Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

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…Because I am mad, I hate you. Because I am mad, I have betrayed you. And because I’m mad, I’m rejoicing in my heart, without a shred of pity, without a shred of regret, watching you go with glory in my heart!

So last year I reviewed the Alfred Hitchcock film Under Capricorn. In the post, I mentioned how it wasn’t widely received or enjoyed by critics and audiences, one of the reasons being its similarity to this film, and because starred two of the same actors; Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten. I personally like Under Capricorn better, but let’s take a look at this film.

So the movie is based on a play, and a remake of the film that came out four years prior to this one. It won an Oscar for best set design, best actress, and critical praise for all actors.

This is a historical fiction film, taking place at the turn of the century. The name of the film comes from the gaslights used in houses. Lights in the London house are from fixtures with gas flames, and when you light one light, it reduces gas supply to the other lights in the house that are close by, causing the lights to dim.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

Renowned opera singer, Alice Alquist, is strangled to death in her London home, No. 9 Thornton square. The thief is searching for her famed emeralds, but is interrupted and flees. Paula Alquist (Ingrid Bergman), Alice’s niece,  has been living with her aunt ever since her parents died. She finds the body and becomes completely traumatized.

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

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

She moves to Italy, where she studies music, following in the footsteps of her aunt.

Ten years later, Paula confesses to her voice teacher, Maestro Guardi, that she has finally been able to move past that point and has fallen in love.

iLoveyou

Maestro doesn’t want to lose his most talented student, but wants Paula to be happy, and encourages her to follow her heart.

Gowithyourheart

She does and accepts the proposal of the handsome Gregory Anton, a pianist she has only known two weeks.

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During their honeymoon, Gregory tells Paula he has always dreamed of living in a fashionable London square. Anxious to please her hubby, she suggests that they move into her aunt’s house.

Something bad is going to go down. I can just feel it.

Something bad is going to go down. I can just feel it.

When they move in Paula begins to have nightmares about what she saw before.

i'mscared

Gregory tells her that it will help is they remove everything that belonged to her aunt up into the attic, sealing it up. But then strange things start happening.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

The flame keeps going down, although no other lights nearby are being used. Why is it dimming!!

Never a good sign.

Never a good sign.

And what is making that weird noise in a sealed attic. Gregory doesn’t hear anything at all, and Paula begins thinking she might be going crazy!

1944gaslightcrazy

One day Paula discovers a note to her aunt.

letter

It was dated two days before her murder, from a Sergius Bauer. He begged to see Paula’s aunt, very intensely. She shows it to Gregory who becomes upset over the whole thing and quickly silences Paula.

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It is clear there is more to this man than his charming, suave, and handsome personality.

Meanwhile, Paula continues to hear things even though Gregory and the servants say that there is nothing. Paula starts questioning herself, and becomes more insecure every day.

I don't know what to do

To make matters worse, Gregory has hired a saucy, young maid, Nancy. She os played by Angela Lansbury in her first film role. This maid is rude and cruel to Paula, making her feel worse and even crazier. Nancy is also making a ploy for Gregory.

Nancy Oliver: Gonna work on your tunes again tonight, sir? You’re always working, aren’t you?

Gregory Anton: Yes. What are you doing with your evening out?

Nancy Oliver: Oh, I’m going to a music hall… [starts to sing ‘Up in a balloon’]

Gregory Anton: I’ve never been to an English music hall.

Nancy Oliver: Oh, you don’t know what you’ve missed, sir…

Gregory Anton: And whom are you going to the music hall with?

Nancy Oliver: A gentleman friend, sir.

Gregory Anton: Oh, now you know, Nancy, don’t you, that gentlemen friends are sometimes inclined to take liberties with young ladies.

Nancy Oliver: Oh no, sir, not with me. I can take care of myself – when I want to.

Gregory Anton: You know, Nancy, it strikes me that you’re not at all the kind of girl that your mistress should have for a housemaid.

Nancy Oliver: [flirtatiously] No, sir? She’s not the only one in the house – is she?

Paula’s life is quickly becoming worse and worse.

Three months later, Paula and Gregory are going to go to a Tower of London tour. Gregory gives her a brooch that once belonged to his grandmother. He warns her to be careful, as the clasp is broken, and not to lose it. Paula puts it in her purse, but while they are at the tour she starts to worry that she lost it. When she checks the purse, it is gone!

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

While looking at the crown jewels exhibit, she is approached by Brian Cameron. In the original play and film, this character was stout and elderly. However, that didn’t suit Hollywood. So instead they made him the young and very attractive Joseph Cotten.

LOL Cotton and Cotton

So Brian greets her very warmly. It turns out he was a huge fan of her aunt, and momentarily mistook her for the aunt. Gregory doesn’t like Brian and questions Paula about him, but she insists that she has never met him before.

That night Paula confesses about losing the brooch, and Gregory yells at her “forgetfulness” that is running rampant. It seems that Paula is always forgetting things and hearing things that aren’t there.

dangerouscrossing

That night Paula sees the gaslights dimming again, and also hears noises that sound like footprints.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Why is this happening to her? Why is she going crazy??!!

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Two months later, Brian comes around Thornton Square. He is curious about Paula as he has never seen her anywhere, even though they run in the same social circles. He should have seen her at a party.

He goes to question Paula’s neighbor, when he notices Paula about to leave the house. Before she can go out, she is bullied by Nancy to stay in. It is clear who thinks they are the mistress of the house.

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From The Picture of Dorian Gray

It turns out that Brian is more than a music lover, he works for Scotland Yard.

WE NEED TO FIND CORNELIA!!!

He goes to the office and starts looking into the case file on Alice Alquist’s murder. Alice was given some amazing jewels from a secret admirer, all which are missing now. Did the thief manage to get them all? Or did Alice hide them very well?

suspicious Hmm

He is convinced that Paula is in danger, and assigns a detective to watch over her house.

Meanwhile, Paula is convinced that the maid is trying to get rid of her. She tries to talk about this with Gregory, but he thinks it is just an addition to her madness, there is paranoia.

1944gaslightcrazy

Brian poses as the neighbor’s nephew. He tries to see her, when Gregory refuses. Paula is shocked at his behavior, why is he being so rude?

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Her mood quickly changes when Gregory tells her that he is taking her to the theater. However, before they leave Gregory accuses Paula of taking a painting down.

Paula never did any such thing.

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Gregory finds the painting on the stairs, and tells her that this is the third time she has done it. She is getting worse.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Paula reveals to him about the noises she has been hearing and Gregory tells her she is too unwell to go out. Now Paula is stuck at home and scared that she might get sent away to a mental institution.

Gregory leaves to his music studio, while Paula is home alone and hearing the strange noises.

Why is this happening?!!

Why is this happening?!!

Brian is invited to a piano concert at Lord and Lady Dalroy. Gregory and Paula were invited but Gregory refused, as he believes Paula is too sick. Paula is furious and tells him she wants to go and will go without him. Gregory changes his mind and agrees to accompany her.

under capricorn ball

When they get to the concert, Gregory tells Paula that his watch is missing. Paula ends up finding it in her purse, even though she knows she never put it in there, and causes a huge scene, Gregory then deciding to take her home.

When they reach the house, Paula says that all her problems began when she found that letter to her Aunt from Sergius Bauer. Gregory tells her he has no idea what she is talking about as no such letter ever existed.

Is she crazy? Or is there someone trying to make her think she is crazy?

Carnival of Souls Don't know real

Gregory yells at Paula, telling her she is going as crazy as her mother. He informs her that as she is going insane, he has already arranged for two doctors to examine and treat her.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Gregory leaves, and when he does Brian and another officer follow him, but lose him in the fog.

