fun of Emily. But the wine he drank was the poisoned wine that was set out for Victor.

Get him!

Get him!

As he is now dead, Emily can get justice; Victoria and Victor get their happy ending; and Emily is released and able to pass on.

Good-bye!

Good-bye!

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So let’s start with what I did like:

1) The Animation

In a world that was moving from 2D animation to CGI, it is nice to see a throwback like this, I actually wish we had more films like it. I know it was becoming too expensive for a lot of studios to do it and will eventually become totally outmoded, but I like it. There is something so real about these puppets.

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2) The Ending

The ending was so cute, it was why I even wanted to watch the film. I mean loved how Victor and Victoria get together and Emily has peace.

I love it

Although, why does she turn into butterflies?

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Now why I Didn’t like:

1) Too Nightmare Before Christmas

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I really felt like Burton was just trying to recapture The Nightmare Before Christmas. He just borrowed too much from his earlier film that this piece felt like a poor companion. I mean the creatures had the same style; Emily looked like a Blue Sally; there are two skeleton kids and a dwarf replacing the three trick or treaters; a bone dog instead of ghost dog; and tons of song. Instead of being cute it just seems boring, as if Burton has no new ideas.

Something is not right!

2) Too Many Songs

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Now I love music

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But the songs in a film need to be good and have something to do with advancing or enhancing the plot. These songs were not like that, they were horrible. I mean have the time the people aren’t even really singing but talking their lyrics. It really felt like they were trying to reach a quota of songs instead of adding to the film. I mean this was so bad it was like Frozen.  What are you doing Burton?

Bad. Very bad.

Bad. Very bad.

3) This Was too Short

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Everything felt as if it was moving too quickly. It was like boom, boom, boom, done. It made me feel as if they couldn’t really think of a plot so they just jammed a bunch of songs in and hurried to the ending.

4) The Older Generation is Wrong Theme

Burton has been doing this for a looooooong time and it is getting really boring.

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In everything lately, it seems as if Burton is trying to say the older generation is silly, spurious, stupid, cruel, etc. We got it, you don’t like the older generation, move on!

And the weird thing is, Burton is technically the “old generation”, so does he not like himself?

It works

It works

5) Music is Not Right for a Young Lady

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Uh, did he do any research? Victoria wants to play the piano, but isn’t allowed as “music is not right for a girl”. Uh, no. Music has always been something young ladies were trained in. Think of the three acceptable arts: piano, painting, and embroidery. I mean remember Mr. Darcy?

“a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.’ Caroline Bingley…’All this she must possess,’ added Darcy, ‘and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

6) No Character Development 

Nope, not him.

So Victoria and Victor are cute, but we hardly know anything about them! I mean we know Victoria doesn’t want to wear corsets, or follow society’s rules, but what does she like? What does she want? Who is she? Victor is insecure and frightened, but that’s it. There is nothing else to him.

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7) Why Would They Marry Their Daughter Off to Someone They Don’t Know

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Now don’t tell me “it is because they need money”. Why would a family that was so concerned over their daughter marrying a rich fish merchant’s son, even though they are filthy rich, just send her off with a guy they know nothing about? That is dumb and makes no sense. Why wouldn’t they have looked into his background and discovered he has no money either?

So obs

8) They Couldn’t Just End an Engagement

So as stated before I guess Burton did zero research as you can’t just switch one engagement for another. Since Victor never actually ended his engagement there could be legal steps taken against the Everglots, and a family that has no money would be careful about that.

9) More Research Issues

So again another problem with the time period they set this film in. The Everglots are angry at  Victor and Victoria alone in the room but that wouldn’t be as big an issue, as when a couple was engaged there were a few relaxed rules. I mean Victor couldn’t be in her bedroom, but he could be in the room alone with her for a bit. I mean seriously, Did you do ANY research?

really? I can't stand this movie.

Ultimately, I thought it wasn’t that good until the end and really not worth watching.

See ya!

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And bringing back the facebook covers/mini posters. I haven’t been able to do them for the last few posts as I couldn’t find pics I liked that had a horror-ish feel. But I did make one for The Corpse Bride.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

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For more zombies, go to Say Something Human: Warm Bodies (2013)

For more animated films, go to A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

For more claymation films, go to A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and Gromit (2008)

For more on Johnny Depp, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Helena Bonham Carter, go to I Don’t Want to Own You, I Just Want to Be With You: A Room With a View (1985)

For more historical fiction, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

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I do think you are confused, Mrs. Bowman. 

What are you trying to do to me?!

So as you can read on the film poster/DVD cover, this is not a horror film but a film noir. However, it actually has some elements that are similar to Horror, as film noir usually does, and it actually takes place on Halloween. That being said, I just knew I had to review it.

I got this film on my 20th Century Fox Four Film Noir Box Set. Included with Dangerous Crossing was Laura, of which I reviewed last year. And I have to say, it is just as good. This film was based on the play Cabin B-13 by John Dickson Carr.

Ruth Stanton (Jeanne Crain) is waiting on the boat dock, getting ready to board a cruise ship. She is soon joined by her husband, John Bowman. They have just gotten married and are ready to go on their honeymoon.

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As they board the ship, John keeps walking, but Ruth’s beautiful, heavy, fur coat gets stuck on the stair, and an officer has to help her.

clueless mybad oops

She catches up to her husband, and he takes her to room B-16.