Inside, Paula hears the footsteps again and asks the cook if she hears anything. The cook says no, this just reenforces to Paula that she is crazy!

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Brian has been watching  the house and figured out that when Gregory leaves, he doesn’t go to his music studio but into the deserted No. 5 and crosses the roof into the attic of No. 9.

The next night, Brian waits until Gregory has left the house, and then goes in to see Paula, trying to convince her she is sane.

still-of-ingrid-bergman-and-joseph-cotten-in-gaslight-(1944)-large-picture

Upstairs, Gregory is in the attic tearing everything apart as he is searching for something.

Downstairs, Brian forces Gregory’s desk opens and finds that Gregory’s gun is missing. Paula also finds the note that Gregory told her “doesn’t exist.”

WE NEED TO FIND CORNELIA!!!

They compare the letter to Gregory’s writing, and Brian figures out that Gregory is Sergius Bauer, the man he suspected killed Paula’s aunt. He was searching for the jewels and couldn’t find them, having to leave that night, and resurfacing to marry Paula to gain access to the jewels.

Upstairs, Gregory has finally found the jewels in an opera costume. When the gaslights pick up, Brian knows it is time to get out of there. He takes off and then goes up through No. 5 to the attic.

Gregory comes downstairs and finds his desk broken.

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He yells at Paula, but is interrupted by Brian who has come through the attic with the destroyed costume.

Gregory Anton: I knew from the first moment I saw you that you were dangerous to me.

Brian Cameron: I knew from the first moment I saw you that you were dangerous to her.

Gregory rushes upstairs and the two fight. A gunshot rings out!

WE NEED TO FIND CORNELIA!!!

Paula runs upstairs to see what happened. There she finds Gregory tied up in a chair.

still-of-ingrid-bergman-and-charles-boyer-in-gaslight-(1944)-large-picture

And we have what I think is the best scene in the movie.

Brian comes to take him away.

Gregory Anton: I don’t ask you to understand me. Between us all the time were those jewels, like a fire – a fire in my brain that separated us – those jewels which I wanted all my life. I don’t know why… Goodbye, Paula.

Brian consoles Paula, telling her he will always be around if she needs him.

From Under Capricorn

From Under Capricorn

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I know that Ingrid Bergman actually studied people suffering from different issues, observing at a local mental hospital, but I felt her delivery in Under Capricorn was much stronger than this one.

Otherwise, it is not a bad film and a pretty good thriller.halloween banner

1944Gaslight

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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 A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

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For more Ingrid Bergman, go to The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

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

For more on Angela Lansbury, go to If Only It Was the Picture Who Was To Grow Old, and I Remain Young: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

For more on husbands that are more than what they seem, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

For more historical fiction films, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes On There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

For more remakes, go to There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

For more films based on plays, go to I Do Think You Are Confused, Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

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“One of his victims who lived for a moment after she was found described the Bat as a man without a face.”

So every year I talk about how great Vincent Price is and how he has made truly amazing films in which he plays a terrifying, horrifying, and thrilling person.

VincentPrice

The past three years I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing any of his famous works (although I did review Laura last year.) So this year I decided it was time to finally review one of his horror-suspense films. So prepare yourself for:

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As I present to you The Bat!

So this is another film off the 50 Greatest Horror Classics Collection, like The Screaming Skull, Night of the Living Dead, etc. This film is based on a play written by Mary Roberts Rineheart. Now I’m not a huge fan of this author, I find her boring, but if Vincent Price is in it, it must be good.

VincentPrice

So we  begin our story looking at a beautiful mansion, The Oaks.

rebeccamansionmanderley

Here mystery writer Cornelia van Gorder is staying while she works on her newest novel. But the events that occur here are more mysterious and terrible than anything Cornelia has ever written.

Cornelia van Gorder: As an author I write tales of mystery and murder, but the things that have happened in this house are far more fantastic than any book I’ve ever had published.

Right away we are sucked in. What happened?

Suspense have to know

So Cornelia is having a hard time keeping her servants. There was a killer called “The Bat”, who was murdering people. There is a rumor that he is back and on the prowl.

Cornelia van Gorder: Why? What does it say about the Bat?

Lizzie Allen: His specialty seems to be killing women, my goodness, two of them in one night, all his victims died the same way, like their throats had been ripped open with steel claws.

Cornelia van Gorder: That’s charming, I’ll have to try it some time. [Lizzie stares at her weird]  In a book.

I guess he’s the pre-Freddy Kruegar.

Freddy Kruger

To make things even worse, he has been releasing rabid bats into the community.

a7x_deathbat_animation_by_xxdarksoraxx-d3eogbz

Now Cornelia doesn’t care if the servants are too scared to work there as she thinks the whole thing is silly. If everyone leaves, she’ll just replace them. She and her assistant Lizzie leave to run some errands.

When they reach the bank they meet a very surprised Victor Bailey, vice president to the bank. John Fleming, the bank president and owner of The Oaks, said he would never let the place.

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Cornelia tells them that Mark was the one who actually rented it to them. They then meet Victor’s wife, Dale, who used to be his secretary. Lt. Andy Anderson also comes in and is introduced to Cornelia. Lt. Andy is on the bank board. Interesting…I didn’t think cops that much money.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

So Cornelia and Lizzie go off to do what they came to do. Suddenly Victor comes back extremely upset and takes aside Lt. Andy and Dale. It turns out the bank been looted over $1 million worth of securities!

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

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

But who could do this? Only Victor and Mr. Flemming have the keys!

suspicious Hmm

Victor wants to call him, but can’t as he is on vacation with his best friend, Dr. Malcolm Wells, on a huting trip on the deep woods with no phone.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

So then we switch to another scene of two men in a cabin. They are John Flemming and Dr. Malcolm (Vincent  Price).

John asks the doctor:

John Fleming: Doctor.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Yes, John?

John Fleming: What would you do for half a million dollars?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Anything short of murder.

John Fleming: Why not murder?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Too messy.

John Fleming: Too great a risk?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: For half a million, yes.

John Fleming: I pinched a million from the bank.

JamaicaInnItwasYou

Yes John is the culprit. He embezzled $1 million dollars from the bank, framed Victor, and know is in the stage of how to disappear without anyone realizing he was the thief and hid all the money in his house. And that’s where the Doctor comes in.

John Flemming: I have a weak heart. What if you called and said I died, and then ship my body back. We don’t need an open casket.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Where do we get a body?

John Flemming: We’ll provide one. We could kill Sam our guide. He’s a hermit and no one would care.

Dr. Malcolm Flemming: The local undertaker would know.

John Flemming: Not if we mess up his face.

Dr. Malcolm Flemming: Why do all this if you set up Bailey?

John Flemming: The jury might acquit. I am a logical suspect, and could try to disappear, but it is safer if I am dead.

Dr. Malcolm isn’t really feeling it, but John threatens he will kill him if he says no. Better for him to say yes and get a part of the money. While the two are talking, the woods catch on fire. John goes to investigate and when he turns around he sees Dr. Malcolm with a gun.

John Flemming: Doctor, we need to get out the back way. 

[Turns around and sees Dr. Malcolm pointing a gun at him]

Dr. Malcolm Wells: We will, as soon as I provide that body we’ve been talking about.

So back at the Oaks, Cornelia is trying to play solitaire but the lights keep flickering.

Never a good sign.

Never a good sign.

Lizzie comes in with the newspaper. Victor Bailey arrested for embezzlement, John Fleming is  dead, and Dr. Malcolm brings the body back to put in tomb this Friday.

Meanwhile, creepy things have been going on at the Oaks.

Lizzie Allen: This is his house, and ever since he [John Flemming] died, some funny things have happened here.

Cornelia van Gorder: For instance?

Lizzie Allen: The housekeeper, the cook and the butler said that they heard strange noises at night, and the upstairs maid swore she met a man without a face coming up the back stairs.

Cornelia van Gorder: Oh so that’s why they quit and left me to run this place without a staff.

Lizzie Allen: They didn’t tell you, Miss Gordy, but the truth is they were scared to stay.

Cornelia van Gorder: Why? What does it say about the Bat?

Lizzie Allen: His specialty seems to be killing women, my goodness, two of them in one night, all his victims died the same way, like their throats had been ripped open with steel claws.

Creepy!

Creepy!

So the two ladies are the only ones at home. They have a chauffeur, but he is gone for the night. To make matters worse, it is super windy and in an old house everything seems to rustle, move, and go bump in the night.

Lizzie Allen: [The wind is banging a shutter against the house] That ain’t nothing, just something bumping against the house. [Wind blows a door open and closedThat’s just the wind banging the door, pay no attention to it. Listen to this, One of his victims who lived for a moment after she was found described the Bat as a man without a face’. Honestly, Miss Gordy, I think that woman was exaggerating. [A tapestry blows against an open windowThat’s just the taphestry at the top of the stairs.

Cornelia van Gorder: I know, I know, I’ve heard it before on a windy night [Tapestry clinks a shaking suit of armorThat sounds as if someone were on the stairs, I know there isn’t, at least there shouldn’t be.

Lizzie Allen: Them’s just the noises you hear in any old house on a windy night.

Even though it’s probably nothing:

Gilmore girls creep

So while the two go upstairs and continue talking, we see a man at the front door, opening it and sticking his clawed hand in.

I guess a backwards wolfman?

They see it, lock the door and run upstairs calling the police. They think they are safe, but little do they know the Bat has cut a hole in the glass on the door and has come inside.

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The officers are on there way, but Cornelia and Lizzie take extra measure. They not only lock the doors, but push all the furniture against the door. They think they are safe, but the transom over the door has no lock, or way for them to keep it closed. Cornelia decides to put something in front of it, that way if someone tries to come through there, they will set off her booby trap.

The two women are scared and decide to share the room that night. Lizzie goes to get her night items, but doesn’t know that the Bat is creeping outside her door.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Luckily lightening flashes and shows the shadow:

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Causing Lizzie to run back inside the room.

The police finally call back, saying they see nothing outside her house. She tells them he is inside now and shouts that she has a gun and is not afraid to use (she doesn’t really. Just trying to scare the Bat.)

The police search everywhere, but find nothing.

Whattheheck

Where did he go?

They go on guard outside, and the women try to sleep, but are having an extremely hard time.

i'mscared

Meanwhile, the Bat has opened the transom and released a bat into the room. It lands on Lizzie biting her, and then flying into the closet.

Lizzie is freaked!

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

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

So just knows she is going to get rabies and die.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They call Dr. Malcolm, but the answering service can’t get a hold of him. They promise to keep trying and if still can’t will send another doctor.

Meanwhile, Dr. Malcolm is home. He is in his lab working on some experiments. He is studying and testing bats.

thebat1959labsciencelair

But is he trying to study the bats to find a cure? Or is he trying to find a way to kill the women and get the million dollars John stole?

suspicious Hmm

Unbeknownst to the doctor, Lt. Andy is creeping around his house. He touches his car to see if it is hot from a recent drive, looks through the windows, etc.

He's creepin' in your windows. He's starin' at your people.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

While he is watching him, the service finally gets through and reaches the doctor. He puts the bat away and heads out to help.

While he is gone the Detective breaks into office, and looks around. He opens the window shades sees a bat. Does this mean he is the Bat?

a7x_deathbat_animation_by_xxdarksoraxx-d3eogbz

So it looks like they are trying to say that Dr. Malcolm is the Bat, but I don’t think he is the one as it is too obvious.

So the doctor goes to the house and examines Lizzy, asking for the bat to examine and see if it is rabid.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Pity you are in this house. I don’t want to alarm you, but so many unexplainable things happen here. It has an apprehension of disaster.

He looks at the bat, but it is not rabid. He places him in his doctor bag and makes plans to return the next day. He starts to leave but sees someone, who’s there?

thebat1959shadowclaw

But it is just Lt. Andy. Should we sigh in relief or be afraid? Could he be the Bat?

suspicious Hmm

Lt. Andy asks a lots of questions.

Lt. Andy Anderson: How did a Bat get in?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: There are lots of ways for bats to get in a house

Lt. Andy Anderson: Well you should know.

What is he implying? A Bat lover? Or The Bat?!!!

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

The Detective notices the cut glass on the door and figures that must be how the bat got in.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: I phoned twice, weren’t you there Andy?

Lt. Andy Anderson: No, but they called me. I have a man patrolling outside.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: No one inside, Andy?

Lt. Andy Anderson: Why should there be?

That is a weird answer. There is a crazy man who tried to get in the house twice!!! There should be more policeman, not less.

So I definitely think it is not Vincent Price, as it is too obvious. From what little I have read of Mary Roberts Rineheart is she tells you a mystery, giving you limited knowledge so she can do some big reveal at the end.

Really?

Really?

In my personal expertise in film watching, Vincent Price is far too perfect to be the Bat. My money is on Lt. Andy or the nephew we have heard so much about, but have yet to see.

Hmm...

Hmm…

So the Lt. is quite sure that the Bat is not in the house as he suspects it is Dr. Malcolm, but decides to put someone in the house anyway.

The next day the Lt. goes to see Mark Flemming, John’s nephew. He has just bought all new office furniture. Is he squandering his inheritance? Nope he hasn’t received it yet. The Lt. finds that strange as he left the whole fortune to Mark? But it turns out that the whole fortune is missing. What happened to it?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Lt. Andy needs to find the missing million dollars.  All his money was in the securities stolen, if he can’t find the money, he’s out everything. He suspects John Flemming, even though the only fingerprints on it was Victors Bailey’s. To the Lt., he knows John is wily enough to plant everything. Besides the secretary has some new evidence she will give at trial.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

At the Oaks the next day, there is quite a party. The secretary is there, getting a book from Cornelia. Dale Bailey is also there, hoping they might figure out a way to save him. The Dr. also comes to check on Lizzie.

batparty

Cornelia has her chauffeur back and has a new employee, John’s old housekeeper Mrs. Patterson.

They start discussing who took the money, and Cornelia believes it was John who did it. Judy agrees as she saw something that made her suspect him. Cornelia suspects that if John were the one to do it, he would hide all the money in the house. There must be some secret room or safe.

Hmm...

Hmm…

They need the blueprints to look it up. Dale decides to call Mark and ask if he has any blueprints. Mark was speaking with Lt. Andy, and when he hears Dale ask for the blueprints, he knows she is after the loot. Mark promises to come over that night and look for the blueprints in the house, also promising to call the Lt. if he does find them.

That night the women  are having dinner when Mark comes over and lets himself in.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Weird. He was invited to the house so why is he sneaking around like a criminal. That means, he doesn’t want the girls to know he is there. He doesn’t want to share the blueprints, he wants them all to himself. But as he heads straight to the secret wall/compartment that holds them, the Bat starts creeping behind him.

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Mark finds blueprint, but the Bat kills him before he can ever make a sound. The Bat has the blueprints, but hears the women coming, and moves the clock in front of the compartment. He then takes off before the women spot him.