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There they are interrupted by a stewardess who is setting up the room, arranging the flowers. After she leaves the two talk about their courtship. Who would have thought that four weeks of dating would have lead to an elopement, and now they are going on their honeymoon! After all-

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So after making plans to meet up at a certain bar aboard ship, John needs to go to the purser to drop off some cash, and Ruth heads up to the deck to watch the boat go off. There she starts waving to people, just happy and excited.

Good-bye

Good-bye

The woman next to her intriduces herself as Kay Prentiss, on the cruise ship after her latest divorce and looking for fun. She asks Ruth if she is married, and when she says she is, Kay warns her not to leave her husband unattended.

Kay Prentiss: You musn’t let him out of you sight. Husbands can get lost so easily. 

Kay asks her who she is waving good-bye to, and Ruth says nobody. She’s just getting into the spirit of things. Kay thinks it a bit odd, but just let’s it go.

We then switch to see the captain and the doctor, Dr. Paul Manning. Dr. Manning is played by the very handsome Michael Rennie.

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I have yet to review his amazing film The Day the Earth Stood Still, but soon. One day soon.

Anyways, the captain and doctor met and discuss how everything is. It all seems to be in tip-top shape except for one bout of seasickness, and an officer, Jack Barlowe, coming down with some kind of stomach ailment. He has just returned from his shoreside leave, so the captain thinks it came from too much fun and not enough regulation.

Ruth has now headed to the bar, but she can’t find her husband anywhere. So she waits, and waits.

Something is not right!

Something is not right!

After growing tired of waiting, she decides to head back to the purser’s office to see where her husband might have gone. When she gets there, she discovers that there is no record of a John Bowman ever coming to the purser’s office.

What?

What?

Seeing that as strange, Ruth decides to head back to the room, but she can’t get in as the door as it is locked and she doesn’t have a key. So she heads back to the bar, running into Kay Prentiss again, but no husband. She searches everywhere, but cannot find him at all.

weird

She goes to the steward and introduces herself as Mrs. Bowman, then asking him to open B-16. He tells her there must be a mistake, that room was not given to anyone this trip.

Say What

But Ruth is adamant! This is her room open it up now! The steward does, but all her things are gone and there is no sign that anyone could have been in there.

Whattheheck

The steward goes to get the list to double check, as there could be a mistake. While he is gone, Ruth searches the whole room, trying to find proof that she was here. But nothing. No clothes, flowers, suitcases–not even the hairpins she took out of her hair and placed on in the dresser drawer. Nothing!!

what'shappeningSupernatural

The steward comes back and tells her, there is no room listed under the name Bowman.

But wait...

But wait…

They ask for another name, and she givers them her maiden name. They check and there is a room reserved for a Ms. Ruth Stanton. But it is B-18, not B-16. When they get to the room, they find her luggage, but nothing of her husband.

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So now the steward thinks she is crazy as she is still saying that room B-16 was the one she was in and that her husband, John Bowman is missing.

Steward: I do think you are confused, Mrs. Bowman. 

Ruth Stanton-Bowman: What are you trying to do to me?!

Now the question us as a viewer have to ask is, is she crazy?

Sounds suspicious

On one hand, we saw John Bowman and her talking together! And they were clearly in the room together-I mean the stewardess did see him! On the other hand, could it be in her mind? Could she have made up a husband like John Nash created a roommate in A Beautiful Mind? It’s too early to tell, but it is definitely something to contemplate.

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They call for Dr. Manning as Ruth is starting to get hysterical. Ruth doesn’t want the doctor, but then a man she saw early with a heavy German or Austrian accent comes down the way, frightening her and causing her to faint.

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Now we haven’t seen this man do anything, but he looks like the sort of villain from a spy novel or film. So he does look a bit suspicious.

Sounds suspicious

Dr. Manning tries to get to the bottom of it, first trying to see if there is such a man as John Bowman, even though there is no record of him. Ruth tells him about the officer and the stewardess who both saw him, so they send for them.

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The officer, Mr. Logan, comes but it turns out he is no help at all. He remembers her pretty face and that she got caught on the stair rail, but he doesn’t remember her being with any man.

Spoke too soon

But there is still the stewardess. When they ask her she tells them no.

What?

What?

That there was no one in B-16. It hasn’t been reserved this trip.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Ruth is extremely confused and upset. Why is everyone lying to her? Where is John? Why is this happening!!!!

Ruth Stanton-Bowman: [Near tears] Everyone thinks I am lying!

Dr. Paul Manning: I reserve judgement until I have all the facts.”

Thank you Dr. Manning, you are a real dream.

swoon dreamy

Dr. Manning and Ruth go to the captain and request a full search of the entire ship for a John Bowman. The captain then asks for her passport and marriage certificate.

clueless mybad oops

Turns out she doesn’t have them. John was in charge of the trip and had them in his possession.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They then ask her where she got married, but Ruth doesn’t know the answer to that either.  It turns out it was spur if the moment and they stopped at a little chapel somewhere in Maryland.

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Ruth can see they find her story fishy and becomes extremely upset and hysterical. They send her to her cabin to rest.

The captain and Doctor talk it over.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

The captain thinks Ruth is certifiable and nothing she says is the truth. Dr. Manning thinks that there might be more than meets the eye and asks that they send out for more info on her.