The women go to the room, where they hear the clock working, even though it hasn’t in ten years. Dale looks at it and notices that there os a door behind the clock. They move the clock and open the door to find…

Victim #14 &15

They call police, the Lt. isn’t there. They call him in his car and he goes on his way. The Doctor also heads out there, and finds that the body has been dead for half an hour. The bell rings, and it is Warner the Chauffeur/Butler. He had to use the front door as he lost his keys.

The Lt. question all the staff  and doesn’t trust Warner, as they have met before. Where or when cannot remember, but will eventually.

So who knew Mark was coming  the Lt. Andy, Warner, Judy, Dale, Lizzie, & Dr. Malcolm Hmm…

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

So that night all the women go to their rooms. Lt Andy promises to stay and protect them. But what if he is the Bat?

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

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

The Lt. promises they will be safe with him. Yeah right! No one is safe from the Bat!!

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Warner is watching the police and doctor as they head to the door. Could it be because he is the Bat?

hmm...

hmm…

The Dr. leaves, with the Lt. staying until the windows and doors are good, then promising to return in the morning.

WHY???? WHY???? If he knows the Bat has been coming around, why would he do that.

That night the Bat goes into the house. He cuts all the wires for the phones, making sure no calls will be made. He goes into a room being used for storage, the women have all their suitcases and trunks in there. He starts banging on the walls, hammering them to find the opening.

Meanwhile, the women all hear the noises which freaks them out. Cornelia tries to call the police but the phone won’t work.

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

Meanwhile, Dale has decided she is going to investigate what that noise is. Her roommate Judy is trying to stop her, but Dale wants to save her husband, so she goes upstairs to look.

She goes to the room and tries to look inside, the Bat hiding behind the door. He pulls and tosses her in, running downstairs were Judy is, knocking her out of the way and down the stairs. Cornelia tosses something at his head, beaning him on the way out.

Shadow of a doubt stairs creepy look

Judy is dead.

The Lt. comes back and heads straight for Judy.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They ask him where he went as he was, and he said he was following someone out the back.

suspicious Hmm

They go looking for everyone, and can’t find Warner. He comes inside and says he was following the Lt. to help him, getting brained and knocked out. Was he?

suspicious Hmm

It turns out that the Lt. finally remembers where he saw him before. On a circular for wanted men. Warner claims he was tried and found innocent. Just as they are talking, the Dr. shows up.  All three suspects in one area. But which one?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They ask the doctor what he is doing back here, and he tells them he was in a car accident, and his wheel fell off in the ditch. He came to get help, as his head is bleeding. Hmm…?

suspicious Hmm

We go back to Cornelia dictating the story. The next night she decided she was going to pursue this mystery alone. She saw the police downstairs asleep, and heads up to the room where the Bat was w0rking on the walls. All I can think is why didn’t they try open it up in the daytime?

While she goes up, we spot Warner walking around downstairs.

Meanwhile, The Bat is in the Doctor’s lab. He is leaving suicide note, planning on killing the Doc and lying all the blame on him. But just as he finishes, who should show up but the Doctor, who doesn’t take kindly to this plan. He threatens the Bat. It looks like the Doctor will be murdering him like he did John. The Bat races toward him and the two begin fighting. The Doctor is shot accidentally, Bat leaves having completed mission. I knew it wasn’t him.

Screen shot 2015-10-03 at 12.20.02 AM

Aw that’s sad, I liked the doctor, because I love Vincent Price. Too bad. 😦

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

That night, Lizzie wakes up looking for Corelia but can’t find her anywhere. She rushes downstairs and wakes the police officer up, looks like he’d been slipped a mickey tp be knocked out. She wakes up the housekeeper and asks her to fetch Warner.

WE NEED TO FIND CORNELIA!!!

WE NEED TO FIND CORNELIA!!!

So Cornelia is locked up in a secret room. The officer calls Lt. Andy but they are looking for him to investigate the murder of the Doctor. And it turns out that Warner is missing! Down to two! Who could it be???

They finally find Cornelia who is currently fainting from lack of air. When they get inside the Cop finds the control panel on wall and  a safe. But just then the garage catches on fire!

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

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

The detective wants to put it out, but Cornelia says to let it burn.

Cornelia van Gorder: Can’t you see that fire was set to get us out of the house?

Detective Davenport: Out of the hou… are you talking about the…

Cornelia van Gorder: Yes, yes, I’m talking about the Bat! Now that the lights are out, he’ll think his trick has worked, and we’ve gone, here’ll be here in a minute.

Detective Davenport: So will Lieutenant Anderson.

Cornelia van Gorder: I hope so but the Bat will be here first, and he’ll KILL AGAIN if we get in his way… we’ve got to be as clever as he is!

They wait in room, when the Bat comes creeping in door. The officer gets knocked out and the Bat is about to shoot the women, when he is shot in the back by someone…who?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

It is Warner!!! He saved them!!! Yay, I liked him.

And we see the Bat was the Lt. after all. He did it so he could get his money back. The only question I have, was he the orginal murdering Bat? Or was that a persona he choose to throw suspicion off himself? I guess we won’t ever know.

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Whoops! Almost forgot the banner/facebook cover/mini poster:

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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 We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

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For more on Vincent Price, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more on the 50 Greatest Horror Classics Collection, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

For more films based on plays, go to I Do Think You Are Confused, Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

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.

Pride and prejudice kiss darcy elizabeth

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.

dangerous-crossing-crain-b16weirdsuspicious

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-

Love_Is_Blind_by_Luquicas

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.

michaelrenniedaytheearthstoodstill

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.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

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.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

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.”

dangerous-crossing-crain-rennie2

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.

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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.

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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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1953dangerous-crossing

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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)

Marry Me: Gigi (1958)

Romantic Moment #10
gigi

Gigi (1958)

Gigi is a book, turned play, turned musical. The musical takes place at the turn of the century Paris, France. Gigi (played by Leslie Caron), is being trained by her Aunt to be a Courtesan. Now a courtesan is not a prostitute. Courtesans had one client and were treated well, often being given a home, jewels, money, etc. These women were often largely accepted by society, and were well treated by the people they were with.

So Gigi lives with her grandma, Madame Alvarez, and is unwillingly being trained by her Aunt. She doesn’t fully understand what it means be a courtesan, but thinks the lessons are boring and doesn’t want to be a courtesans. However, she dutifully goes to her lessons. Her favorite thing to do is spend time withGaston Lachaille (Louis Jourdan).

Gaston is a very wealthy man who is bored with life. He has had everything he has ever wanted and and finds that life holds nothing for him. He spends his days having parties and with his courtesan, as he intends to never marry, but life is empty. The only time he finds joy is at Madame Alvarez’s home, with the adorable Gigi.

Gigihugging

One day when Gaston meets up with his courtesan at the ice-skating rink. There he discovers that she is cheating on him. He publicly dumps her and shames her, trying to show off how over her he is by throwing lavish party after lavish party. Eventually, he becomes bored of this as well and looks for something else to entertain him. He decides to visit the sea and stops by Madame Alvarez and Gigi before leaving. While there Gigi challenges him to a card game, if she wins then Gaston must take her and Madame along with him. She wins and the two join Gaston on his trip. While on holiday, Gaston and Gigi spend a lots of time together and discover that Madame used to have a relationship with Gaston’s uncle, Honoré Lachaille (Maurice Chevalier).

When they return, Aunt Alicia increases Gigi’s training in order to help her catch the eye of Gaston. Gigi tries, but continues to be awkward and  bumbling.

AwkwrdSpecialtyCharlieBrown

However, they continue and purchase Gigi some grown up gowns instead of her standard childish things. Gaston sees her in an alluring gown and gets angry, yelling at her to not wear such things. He storms out, only to come back, as he realized that he is interested in her and doesn’t want her with any other man. He wants to take her out, but is refused by Madame Alvarez as his reputation could harm Gigi. He becomes upset again, but is convinced that her words do speak the truth. He then brokers a deal to make Gigi his mistress. But this doesn’t make Gigi happy. She refuses.

Gigi has discovered what the duities of a courtesan are, and doesn’t wish to be passed from man to man for the rest of her life. Everyone is shocked by her crudity, Gaston hurt by her refusal, and Aunt Alicia enraged that her granddaughter could give up such a person as Gaston. After a while Gigi sends for Gaston and apologizes. She tells him that she loves him and would rather be a courtesan with him, then spend a life without him.

That night the two go out to Maxims.

still-of-leslie-caron-and-louis-jourdan-in-gigi-(1958)-large-pictureGigitux&gown

While at Maxims Gigi is perfect in everything that a courtesan should be…but this upsets Gaston. He doesn’t like seeing her this way, this non-Gigi but a courtesan. He storms back to her house and sends her up to her Grandmother, taking off. Gigi and her grandmother start crying not sure why Gaston is upset and afraid that he might shame her.

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************Most Romantic Moment************

After Gaston has taken off for the third time, he goes on a walk trying to figure out why seeing Gigi as a courtesan upseted him. He wants her to be in his life, and he wants to be the only man in her life, so why is this troubling him? As he walks the streets of Paris he figures out why this made him so angry and he returns to Madame Alvarez’s home.

[after a long while, Gaston returns to Madame Alvarez’s apartmentGaston Lachaille: May I come in?

Madame Alvarez: Please, Gaston… no papers… no scandal.

Gaston Lachaille: Madame, will you do me the honour, the favour… give me the infinite joy of bestowing on me… Gigi’s hand in marriage? [Gigi, filled with relief and joy, draws to Gaston’s side]”

He realized that he was in love with her and didn’t want a courtesan and he didn’t want Gigi demeaned as a courtesan. He wanted Gigi as Gigi and he wanted her to be his wife!

Perfect!

Perfect!

He realized that he wanted Gigi forever, and that the thing he’d been fighting off (marriage) was the one thing he truly desired.

CantChangethem

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part III from the beginning, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For the previous post, go to You’re My Hero: Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

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For more period pieces, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

For more films based on a play, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial ‘M’ for Murder (1954)

For more musicals, go to Five to Nine

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

You’re My Hero: Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

Romantic Moment #9

Why did I get Married

Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

Why Did I Get Married? is a film directed by and starring Tyler Perry. Just like Diary of a Mad Black Woman, this film is based on his play of the same name.

This film is about four couples, all friends from college, who are going on their annual retreat to not only work on their marriage but catch up on what’s been going on in each other’s lives.

  • The first couple is the over-worked, lawyer Dianne (Sharon Leal) and her husband Dr. Terry (Tyler Perry). The two have been arguing because Dianne didn’t want to time off from work to go on the retreat. In fact she doesn’t want to take off ANY time for anything. He hardly ever sees her or spends time with her. She is hardly involved with their daughter as well as she is always working. Terry wants more kids, but not only is Dianne hardly ever around, but when she is, she is too tired to have sex with him
  • Then we have Angela (Tasha Smith) and Marcus (Michael Jai White). Marcus used to be a famous football player and has two kids with another woman. He married Angela and helped finance her first beauty salon of which he now works at. She has gone to make tons of money, including created her own line of hair products. These two are constantly arguing.
  • Then we have perfect Patricia (Janet Jackson) and her husband Gavin (Malik Yoba). Patricia is a professor and author of the hit book Why Did I Get Married? Everything seems great about them, except the two are a bit stilted.
  • Lastly we have the overweight Sheila (Jill Scott) and her rude, arrogant, jerk of a husband Mike (Richard T. Jones). They are taking a flight to the retreat, taking along their friend Trina (Denise Boutte). Yes, bringing a single girl to a couples retreat? Like that’s not odd. Anyways, Sheila doesn’t fit in her seat, and Trina tries to give hers up, but Mike kicks her off the plane and tells her to drive there.

While there Dianne falls asleep alone, ignoring Terry. Her assistant calls and Terry tells her to leave them alone for the week as Dianne is on vacation. Angela and Marcus are fighting again and he asks Terry for help with something. That night Mike is seen, by Angela, sneaking into Trina’s room. Sheila was heading to Colorado but the night was was too dark and snowy, so she pulls off on the side of the road. There Troy (Lamman Rucker), the sheriff, spots her and brings her to the station to spend the night.

The next day Sheila arrives at the retreat and brings Troy to get with Trina, upsetting Mike. They invite Troy to dinner and that’s when all hell breaks loose.

  • It turns out that Dianne had her tubes tied as she doesn’t want anymore kids. She never told Terry as he wants more. She has been avoiding having sex as she doesn’t want to tell him about it.
  • Dianne also found out that Terry had a DNA test done on his daughter as he wasn’t sure she was really his. Dianne is always busy, so he was wondering if she really got pregnant by someone else.
  • Marcus has been cheating on Angela with his ex-girlfriend, and thought he got a STD from her.
  • Angela cheated on Marcus, with Walter, got an STD, and gave it to Marcus.
  • Gavin blames Patricia for the death of their son.
  • Patricia still blames herself for the death of their son.
  • Mike is cheating on Sheila with Trina.

Everyone tries to fix their mistakes, but Mike wants a divorce. Sheila becomes upset with Mike and whaps him on the head.

After that they all go their separate ways. Sheila stays in town with sheriff Troy, as he gets her a job at the general store. All the remaining couples go through a lot of changes and discussions to find out why did they get married? And do they want to stay married?

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***Most Romantic Moment***

So after the whole finding out your husband was cheating on you with your best friend, along with all the abuses he laid on you throughout the years- Sheila was having a really bad time. Troy is really there for her, providing her with a job and a place to stay while she goes through a divorce and has to figure out what to do with her life now. In fact, the two begin an amazing friendship and at one point Troy wants it to move to dating, but Sheila says no. She is scared since he made everything so much better in her life, that she is falling in love with him for his help only. Troy agrees, and the two decide to take it slow, a little at a time.

Why did I get married

Isn’t that amazing! He is so perfect and just perfect for her! He doesn’t care about her past and he sees all the good in her, past the insecurities and her inhibitions.

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She gets strong, moves along, and finds the perfect man of her dreams.

Why did I get married

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part III from the beginning, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For the previous post, go to Love Makes You Do Crazy Things: Hercules (1997)

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For more on Why Did I Get Married, go to Part VIII: The Little Movie Line List

For more Tyler Perry, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to You Look Beautiful Just the Way You Are: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

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

Heaven on Earth: 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

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So if you’ve been following me, you are pretty aware of my love of libraries.

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A few months back I tried to get a job at Buzzfeed, who won’t let you apply unless you create posts. So as I was racking my brain for something to write about, I decided to do a post on my favorite fictional libraries. After all:

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Sadly, it didn’t get very much interest on Buzzfeed as I would have liked. So I decided that I would repost it on here.

So here we go, my top 13 Favorite Fictional Libraries.

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13) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Guy Montag is a fireman in the future, and as a fireman his job is to burn books. Books are now illegal, and it is up to firemen to root out the secret libraries and destroy them. After witnessing a woman willingly burn alive with her library, it gets Guy thinking about what the books contain. It begins with one book, but ends with Guy questioning everything he has ever known.