That night Ruth is in her room, when the phone rings.

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

It’s John! He tells her he has to hide as he is in terrible danger. So is she, so she should be careful and trust NO ONE! Ruth questions him, but they are cut off before she can get more information.

She quickly calls the operator and tries to find out which room dialed hers, but the operator says that no calls were put through to her.

OMG

The operator says that it could have been dialed (I’m not sure what that means exactly) of which if it was, she has no way to trace such a call.

So we are asked to question once again, is she crazy? Did John really call, dialing so it was untraceable, as someone is after him? Or is it all in her mind?

Sounds suspicious

Ruth throws on a robe and her fur coat, planning to go outside but running straight into Kay. It turns out that Kay was worried about her, seeing her frantic earlier, and noticed she never came down for dinner. She brought her some broth.

It seems like a nice thing to do, but after that phone call from John, Ruth is SUPER paranoid!

What?

They are all trying to kill me!

She knocks the cup of broth down on “accident”. Kay understands that she may be tense, and tries to help by unpacking Ruth’s clothes. But is she really trying to help her? Or is she one of those people “in on it”, one that John was warning her about?

I don't know if I can trust you.

I don’t know if I can trust you.

The phone rings and Ruth lunges for it, hoping for John. But it is only Dr. Manning. Kay leaves, and so does Ruth, as she goes to Dr. Manning.  He tells her that they have found no trace of a Mr. Bowman anywhere.

“Ruth Stanton-Bowman: YOU ARE WRONG! My husband IS aboard this ship!

Dr. Paul Manning: Everyone aboard has been accounted for. He is not here.”

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Dr. Manning questions her about John, but it turns out she knows very little about her husband. After all they were only together for four weeks. Dr. Manning breaks up the meeting and tells her they will reconvene in the morning. He tries to walk her to her cabin, but she refuses. Instead of going to the cabin, she starts looking around.

She finds a phone outside, near where the foghorn was; clearly where John made the call. She looks around when she notices someone is following her.

What?

What?

She tries to hide, but he finds her.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT’S THE DOCTOR!!!!!

“Ruth Stanton-Bowman: What are you doing up here?!!!

Dr. Paul Manning: What are you doing? I was following you.”

Ruth starts thinking that maybe Dr. Manning is in on whatever this is. She decides to pretend to be following his advice as she doesn’t want him to suspect that she knows.

Dr. Manning takes her to the bar to talk. He wants to know everything about her, trying to figure out what the real story is. She tells him that she was raised as an only child, just her and her father as her mother died when she was very young. He died four months ago and she suffered extremely from the grief. So bad was her grief, she had to be placed under a doctor’s care. Dr. Manning asks more questions, but then Ruth becomes very vague. Clearly there is more she is not telling.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

He implies that maybe John is imaginary, created because she doesn’t want to be alone after the death of her father. This enrages Ruth who yells at him that John is real!

Jerk

She then remembers where she is. Ruth needs to be careful, she can’t have them questioning her sanity. She apologizes and the Doctor takes her to her cabin, saying all the medicine she needs is that of a few normal activities to get everything right.

That night when Ruth is sleeping, she is rudely awakened by some kind of banging noise. She throws on a robe, but when she opens the door, no one is there.

weird

She then notices B-16 is open.

dangerous-crossing-crain-b16weirdsuspicious

Before she can step inside, it slams shut. Ruth begins banging on it, but stops when she notices the steward watching her. She quickly runs into her cabin.

Meanwhile, the captain and good doctor are discussing what to do.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

The captain is all for locking her in her cabin as he is sure she is crazy, but the Doctor feels they are missing something. He has them write missing persons in New York for information on John Bowman. The Captain agrees to let the Doctor do what he wants with Mrs. Bowman, as long as he keeps her in check.

The next day, the Doctor comes for her and asks what she wishes to do. She wants a tour, and as they go on it she secretly looks everywhere for John. After the tour she and the Doctor spend a lot of time together, playing shuffleboard, frisbee, he even saves her from falling overboard. At first it was a ploy, but now both seem to be enjoying each other’s company.

You're_in_love_with_her

The next day Ruth is at the pool when Dr. Manning approaches her. Ruth is still reserved around Dr. Manning, wanting to like and trust him but still unsure. She begins questioning him and trying to find out more on his backstory. Yes what is his backstory?

Suspense have to know

So why would Dr. Manning choose to be on a ship? Well he’s not hiding from anyone. He’s not married (yay). He just likes the power and responsibility for caring for 1400 people.

“Dr. Manning: [Notices Ruth has stopped smiling] What’s wrong?

Ruth Stanton Bowman: It just occurred to me, I don’t really know my own husband. It all moved so fast…we were supposed to be getting on this trip. Instead I’m getting acquainted with…[looks at Dr. Manning]”

Ruth leaves to go change, just as Kay comes over. When Ruth has left, Kay confides in Dr. Manning that Ruth was waving to nobody at the dock when the ship left. Both think this is really strange, but why? I mean I think it is normal, to go along with it because everyone is doing it and because it is just part of the experience. I know my sister and I did it when we went on a cruise. I guess that means we are both crazy too.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

Anyways, later that day Ruth is headed to her cabin when she hears somethiung in B-16.

dangerous-crossing-crain-b16weirdsuspicious

She goes to look and finds Kay, Mr. Logan, and the stewardess. They all say they are trying to help, looking for any thing to back up Ruth’s story…but are they? Are they really trying to help her? Or are they just trying to make her crazy?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

That night is Halloween, and they are setting up for the party.

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

Ruth is pacing in her room waiting for John to call. Finally the phone rings!!

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

But it is just Dr. Manning seeing if she is ready. She asks for a few more minutes, still waiting for John’s call, when that stewardess from before comes in. She tells her she needs to talk to her about her husband.

OMG

Maybe she knows something about John!! Maybe she is on his side and helping him?!!!

The stewardess tells her she just wants to apologize for not being able to help.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Thanks a lot for getting my hopes up. You suck.

Ruth is upset and leaves. After she is gone the stewardess picks up the phone and calls someone, telling them that everything is going according to plan, they think Ruth is crazy just as we planned.

OMG

Then Ruth isn’t crazy and someone really is behind it. But who is the stewardess’ partner? Dr. Manning? Kay? Mr. Logan? The Captain? The Steward? The German man? John Bowman?

I don't know if I can trust you.

I don’t know if I can trust anyone.

She goes to dinner when she sees John from behind!

Finally something GOOD!

Finally!!

But she turns out to be wrong as it is someone else, who only looks like John from behind.

She goes to  her table she is sharing with Dr. Manning. They sit down for dinner, when he is suddenly called away by the Captain. It turns out the Captain has finally received that information about Ruth. Her father owned a huge corporation in Philadelphia and they are extremely rich. Mr. Stanton died four months ago, and after he died Ruth was put under a doctor’s care. Neither the doctor or the housekeeper have ever heard of a John Bowman.

IUnderstandSomelieithot

So Dr. Manning thinks she just had a collapse after losing her father and that the husband does not exist. The doctor wants her locked up, but Dr. Manning refuses saying she isn’t dangerous. The Captain agrees to listen, for now. BUT, if she should act out again, then she must remain in her cabin for the duration of the trip.

Dr. Manning goes to finish dinner with Ruth. After dinner, he takes her to his office and shows her the radiogram, questioning her and wanting the truth. When Ruth reads the radiogram, she becomes hysterical, in such a fit that Dr. Manning has to slap her to get her out of it.

DangerousCrossing08

She tells him no one knows of her marriage, she kept him and the whole thing quiet. The only thing she has been lying about was that she has been feeling fine, when in reality the whole time they have been doing “normal activities” she has been searching for her husband. She only lied because she is afraid everyone will think she is crazy and lock her up.

Them in this case

Them in this case

She seems so earnest, and believes it so, that Dr. Manning asks her is there is anyone who may wish her or her husband to be dead.

“Ruth Stanton Bowman: The man I hardly know.”

Ruth then tells Dr. Manning abut her father’s half-brother. He was always up to no good and getting into trouble, her dad had to save him again and again. He sold his share of the company to Ruth’s father, taking his money now and wasting it. He wanted more, but Mr. Stanton refused, and to make his half-brother even angrier, Mr. Stanton told him he left everything to Ruth. Ruth has never met the man, but overheard the two fighting. Four days later, Mr. Stanton died. Dr. Manning asks how many know about this, and she replies only her and John. Dr. Manning starts thinking about this. He sends her to her cabin to sleep.

When Ruth gets to her cabin, she gets a call from John!!!!

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

He tells her to met him at the boat deck immediately, but to be careful to not be seen.

Ruth runs to get there and starts asking John a thousand questions. What is going on? Why are you hiding? John can’t stay as he hears someone, and tell her to meet him at 2:00 am. He then runs off.

weird

Something is not quite right with her husband. It seems a bit fishy to me.

I don't know if I can trust you.

I don’t know if I can trust you.

Anyways, Ruth wants to chase after him, but can’t as it is too foggy and Dr. Manning, the steward, and another officer are right behind her. She runs trying to shake them off, heading to the party, and sweeping Mr. Logan onto the dance floor. Unfortunately, the men stake off the exits and when she tries to leave they get her. She starts screaming.

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They take her away, and lock her in her cabin.

Later, Dr. Manning is going to check on that officer suffering from stomach pains. He can’t quite figure out what is wrong with him. When he gets there, this is the first time we see the officer’s face and it turns out that 3rd Officer Jack Barlowe is actually John Bowman.

OMG

What a scoundrel!

Jerk

He asks the Doctor what is going on, as he heard screaming, and learns that Mrs. Bowman was causing a disturbance. She no longer will be as she is going to be locked in her cabin. The doctor leaves a sedative behind, and as soon as he is gone, instead of taking the medicine as he is only pretending to be sick, John/Jack calls the stewardess from Ruth’s floor.

So they were in on it together!!!!!

So they were in on it together!!!!!

He tells her they need to take care of Ruth tonight. Her being locked up will make the plan impossible, so the stewardess needs to get in there and find a way to let her out, but making sure that Ruth thinks it is her idea. The stewardess agrees and leaves to put the plan in motion.

Back at the cabin, Ruth wakens and calls Dr. Manning. He doesn’t come, but the nurse does who gives her a sedative. Not too long after, the stewardess comes to “help” Ruth, fetching her a glass of water. Now that sedative or whatever injection they gave her is still affecting Ruth. She is walking slow and not thinking one hundred percent clearly or she would have realized the stewardess is taking a looooooong time for a glass of water.

So Ruth gets out and takes off for the deck. The stewardess calls John/Jack and tells him everything is a go. He leaves for the deck as well.

my planisworkingStarWars

Right after she finishes with Jack/John, Dr. Manning comes charging in. The stewardess pretends she was just about to call, as Ruth escapes, but Dr. Manning takes off to find Ruth. After he leaves, the stewardess tries to call Jack/John to tell him the doctor is on the way, but it is too late. He is gone already. Just goes to show you that you can never plan the perfect crime, too many things can go wrong.

Ruth reaches John/Jack and expects to finally get her answers, and she does. Just not how she was expecting. It turns out that John/Jack is her uncle, her father’s half-brother. He concocted this whole plan to marry her (an invalid marriage as it is not his real name), take her on the ship and make her look crazy, murder her, and toss her overboard; inheriting everything.

perfect plan

He begins chocking her, when Dr. Manning comes in, knocking a very frightened Ruth out of the way.

Screen shot 2015-10-11 at 11.42.16 PM

The two men fight, with John/Jack accidentally getting caught in some rope and falling overboard.

In the end, the stewardess reveals everything, they discover Ruth’s passport and marriage certificate in John/Jack’s real room, and the captain apologizes. Ruth is mad at herself and doesn’t know what to do, when Dr. Manning cheers her up with the promise of better tomorrows.

Oh yes Dr. Manning, I’m sure you will be making sure her tomorrows are much better.

You're_in_love_with_her

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I know I may have said it in the past how you cannot trust the doctor in a horror/mystery/suspense film. They always are evil, create monsters, unleash things, etc. Now there is an exception, this movie! This is the only film I can think of where there were doctor didn’t do any of those things, but was actually trying to help. But they usually they are evil, so I recommend staying far, far away from them. At least you should, if you live in a horror film.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

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For more film-noir, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more films based on plays, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

under Capricorn

“The past of a man it is something.”

Now this is an Alfred Hitchcock film that is not as well known or talked about, for various reasons. A lot of people think the story is too melodramatic, and others don’t like it because certain elements resemble Rebecca and Gaslight. However, the reason why most people at the time hated it was it came out right after the news of Ingrid Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini, the impeding divorce of her husband Dr. Petter Aron Lindström, and the birth of her twins by Rossellini. (To read more on that go here.) I on the other hand really liked this movie as I love:

  1. Alfred Hitchcock
  2. Ingrid Bergman
  3. Joseph Cotten

Really now, how can you ever think this was horrible?

MeanGirls I know right!

The title “Under Capricorn” references the Tropic of Capricorn, which bisects Australia. As you can tell now that I’ve explained the title, the film is set in Sydney, Australia during the 19th century.

So before we get into the film, we need to touch on the background history. In the 18th-19th century, England tried to discover a better way to deal with the mass amount of criminal activity and overcrowding jail cells. One thing that England did was hanging. However, people began to get upset about that. Some of the crimes were not really all that bad, but yet people were being given the death penalty. In order to have a harsh punishment, less-crowded jails, and less death-transportation became the way to go. Originally convicts were sent America, but with our revolution in 1776, that option was no longer possible. In the 1780s they started sending people to New South Wales, but with the Napoleonic wars, more labor was needed and they stopped the transportation.

After the war, problems arose again and they turned their attention to Australia. Between 1788-1868, they estimate about 165,000 people were sent Australia from a sentence that was usually 3 years to life (average was 7-14 years). Most people who were sent over were guilty of poaching, arson, robbery, and murder.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

They were usually sent to extremely remote areas to prevent escape and discourage any attempt at returning. While it was allowed for people to return after they served their sentence, most people wouldn’t. More often than not they would create a better life in Australia. Typically, criminals would change their names, get land, farm, and create a brand new life for themselves.

This ended in the 1860s, although it had started to drop off by the 1830s. Most of the areas that were for “convicts”, began to become real towns and attracted better emigrants. (Most of this info came from the Victorian Crime and Punishment website, if you would like to check it out)

Now back to the story.

Under Capricorn

So it is 1831 in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is still a frontier with most of the population being ex-convicts. The new Governor, Sir Richard arrives, bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare (Michael Wilding).

It's one of those guys!

It’s one of those guys!

So Charles is hoping that he will make a fortune out here in Australia. While there he meets the gruff Samson Flusky. Samson is a convict that had been transported from Ireland out to Australia to serve his time, for murder.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

But now he is a successful buisnessman. He owns a lot of land and makes a lot of dough. He is highly respected in the community.

Joseph Cotton Under capricorne24se

Anyways, so Samson has now reached the legal limit of land he can purchase and needs to look to new ways in order to expand his business. He wants Charles to purchase the land and sell it to Samson, guaranteeing a good profit.

Under Capricorn

Charles is intrigued by the prospect and agree to the invitation of dining at Samson’s house. While there, he has a pleasant surprise. He knows Samson’s wife, Lady Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman).

Under Capricorn Dining eating

She was friends with Charles’ sister but now has encountered a lot of problems. She is an alcoholic and shunned by society as she is seen to be crazy.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Sam decides to invite Charles to visit as much as he wants, hoping it will help bring his wife out of her current depression.

Now Charles has always had a crush on Henrietta and is confused at her crazed behavior and decline. He asks his uncle about what happened to her. Lady Henrietta was the daughter of one of the fine Irish gentry. To the surprise of everyone, she ran off with one of the handsome stable boys, Samson, to elope in England. Lady Henrietta’s brother went after them and was killed by Samson. Instead of the noose, Samson decided to go to Australia.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Lady Henrietta followed him to Australia and waited seven years for the term to end. After Samson served his years, he was different. He wanted to be rich and to buy everything, but that was never enough. Henrietta was extremely unhappy and began drinking.

Sadface Batman

Now unbeknownst to all, Samson’s housekeeper Milly has a crush on him.

Under-Capricorn-Leighton

She has been running the house and secretly feeding Lady Henrietta alcohol. She is hoping that Henrietta will kill herself, leaving Samson all to Milly.

perfect plan

Charles decides to help try and restore Henrietta’s confidence. At Sam’s urging, he moves into their home. But that’s not all he’s interested in. He has always found Henrietta to be attractive, and now she is vulnerable and needy. He begins to pursue her.

Under Capricorn Kiss

Charles’ work has been going great. In fact, Henrietta gains enough courage to try and take the power back from Milly and put her in her proper place as housekeeper, not wife. Milly turns things around and Henrietta runs up to her room and locks herself in. Charles goes in to talk to her and Milly sees them. She tries to use it to her advantage, telling Sam all kinds of lies about their behavior. This angers Sam, who kicks her right out of the house. (Sam you rock! I always had a soft spot for Sam. I don’t know if it was because he was played by Joseph Cotten or because he just seems like a great guy who has been mistreated.)

Under capricorn

Henrietta is doing much better, and improving more and more each day. In fact she is doing so well, that when she receives an invitation to the Governor’s Ball, she is eager to go. They all get ready, but Sam decides to not go after all. He had purchased a ruby necklace for her, but after overhearing how Henrietta and Charles don’t consider ruby to be the right accessory, he decides not to give it to her. You see Sam has enjoyed having Charles there as he has helped his wife, but at the same time it has been upsetting. With the two together, it makes him realize just how different he and Henrietta are. He thought it could be different in Australia, but sees that moving to a new place hasn’t really changed societal rules.  Sam thinks the rest of the ball will be the same, and that he’ll be too out of his element or that he’ll embarrass himself. He decides to stay home.

Under-Capricorn4

Sad and lonely

At the ball, Henrietta stuns everyone as they all adore her. And more importantly, Henrietta has a great time.

Under Capricorn Dining eating

Back at the house, Milly has returned.

im-back

Milly asks for forgiveness and her job back but also starts talking smack about Henrietta. She tells Samson exaggerated stories of what has been going on between Henrietta and Charles. The two had shared only one kiss, and everything had been instigated by Charles. Milly, on the other hand, insists that Henrietta is the one that has been carrying on and that it has gone much, much further. To further push the issue and him, she tells him that Henrietta is of a different class than her and Samson, and those people do things non-aristocrats could never get away with.

you're evil

I mean seriously this girl is a major jerk.

jerk_alert32

You just need to understand that he loves his wife and back the heck away from him. You- you-

wordICan't say Toy Story

At first Samson shrugs it off. Charles is younger than Henrietta and more concerned about clothing than anything else. But that evil woman Milly keeps pushing him, and when she mentions the differation in classes, that’s where he snaps.

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

Sam goes to the ball, makes a scene, and humiliates Henrietta in front of everyone

under capricorn ball

She returns home, weeping and half-crazed.

Sad and lonely

Sad and lonely

Charles runs after her and tries to help her. He tells her to leave Sam, but Henrietta can’t. She tells Charles that she deeply loves her husband and is bound to him. You see, Sam didn’t shoot her brother, she did.

Say What

Yep, that’s right. Sam has never killed anyone. Henrietta fell in love with Sam as he was kind and handsome. Can you blame her? He’s one attractive man.

MeanGirls I know right!

The two wanted to marry, but it was impossible as Samson was a much lower class than Henrietta. So the ran off to England, but her brother followed them. Her brother tried to kill Samson, but missed and the two struggled. Henrietta took the gun and shot her brother so he wouldn’t kill Samson. Samson took the blame as he didn’t want her to suffer in  jail.

aw cry

Unfortunately, that didm’t actually help. Henrietta couldn’t stay at home, and couldn’t leave Samson by himself so she followed him to Australia. Not only has she been dealing with the guilt of killing her brother, but the guilt of allowing Samson to rot in prison for her deeds. To further this, when Samson came out of prison he was a changed person. This lead to even greater guilt and drove Henrietta to the bottle. No wonder she’s been going crazy.

Sad and lonely

Now even though Henrietta admits this to him, Charles doesn’t really believe her. He thinks it is just her way of trying to protect the man she loves.

When Samson sees Charles in his house with Henrietta, he becomes incensed  for the betrayal and kicks Charles out.

Under Capricorn

Charles steals Sam’s horse and takes off. While riding, the horse breaks its leg, causing Charles to have s a really bad fall. He reluctantly returns to the house and relays the news. Samson goes for his gun to “shoot the horse”, but Charles believes he is going to kill him, as he has “killed” before. The two struggle over the gun and during the conflict, Charles is shot.

Under Capricorn struggle gun

With Samson’s past, he is immediately thrown into prison, to either rot for good or be hanged. Henrietta tries to save him and tells the Attorney General the truth. That Samson has never killed anyone, she did it. This presents a serious problem for Samson. The only way he can get out of his predicament is if he corroborates Henrietta’s story, but then she will be sent back to Ireland to stand trial and imprisonment. If he says his wife is lying, then he will be killed. The Governor is really pushing a conviction as he wants someone to be punished for trying to harm his nephew. The AG gives Samson twenty-four hours to decide.

A no win situation

A no win situation

Back at the house the evil Milly sees the perfect oppurtunity to get Sam. She tries to poison Henrietta and plants a shrunken head on her bed to further scare her. Fortunately, she is discovered and ousted.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Meanwhile Charles has recovered from his wound and vouches for Samson, telling everyone that it was an accident.

Charles is put on a ship back to Ireland, and Samson and Henrietta are now happy. Henrietta has been freed from the poisonous Milly and finally from the guilt of what she did to her brother and Samson. Samson is better as he finally knows that Henrietta truly loves him and that he didn’t destroy her life.

Under Capricorn

All in all, this film really teaches you one thing:

let go past

Yep, sometimes you just need to move on.

1949UnderCapricorn

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For to the previous post, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us.

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to Horrorfest III: The Revenge

For more on Joseph Cotten, go to You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?

For more on Ingrid Bergman, go to I’ll Always Be There When You Need Me

For more on the Victorian Period, go to Redone Done Right

I’ll Always Be There When You Need Me: Anastasia (1997)

Romantic Moment #9

anastasia

Anastasia (1997)

So this film is based on two things, the person Anastasia and the 1956 film of the same name. Anastasia was the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II Romanov. With the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Czars were kicked out of power and later killed. The only body to not be found was Anastasia, which lead to a rumor that she wasn’t dead, but was still out there and would return one day. There was actually a woman who claimed she was the real Anastasia, going by the name Anna, but even though she knew countless details that only a Romanov would have known; it was later determined that she wasn’t Anastasia. The 1956 film, while starring the wonderful Ingrid Bergman and the very handsome Yul Brynner; was not very good. Yul Brynner was too mean and Bergman was too hysterical, etc. It just sucked. So about twenty years later Fox remade a animated version that had more likable characters, a more adventurous plot, and a collection of wonderful songs. I love the songs in this movie; Rumor in St. Petersburg, Journey to the Past, Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart)and (my fav) At the Beginning.

That said, there is one other little thing I want to clear up. Anastasia is not a disney movie. I REPEAT! ANASTASIA IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE! DISNEY DID NOT MAKE THIS MOVIE!!! It was 20th Century Fox! FOX MADE IT! FOX! FOX! FOX! FOX! It just urks me how people call it a Disney movie because it IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE!

Anya

So the film begins in 1916 Russia, where the Czar is giving a party. His mother, the Dowager Empress (Angela Lansbury) is visiting from France. She and his youngest daughter, have a close connection and the Dowager gives her a secret music box and a locket that is a key, that have the saying “Together in Paris”. The ball is interrupted by their “holy man” Rasputin (he was a real creepo) played by Christopher Lloyd. Rasputin is mad at the Romanovs for trying to banish him, and has sold his soul to brung destruction on all of them. The Dowager and Anastasia are saved by a kitchen boy, who sneaks them out through a secret passage. They run for a train, but Anastasia trips and is left behind.

Fast forward ten years, the Dowager Empress has put out notice of a heavy reward to anyone who can bring her, her granddaughter. Dimitri (John Cusack), the kitchen boy, is all grown up and has been having tryouts to find someone to play Anastasia so he can get the money and be gone from Russia forever. He and his partner, Vladimir, an ex member of the Royal Court, both have the knowhow to get it done. Dimitri also has the music box.

Meanwhile, Anya (Anastasia), played by Meg Ryan, has been living with amnesia in an orphanage. Now being of age, she is being sent out to work. Instead of following the directions given to her, she decides to follow a stray dog she found and head to St. Petersburg and ultimately, Paris.

The two meet up in the old Romanov palace as Dimitri and Vladmir have gone there to lick their wounds, no applicants worked out, and Anya wants to get papers from Dimitri to get out of Russia. They notice her similarities to Tsarina Alexandra and offers it as a potential way to find her family, not telling her about the money (you know that old cliché). They board the train and are on there way

Meanwhile, Rasputin is rotting in Purgatory, as he can’t go off to hell until all the Romonavs are dead, and can’t go topside because he lost his glass vial of evil I guess (I’m not sure what its real name is), is lost. Bartok, his pet bat has found the vial and goes down telling him about Anastasia’s “rebirth”. Rasputin goes up to kill her.

Back on the train, Anya and Dimitri feel a little something for each other but are mean to each other not wanting to admit it. They have to move to the baggage cart as things have changed under Stalin. While there, Rasputin attacks and they have to switch to a boat. Rasputin attacks them, and Dimitri saves her. They eventually reach Paris, and Anya passes all the tests, solidifying it when she answers that she was saved by a kitchen boy. Dimitri hears this and knows that she is the real deal. The only issue is, the Dowager has decreed to see no one again. They decide to surprise her at the opera, Dimitri deciding to let her go and to do everything he could to help her connect to her family. Dimitri’s scheme has reached the Dowager’s ears and she really lays into him, with Anya overhearing. Anya is pissed that Dimitri lied to her and runs off to her hotel room. Dimtri then drives the Dowager over there and the two talk and are united. They have a ball to welcome her back, with Vladmir being reinsteated and honored with medals. The Dowager offers Dimitri the money, but he refuses (sound like someone you know?) and takes off. That night, Rasputin attacks Anya, Dimitri returns, and they defeat Rasputin. The two elope and run off, Anya telling her grandmother that she will see her again soon.

Most Romantic Moment:

Just like 10 Things I Hate About You it was hard to choose the “most romantic moment” as it was chock full, but I can only pick one.

So Dmitri has left. He could have told Anya what he did for her when she was a kid. He could tell her that  he was the one who saved her as a child. He could have told her that he figured out she was Anastasia and tried to help her at the Opera to get in to see the Dowager. He could have told her that he made sure that the two had a chance to talk because he wanted to reunite her with her family.  He could have told her he didn’t take the money. Instead, he wanted to make her dreams come true. She made him want to reform his conman ways.

better man

But Dmitri has no illusions. Even if he changed his ways, he knows nothing will happen between them.

Dimitri

So he leaves. He leaves because he knows that she needs more than he can give, she needs someone better. (Sound like someone else we know?)

you deserve better

Meanwhile, back at the ball Anastasia is being attacked by Rasputin. He has her down, and just when you think its over, Dimitri comes running in to save the day.

OMG

Yes! HE CAME BACK TO BE WITH HER! Even though it doesn’t make any sense. Even though coming back might not change anything, he DOES IT ANYWAY! Even though there is no guarantee that they will get together. Even though he knows she still might be angry with him and kick him to the curb. It doesn’t matter. He loves her so much he has to tell her how he feels. That’s so romantic!

So romantic!

So romantic!

And in the case of true love,  coming back always works out.

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He’s always been there for her.

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The Two Witch Sisters: Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble (1993)

Double,_Double,_Toil_and_Trouble

Gravedigger: [Screams] You’re at two places at the same time. Lynn Farmer: We’re twins, silly. Gravedigger: Oh… ohh… twins! Oh, twins!

So way back in the day I used to watch this movie every time Halloween came around. I have to admit it I was a huge Olsen fan, I watched all their movies and TV shows.

So the film title is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the three sisters (witches) chant this. However, in this film there are only two sisters.

So we have the Farmers–Don, his wife Christine, and their twin daughters Kelly & Lynn. The older Farmers are worried about losing the house as they are deeply in debt. The younger farmers are having an identity crisis as they are tired of everyone getting them confused and want to be individuals.

In every movie they dress the same so I don't know how they will accomplish that.

In every movie they dress the same so I don’t know how they will accomplish that.

The Farmers decide to ask Christine’s Aunt Agatha, her father’s sister, for a loan, but don’t have very much hope. You see Aunt Agatha is a mean cruel old woman and promptly refuses to help them out in any way.

I'm mean and nasty Aunt Agatha

I’m mean and nasty Aunt Agatha

Aunt Agatha used to have a twin sister, Sophia, but she has disappered.

While they are visting Aunt Agatha the girls run into Mr. Grave Digger (Agatha’s employee). He tells them a story about how the house used to be owned by a powerful witch who had a moonstone that gave her magical powers. Before she was burned at the stake, she hid the stone somewhere in the house.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Dude, do you really think that is a story you should be telling small children? Come on, let’s think about this.

When Agatha and Sophie were little girls they heard the story and searched all over the house in an attempt to find it.

Agatha & Sophia as children

Agatha & Sophia as children

The two hated being twins and thought the moonstone might be able to change this.  Agatha ended up being the one to find the stone and used it to make Sophia’s life miserable.

I'm EVIL!

I’m EVIL!

Years later, on one Halloween night, Sophia and her fiance , the butler, were planning on running away to elope. Agatha found out and cast a spell banishing her sister into the other realm and trapping her in a mirror (kind of like in Scooby-Doo & the Ghoul School when Shaggy gets trapped). The only way to see/talk to Sophia is through the mirror Agatha keeps hidden in the basement. The last chance to save Sophia from being trapped in the mirror forever, is if she is saved by midnight this very Halloween night.

The twins discover the only way to save their home and Aunt is if they get the moonstone. Only twins are able to wield its power. The girls meet a crazy cast of characters who help them on their quest; a clown named Oscar, Mr. Grave Digger, and Mr. N who would do anything for money.

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The girls also get a toy magic wand, which supposedly has real magical powers.

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Agatha does whatever she can to get rid of the twins. She tries to poison them with jealousy, and get Lynn to betray her sister. In the end, Lynn decides her sister is the most important person in her life.

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The twins get the moonstone, but the magic doesn’t work! It isn’t until the two proclaim their love for each other that Sophia is freed.

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Agatha is enraged and tries to put her sis back in the mirror. The two fight and Agatha ends up being pushed into the mirror instead. All her magic is undone and the mirror is shattered, leaving her trapped there forever.

Don & Christine go to the mansion to find the girls, and see Aunt Sophie. The three of them tell Don and Christine that Agatha decided she needed a vacation and went on a long trip far away. Sophia gives the Farmers the money they need and the home is saved.

Yay!

Yay!

When cleaning up the girls find out that Agatha is still able to talk through the shards of glass. She asks the girls to release her, but they say no way!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Click here to check out the film. 😀