Why the library is awesome!: So we don’t actually know what is in this library, but if a person is willing to die with it you know it has to hold some amazing things. Even if the books are only valuable to the owner.

For more on Ray Bradbury, go to Friday Night Fun

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12) The Music Man

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A conman salesman, “Professor” Harold Hill (Robert Preston),  visits the town of River City, Iowa; and convinces the townspeople that the only way to save their children from becoming bad eggs, is to create a boys’ band. But where to get the instruments? From Professor Harold Hill of course! Marian, the town librarian, is a piano teacher, and the only one who could expose Professor Hill as a fraud, so Professor Hill sets out to seduce her. Along the way Professor Hill changes as he starts to care for the people he plans to con.

Why the library is awesome!: One of the musical numbers is Marian the Librarian in which Professor Hill attempts to seduce Marian by singing and dancing with her around the library. A library in which the librarian and town dance around singing? You get two in one—items to read and a show.

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11) The Cat Who… Series

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The Cat Who…Series is about amazing reporter  Jim “Qwill” Qwilleran who solves murders with the help of his cats. Qwill was a nationally-acclaimed reporter, until he became an alcoholic and lost everything. The first book, The Cat Who Read Backwards, Qwill is trying to put his life back in order and is searching for a job as a reporter. He joins the staff of the Daily Fluxion as a feature writer. After his landlord, the art critic, is killed, Qwill starts investigating with little clues pointed out by his landlord’s cat, Kao K’o Kung (Koko for short). As Qwill continues his investigations he ends up picking up another cat, Yum Yum. In The Cat Who Played Bhrams, Qwill journeys up north to the small town of Mooseville, and visits an old family friend. He ends up inheriting millions, but in order to get them, he has to remain in Moose County. This changes his life forever.

Why the library is awesome!: Qwill is an avid reader and collects as many as he can afford. When he inherits the money, he also receives a stone mansion with a giant library. It holds thousands of books from rare pieces that are worth millions to secondhand and beloved buys.

For more on The Cat Who… Series, go to The Cat Who Wrote A Blog

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10) The Breakfast Club

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So the movie begins one Saturday morning when five very different students have been sentenced with detention and are stuck with each other. We have Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), “the basket case” who just came for fun; Andrew Clark (Emilio Esteevez), “the athlete”, who recieved detention for bullying a kid; John Bender (Judd Nelson), “the criminal”, sent there because of his acting up in class;  Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), “the princess”, caught skipping school to go shopping; Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), “the brain”, who brought a flare gun to school. At first everyone abides by their cliques, but through the course of the day they all bond together sharing their most personal secrets and working out their dysfunctions.

Why the library is awesome!: A gigantic library with multiple levels and a great sound system! Who wouldn’t want to spend their Saturdays there?

For more on The Breakfast Club, go to The Anniversary of Its Formation

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9) My Fair Lady

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Based on the play Pygmalion, this musical has Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is disgusted with how the English butcher their English. As he is complaining, he runs into a cockney-accented, flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn). He makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering, that he will be able to teach Eliza how to speak so well that people will mistake her for a duchess. Eliza agrees to the bet as she wants to own a high class flower shop. However, they have their work cut out for them, as Professor Higgins methods are helpful, but extremely rude and harsh.

Why the library is awesome!: Henry Higgins may be rude and a jerk, but this professor has one of the best libraries. Why can’t all libraries be like this?

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8) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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In the late 19th century, something is destroying ships as they are navigating the seas, cutting huge holes in the sides and completely ruining them. Professor Aronnax, a leading marine biologist, theories that the creature destroying the ships may come from the deepest depths of the ocean, which would give it incredible strength. He joins a crew who has set out to destroy it, taking along his assistant. The ship is destroyed; but Professor Aronnax, his assistant, and whaler Ned Land survive. They find themselves on a giant submarine, the Nautilus, joining its creator Captain Nemo on a journey under the sea.

Why the library is awesome!: This library is a masterpiece as Captain Nemo had thousands of books by the greatest minds. His collection covered science, morals, philosophy, and literature-in every language.

Professor Aronnax: “I thank you for having placed this library at my disposal. It contains treasures…and I shall profit by them.”

For more on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, go to Episode VI: Return of the Favorite Movie Lines List

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7) The Mummy (1999)

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In 1290 B.C. Egypt, a high priest Imhotep is caught having an affair with the Pharaoh’s woman. He is put through all the death rites, while still alive, and buried in Hamunaptra. Fast forward to 1932, a French Foreign Legion officer, Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser), finds himself in Hamunaptra, but lost in the desert. Three years later, librarian Evie (Rachel Weisz) is approached by her treasure-hunter brother Jonathan, with an artifact that he thinks will lead him to Hamunaptra. They pick up Rick O’Connell as a guide, and find the city. As they search for treasure they discover the mummy, and accidentally awaken him.

Why the library is awesome!: Even though Evie makes a mess, most of us book lovers wouldn’t mind putting the library she worked at back together as it would allow us to check out all those books. Plus it holds a map to a lost city that holds the Book of Life and the Book of the Dead.

For more on The Mummy (1999), go to Part X: The Movie List That Would NOT Die!

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6) Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

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In this Indiana Jones adventure, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is on the search for his dad (Sean Connery) and the Holy Grail. His father had been searching for the artifact and disappeared, causing Indy to pick up the trail. He picks up where his dad left off in Venice with Dr. Elsa Schneider, discovering a clue to the Grail. He continues from there to save his dad on the Austria-Hungary border, and discovers a betrayal stebbing all the way from the Nazis

Why the library is awesome!: You have a library that has spiral staircases, stain glass windows, and secret treasure underneath. How cool is that? It does rest over the graves of dead bodies…BUT you hold a key to finding the Holy Grail! That’s a great tradeoff.

For more on Indiana Jones, go to And Away We Go

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5) The Swan Princess

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Derek and Odette were arranged to be married when they were babies. Every summer Odette and her father would visit Derek and his mother in order to get the two to become friends and hopefully, fall in love. The two dislike each other as they don’t like playing with each other. They reach the marriageable age, but Derek messes up with Odette as he tells her that beauty is the only thing that matters. As he runs after them to make up for his stupidity, Odette is captured by an evil wizard and her father killed. The wizard wants Odette to marry him so he can have her kingdom, but Odette says she will never marry the wizard and is turned into a swan, only to become human when the moon touches the pond. Derek searches for Odette and trains himself to be able to handle it. When Derek discovers Odette, the two have to find a way to save her and change her to human.

Why the library is awesome!: So we only see this library for one scene in the film and it rivals that of Beauty and the Beast. Multiple levels, spiral staircases, and incredibly tall ladders to reach everything.

For more on The Swan Princess, go to You Should Write a Book

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4) Harry Potter Series

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Harry Potter discovers that he is a wizard and goes to Hogwarts School, learning magic spells, potions, and having to fight all kinds of creatures.

Why the library is awesome!: Think of all the magical knowledge within in this place? How awesome would it be to roam these stacks and unlock that. Really explains why Hermione likes to spend so much time there.

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For more on Harry Potter, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Buffy is a teenage girl that discovers she is a slayer. She’s equipped with certain abilities that allow her to take down all kinds of monsters-demons, vampires, etc.

Why the library is awesome!: You have a library that holds tons of books for school along with almost anything on the supernatural. Not to mention it doubles as a training area that holds all kinds of weapons. What else do you need?

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Simply Fantastic

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2) The Sandman Chronicles

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The Sandman Chronicles follows the story of the sandman, or Dream. He was captured and imprisoned, but manages to escape after years, and then has to right his dominion and the rest of the world. These series combines Christianity, mythology, Shakespeare, and more.

Why the library is awesome!: The library in Dreaming holds every book ever dreamt of, even those that were never written. How awesome would it be to roam those stacks?

For more on The Sandman Chronicles, go to Dreaming of the Sandman 

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1) Beauty and the Beast

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Belle loves to read and finds it hard to relate to anyone in her town. Her father goes out of town on business and gets lost, staying over at a castle he finds. He upsets the owner and is kept prisoner, that is until Belle offers herself in her father’s place.

Why the library is awesome!: Do I really need to explain how awesome this library is? I’m sure every book lover has fallen in love with it. Multiple levels, spiral staircases, and comfy chairs in front of the fireplace-it’s a dream come true.

Yep:

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For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to You’re Doing It Wrong

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Yep these are some of the greatest libraries ever, and I hope the one I create is even a fraction of these.

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For more on libraries, go to When in Doubt

For more book filled posts, go to Taking in Strays

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Perfectly Imperfect

For more quizzes, go to Fandom Love

The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

Dial M For Murder

Do you really believe in the perfect murder? Mmm, yes, absolutely.

So after years of his absence from my Horrorfest countdowns, I have finally included Alfred Hitchcock in not one, not two, but three posts.

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Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite director. He was influential in creating new ways of filming psychological thrillers, he is often credited for creating the true horror genre/slasher film with Psycho (1960), and was just a pure cinematic genius. He is just amazing.

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Dial “M” For Murder is one of his highly known films (although not as known as Vertigo or Psycho). It has been referenced or parodied in countless films and TV shows. In the ’90s they even remade the film under the title A Perfect Murder. It starred Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortenson; but it wasn’t nearly as good.

MeanGirls I know right!

This film also started Hitchcock’s filming relationship with Grace Kelly. This film was crucial in her career as it made her stand out not only to Alfred Hitchcock but other directors as well, a huge step to becoming a permanent leading lady. After this film she starred in Hitchcock’s Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. Hitchcock was impressed with her ideas and thoughts on the script in how a woman would act (especially regarding clothing), that after this film he allowed her to make all her own wardrobe decisions. She, like Audrey Hepburn,  quickly became known for her style and class. But that wasn’t the only thing that Hitchcock found attractive, he really liked her and fell for her; but she wouldn’t give him the time of day, (romantically that is). (For more information on Hitchcock and his leading ladies, I strongly suggest the book Spellbound by Beauty by Donald Spoto. It’s an amazing read!) And sadly she had to retire from acting at an early age as she married the Prince of Monaco. However short a career, it was an amazing one.

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This film also reunited Hitchcock and Robert Cummings, who had starred in an earlier film, Saboteur (1942).  In this film Cummings plays an important role, but a smaller one than his earlier collaboration.

This film is also the only Hitchcock film to ever be shot in 3-D. In the 1950s, 3-D was super popular, so popular that some people came up with the idea of Smell-O-Vision to beat it (I’m serious!). Hitchcock didn’t want to shoot in 3-D, but until the late 1960s, studios had a lot more pull and Warner Bros. wanted it. Hitchcock obliged, although it did cause a few issues for him as he had to rework his known style to incorporate what 3-D was able to accomplish at the time.

So the film is based on the play of the same name Frederick Knott, and he also helped write the screenplay. It is set in England and as  you can guess from the poster, the phone plays a huge role in this film as well. That really seems to be a theme this month. I swear that wasn’t planned.

Oops!

Oops!

Well here we go!

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So before I start the film, let me give you the background on the characters. Now as you watch the film things are revealed to you, but it’s easier for me to give them at the start.

So we have a couple, Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) and his wife Margot (Grace Kelly). Tony was a huge tennis star and met Margot when he was competing. She comes from a very wealthy family. The two were married and Margot convinced him to give up competing as she didn’t like him being away. He complied and now sells sports equipment. However, as he no longer is the dashing tennis star, she lost interest in him and had an affair with Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings) an American Crime writer.

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As the film starts out we have Margot and Mark in a very cozy embrace.

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“Margot Mary Wendice: Let me get you another drink. Mark, before Tony comes I ought to explain something.

Mark Halliday: Yes, I’ve been waiting for that.

Margot Mary Wendice: I haven’t told him anything about us.”

Margot tells Mark that she burned all his letters, except one. That one was stolen by a blackmailer who demanded payment, but he never picked up the money or returned the letter. She is worried that her husband will find out.

Mark has a completely different reaction to the news.

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He wants them to tell Tony all about the affair so that Margot can get a divorce and the two can marry. Margot doesn’t want to as “she feels bad” about hurting “Tony’s feelings”.

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Now I’m no expert, but if the person doesn’t want to break up the relationship, it seems to me that they want, to quote an old cliché, “have their cake and eat it too.” I think Margot likes the respectability of her marriage and doesn’t want the divorce scandel, but at the same time is heavily intrigued by Mark. And who can blame her? Robert Cummings is a looker.

Saboteur

Photo from Saboteur

That night Tony is introduced to Mark, him being Margot’s “friend”. The two discuss Mark’s profession.

Tony Wendice: How do you go about writing a detective story?

Mark Halliday: Well, you forget detection and concentrate on crime. Crime’s the thing. And then you imagine you’re going to steal something or murder somebody.

Tony Wendice: Oh, is that how you do it? It’s interesting.

Mark Halliday: Yes, I usually put myself in the criminal’s shoes and then I keep asking myself, uh, what do I do next?

Margot Mary Wendice: Do you really believe in the perfect murder?

Mark Halliday: Mmm, yes, absolutely. On paper, that is. And I think I could, uh, plan one better than most people; but I doubt if I could carry it out.

Tony Wendice: Oh? Why not?

Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don’t… always.

Tony Wendice: Hmm.

Mark Halliday: No, I’m afraid my murders would be something like my bridge: I’d make some stupid mistake and never realize it until I found everybody was looking at me.”

Tony invites Mark to join him for a tennis party, and Mark agrees. Its all men, so Margot will be staying home. After a bit more pleasantries Margot and Mark leave to go out “as friends” to a theatre show that Tony didn’t want to see, while Tony stays home to “work” on some stuff.

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After they leave, he calls up an old friend. Swann (going by the name Captain Lesgate) from his old Cambridge days. He brings him there under false pretenses of wanting to purchase a vehicle from him. He then tells Swann that he wants him to murder his wife.

Say What

“Tony Wendice: One thousand pounds in cash.

C.A. Swann: For a murder?

Tony Wendice: For a few minutes work, that’s all it is. And no risk, I guarantee.”

Tony then goes on to tell Swann a story.

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Tony only married Margot for her money, and it really injures his pride to see her cheating on him and tossing him over like an old shoe. He followed her one day and discovered the affair.

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He wanted to kill Mark.

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He then moved to the idea of murdering his wife. But things changed…

“Tony Wendice: It’s funny to think that just a year ago, I sat in that Knightsbridge Pub actually planning to murder her. And I might have done it, if I hadn’t seen something that changed my mind.

C.A. Swann: Well? What did you see?

Tony Wendice: I saw you.”

Back in the day, Swann was always getting into trouble for all kinds of stuff, and it struck Tony that he could commit the perfect murder. He then began extensive planning. He has been collecting £1000 over the year, under the guise of racetrack betting, etc.; compiling the money for such a purpose.

He even went to great lengths to get one of the letters from Mark and pretended to blackmail her. With Mark back in town he has set up the whole scenario on how to murder her even planning to use Mark as an alibi, as being the husband he will be the first suspect. All he needs is someone to do it for him. He has a lot of information on Swann’s background (as he has been tracking him) and uses it to blackmail him into completing his murderous plot. And he has to do it tomorrow.

He reveals his perfect plan.

“Tony Wendice: At exactly three minutes to eleven, you’ll enter the house through the street door. You’ll find the key to this door under the stair carpet here.

C.A. Swann: The fifth step?

Tony Wendice: That’s the one. Go straight to the window, and hide behind the curtains. At exactly eleven o’clock, I shall go to the telephone in the hotel to call my boss. I shall dial the wrong number. This number. That’s all I shall do.”

His wife will answer the phone, and then Swann can strangle her and leave through the french windows.

perfect plan

Swann agrees to the plot as he feels he has no other choice in the matter. Tony is estatic as everything seems to be going along perfectly.

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But then things start falling apart. Margot doesn’t want to stay home. She is thinking of going out to dinner and seeing a movie. Mark thinks it’s a great idea but Tony convinces her to stay home.

“Margot Mary Wendice: Don’t make me stay home. You know how I hate doing nothing.

Tony Wendice: Doing nothing? Why there are hundreds of things you can do. Have you written to Peggy, thanking her for the weekend? And what about those clippings? It’s an ideal opportunity.

Margot Mary Wendice: Well I like that. You two go gallivanting while I stay home and do those boring clippings.”

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Before Tony leaves, he stills Margot’s key from her bag and puts it in the marked hiding place. Keeping his key in his pocket, he and Mark leave for the party.

Back at the home, Margot has been working hard on her scrapbooking. She eventually goes to bed, putting everything away…at least almost everything. She actually forgets the scissors and leaves them by the phone.

That night everything starts being put into motion. Swann enters the place the same way that Tony planned it out. He leaves the key under the stair and hides behind the curtains waiting for the phone.

However, back at the party, things aren’t quite going as planned.

Stupid, stupid

Stupid, stupid

Tony’s watch stops and he has to ask for the time, finding out that it is actually past 11:00.

What!

He hurries to the pay phone and makes the call, hoping that everything else goes accordingly. Margot gets up to answer the phone. As she is talking, Swann reaches out to strangle her.

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But instead of overpowering her like he’s supposed to, Margot ends up getting him. As the two are struggling, she reaches for something…anything to stop him. She ends up grabbing the scissors and stabbing him with them, completely killing him.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Margot is a mess and is freakin’ out. I can’t blame her, someone is trying to murder you and you kill them.

I don't know what to do

Tony tells her to touch nothing and wait for him. He’s on his way over.

As he heads over Tony freaks out. His plans have failed. But then something comes to him. A new plan, a way to fix things.

Its-so-crazy it just mightwork

He decides to make it look like Swann was blackmailing Margot and that she murdered him rather than self-defense. He calls the police and sends Margot to bed. He then plants Mark’s letter in Swann’s coat, takes the key and puts it back in Margot’s handbag, and burns the scarf that Swann was going to use, replacing it with Margot’s stocking. He then tells Margot to make sure she doesn’t tell the police that he told her not to call the police. He’s worried how it might make her look. However, Tony is plotting very well, and the police begin to strongly suspect her.

Everyone's a suspect!

Hmm…

The police figure out that Swann did not come through the French Windows. He must have come through the hall, as it rained the night before. If he had come through the garden there would be muddy footprints. Inspector Hubbard (John Williams) strongly suspects Margot and believes her to be the killer. We cut to a scene showing Margot on trial amd sentenced to be hanged.

perfect plan

Except thing are not quite perfect.  There are quite a few things Tony didn’t plan. One of which was getting rid of the money. As Tony mentioned, he’s been drawing a lot of money out of his bank every week, pretending to spend it on racehorses. He had planned to give it to Swann, but now is at a loss. He can’t put it back in the bank as there would be too many questions. He can’t keep it, if the police find it, it’s all over for him.

I don't know what to do

So he tries to spend it all. Unbeknowest to him, the police are watching him very carefully. And they notice this.

Months later, on the night before Margot’s execution,  Mark comes to speak to Tony. He tells him that instead of letting Margot die, he should say that he tried to murder her. That he hired Swann. This will give him some jail time but save Margot’s life. Tony does not want to do that.

Dial M for murder mark, tony, inspector hubble

Inspector Hubbard comes back to the flat to question Tony some more about the money he’s been spending. Mark hears this and starts searching, finding the briefcase full of money.

What!

Tony thinks of a lie quickly and says that this was the money Margot had to give to Swann, but then changed her mind and killed him. The Inspector listens and takes his comment as fact…or does he?

Everyone's a suspect!

Hmm…

Now, if Tony was really smart he would have made up a different lie. I would have said that I realized there was nothing between me and Margot and was planning on leaving her. However, I knew that I wouldn’t get much money in the divorce (he signed a prenup), so I’ve been taking some money out, bit by bit. When the murder happened, I knew it would come to light and was afraid that it might put me in a bad light or under suspicion. I mean its not the perfect excuse, but at least it shows he wasn’t going to kill her as why remove money when he was planning on getting it all. But he doesn’t think that way.

princess Bride Victim to classic blunder Vizzini

This makes the inspector highly suspicious of Tony and he steals the key from Margot’s purse, intent on sneaking in and investigating.

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

Hold on, that is illegal. He doesn’t have a search warrant or permission to be searching the house. Anything he finds will be immaterial and thrown out of court. I looked it up and  this is what it said:

By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass.No man can set his foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing; which is proved by every declaration in trespass, where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show by way of justification, that some positive law has empowered or excused him. The justification is submitted to the judges, who are to look into the books; and if such a justification can be maintained by the text of the statute law, or by the principles of common law. If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, and the plaintiff must have judgment.

So technically, anything he finds can not be used in a court of law. That’s it, Tony is allowed to go free.

TheEnd_Title_2

But of course this is a movie, and things go differently. Inspector Hubble discovers that the key in the purse does not work on the front door. He instead finds it under the stair carpet. This gives him the great idea of creating a little trick to discover if Tony is the true killer.

John Williams (Chief Inspector Hubbard) Dial M for Murder (1954)

The Inspector visits Tony and steals his raincoat, leaving his own, therefore taking Tony’s key. He calls the station and asks them to release Margot. She immediately returns home, but finds out that her key won’t work. Hubbard watches her and discovers that she does not know the key is under the stairs. The Inspector let’s her in and gets a policeman to take the bag back to the station. They then begin to wait for Tony.

perfect plan

Tony comes home from his errands and finds that he can’t get inside. His coat belongs to Inspector Hubble and he has the wrong key. When Tony discovers his key doesn’t fit, he goes down to the station to get Margot’s bag. When that key doesn’t fit, he looks under under the stairs and finds the key, giving himself away.

dun-dun-duuuun

Tony enters and figures out they caught him. Being the gentleman he is, he doesn’t fight them. He knows when he has been defeated.

Tony Wendice: [pouring a drink] As you said Mark, it might work out on paper, but congratulations, Inspector. Oh, by the way… How about you, Margot?

Margot Mary Wendice: Yes, I could do with something.

Tony Wendice: Mark?

Mark Halliday: So could I.

Tony Wendice: I suppose you’re still on duty, Inspector.

TheEnd_Title_2

It;s a great movie, despite the small legality issue, but otherwise an amazing film. I definitely recommend it.

1954dialmformurder

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

For the previous post, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?

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For more on Dial “M” for Murder, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Past of a Man

For more on blackmail, go to Secrets are Great, Unless You Get Caught

For more films based on a play, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime