The Curious Case and Crime of Jane Leigh-Perrot

In 1799, Jane Leigh-Perrot went on trial for theft, a serious crime that could result in death. Stealing lace, believe it or not, was a capital crime that at worst-ended in hanging, and at best sent to Australia.

She managed to escape this fate, but really laid the defense on thick. Was she always innocent and won justice? Or a guilty woman using wealth as her golden ticket to freedom?

Hmm…

Why do we care about this woman?

I don’t know…

She is Jane Austen’s aunt.

Yes, so I’ve been reading the book Just Jane by Nancy Moser, and when it got to this part I was blown away and had to do more research.

So Jane’s first visit to Bath, an experience she later used in Northanger Abbey, was all because of her aunt of uncle. Like the characters in her novels, Jane had a wealthy family member that brought her along on a trip.

Jane visited in 1797 and while it was a fruitful trip, for us readers, she wasn’t too into it. Two years later the Austens received the news that the very aunt who took Jane on the trip, Aunt Jane Leigh-Perrot, was arrested, living in jail, and on trial for thievery.

So what caused a wealthy woman to ever be in a situation like this?

Huh?

Well, she had stopped at a shop to pick up a length of black lace. When she was leaving, she was asked by the shopkeeper to see her bag and inside was the black lace and a seam of white lace worth 20 shillings (£1)

What?

Jane Leigh-Perrot said it was a mistake by the shopkeeper, while the shopkeeper said it was shoplifting. Jane Leigh-Perrot was arrested the next day and had to be in jail for 8 months!

Wait a sec, let’s be real. Jane Leigh-Perrot was a wealthy woman, because of her husband and family influence she didn’t have to stay in the jail but stayed with the jailer’s family.

While that was better than the jail, it still wasn’t the standards she was used to. Not only did Jane Leigh-Perrot stay, but her husband stayed with her.

“Vulgarity, Dirt, Noise from morning till night…Cleanliness has ever been his greatest delight, and yet he sees the greasy toast laid by the dirty children on his knees, and feels the small Beer trickle down his Sleeves on its way across the table unmoved.”

When Mrs. Austen found out about her sister-in-law she wanted to send both her girls to comfort her.

Luckily, Mrs. Austen’s brother declined the offer and Jane didn’t have to spends months in “jail”. We might have had a much different novel if she did.

Catherine Morland in prison

The trial came and went, justice was served swiftly and Jane Leigh-Perrot was declared “not guilty” and the whole thing hushed up.

So did she do it?

Hmm…

Well let’s take a look. What goes against her ever being a thief? What is for the idea of her being a thief?

AGAINST: She’s a wealthy woman? Why would she bother stealing when she could afford as much ribbon as she wanted.

FOR: Being wealthy is no excuse. How many times have we read stories about wealthy people and stars doing things like this. Sometimes their ego gets in the way of their good choices.

AGAINST: Mr. Filby, the man who accused Jane Leigh-Perrot, later tried to blackmail the Leigh-Perrots. What honest man would resort to blackmail?

FOR: Mr. Filby and Miss Gregory (the shop owner) went several days in a row to the magistrates to try and have them arrest Jane Leigh-Perrot, with what seemed like no avail. Could it be they were tired of never getting justice and went after their own kind of justice?

AGAINST:The detail drawing of the shop that was used in the trial show that the places the lace was hanging there was no way the clerk could ever have “mistakenly” grabbed the wrong color. Did he purposely put it in?

FOR: The detail drawing of the shop that was used in the trial show that the places the lace was hanging there was no way the clerk could ever have “mistakenly” grabbed the wrong color. It was purposely taken. By Jane Leigh-Perrot?

AGAINST: The Leigh-Perrots were respectable citizens with philanthropic tendencies, while Mr. Filby and Miss Gregory were having an extra-marital affair.

FOR: The Leigh-Perrots hired four lawyers to defend them and paid £2000 for character witnesses. Why would they spend so much?

AGAINST; Others came forward and said that the same clerk, Mr. Filby, put things in their bags.

FOR: Another shopclerk said he saw Jane Leigh-Perrot take the lace.

So did she or didn’t she? We may never know.

Oh, well

To read more, click here.

For more on Jane Austen, go to Jane Austen Eyes

For more Jane Austen on trial, go to Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

For more posts, go to No One Would Have Ever Guessed

 

 

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That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

Jamaica-InnPOSTER1CROP6

That place – Jamaica Inn. It’s got a bad name. It’s not healthy, that’s why. There’s queer things goes on there.

Alfred Hitchcock, practically everyone knows the King of Suspense.

AlfredHitchcock

But while most know the films The Birds; Psycho, Vertigo, etc: a lot of his earlier films are ignored. So while these may not be everyone’s favorite, these are films I love and enjoy.

Jamaica Inn was the last film Alfred Hitchcock made in the U.K., with him moving to the United States after this picture was completed. While it is not considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, most people hate it even going as far to state it as his worst, I like it so I’m going to review it.

So the film is based on the historical fiction novel of the same name, written by Daphne du Marier (the same woman who wrote The Birds and Rebecca). Both she and Alfred Hitchcock were very displeased with the end result. Now why did this movie have so many problems? Charles Laughton.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Now don’t get me wrong. He is a great actor, I mean look at his filmography. However, as he produced this he was able to call a lot of the shots, therefore not allowing Hitchcock to work his usual magic. Laughton changed the character chosen for him, forced Hitchcock to hire Maureen O’Hara, made Hitchcock reveal a twist earlier than planned, etc. It’s hard when someone usurps the director’s power.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

Anyways, I’m going to review, because I like it.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

Now before we get into the review, let’s have a brief history lesson.

historyteach

This film takes place in the 1820 and involves a ship wrecking gang. Wrecking was a major economy booster and began as early as the 14th century, ending in the 20th century. Certain areas, such as Cromwell where this film takes place, gangs would cause ships to crash into the rocky shoreline, by either creating false lights or putting out the usual ones.

When the ships crashed, the gangs would then salvage the cargo, sell it, and kill the sailors to hide their crimes. It wasn’t until 1870, that rescuing the sailors brought in a reward.

In order to hide these activities, the wreckers would spread stories about ghost, phantoms, or other supernatural beings existing in the area.

Jamaica Inn is also based on a real inn and pub. It was known for its smugglers, pirates, and ghost stories.

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 So this film starts out with something a bit unusual, a prayer.

“O Lord we pray the–

not that wrecks should happen,

but that if they do happen

Thou wilt guide them–

to the coast of Cornwall,

for the benefit of the

poor inhabitants.

This real prayer for the 19th century shows how prevalent, wrecking/salvaging was.

DreadPirateRoberts Princess Bride

So the film starts out with the pirates (as they technically are as they are robbing/plundering ships) putting out the lights at Cromwell’s shore during a huge storm, causing them to crash. The crew go out and salvage everything, leaving no sailor alive.

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

The leader of this group is Joss Merlyn, also owner of Jamaica Inn. He picks the ships, sells the goods, divvies up the profits, and makes sure every man follows his orders. He’s not looking to head for the gallows.

Meanwhile, Mary Yellen is traveling from Ireland to Jamaica Inn.

what strange huh Jamaica Inn Mary Maureen O'Hara

Mary is played by Maureen O’Hara, in her first big role. She’s heading to Jamaica Inn to be with her Aunt Patience as her parents died and she has no where else to go. She’s heading in a cab, when suddenly it starts moving extremely fast and passes Jamaica Inn.

What's going on?

What’s going on?

She tries to get him to stop, but he refuses to listen. He’s afraid of Jamaica Inn, as he’s heard stories of ghosts, pirates, thieves, and worse. Instead he overshoots it by miles, dropping her off in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.

jerk_alert32

Geez, how rude. I mean just living a women stranded in the middle of nowhere in the dark?

Jerk

Luckily, she isn’t too far from the Squire’s house, Sir Humphrey. She decides to head down there for help.

Meanwhile, Sir Humphrey is having a big dinner and fancy party for him and his friends.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Now the Squire loves beautiful things. He’ll spend tons of money on a figurine, a horse, etc. Some of the ladies at the tale are interested in landing him, but they aren’t young or pretty enough for him.

uh-no-gif

Mary comes in from the cold and demands to see the Squire for help. Sir Humphrey is annoyed/intrigued at the intrusion sand makes a bet the girl will be ugly. However, when he sees her, he is stunned at her beauty.

swoon dreamy

He then tells her to remove her coat:

Gilmore girls creep

I’d be like “heck no!” I’m leaving my clothes on.

jerk

But, she agrees, and he says she looks stunning. That over and done with, she asks him for help to the Inn. Sir Humphrey doesn’t want her to go, as the inn is full of ruffians, no place for a pretty, young girl. He would rather she stay with him.

No thank youhowaboutno

Mary thanks him, but insists on going to the inn to be with her aunt Patience. Sir Humphrey agrees to help, and takes her to the inn.

When they arrive, Joss is creepily staring through the window at Mary.

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

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

She knocks at the door and when he opens it, he sticks a gun in her face.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Mary quickly tells him who she is, and then Joss tries to flirt with her, asking for a kiss.

I don't think so

Mary starts yelling at him and telling him to watch out, her uncle won’t stand for such rude treatment.

The jerk just laughs, and reveals he is her uncle.

ew! Gross Yuck

Luckily, Patience comes out and stops his attentions for the moment. Mary is shocked when she sees Patience, she used to be so beautiful, but now is a tired, pale, weary, slip of a thing.

What happened to you?

What happened to you?

You can tell by her pinched face that she is emotionally and physically abused by her husband.

Patience is happy to see her, but surprised. Apparently, they never received Mary’s letter telling of her parents death. They bring her in, with Joss making poor Patience carry the whole trunk. Mary goes to help, but Joss says no as he would hate to ruin a lady’s beautiful hands.

ew! Gross Yuck

How could he flirt like that in front of his wife? To her own niece?

Jerk

Mary has a fiery temper and yells at him. In return he picks up her trunk and throws it up the stairs, proving his strength. A true test of wills.

Don't mess with me!

Don’t mess with me!

Downstairs the crew are laughing and being rowdy, Joss having Patience take Mary into the kitchen so that she won’t find out what’s going on.

When Harry, Joss’ right hand man, hears of a pretty lady, he tries to go see her and put the moves on her.

howyoudoingfriendsjoey

But Joss tells everyone that Mary is hands off, only for him. I mean to his wife’s niece? What a jerk and mega creep.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Back in the kitchen Mary and Patience are talking. Mary wants Patience to leave Joss, but she won’t. She ran away from him because she loved him, and even though he beats her, she still “loves” him. In reality, she has come to believe she deserves the beating, stuck in that cycle of abuse.

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

So back with the pirates.  A recent addition to the team, Jem Trehearne, has been starting a ruckus with the men.

JamaicaInnJemTrehearne

He believes there is a lot more going on then Joss is saying. He’s been keeping on eye on the merchandise ands how much they’ve received back and it is not adding up right. There is some that is being funneled elsewhere. Jem is also smart enough to realize there is no way Joss could fence these items on his own, there must be someone helping him. But who?

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Joss sees how unsettled everyone is, and turns the suspicions back onto the crew; telling the group how easy it could be for one of them to take the product and waylay it, selling it later and keeping the profits. Now we have a witchunt, wtith everyone questioning each other.

miller-s-crucible-movie-ryder

He starts questioning how long each has been with him, coming up to Jem who has only been a part of the group for two months. Jem tries to turn it back to Joss and his mystery partner, but all have turned against him.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They seize Jem and search his pockets, finding gold. That settles it, he must hang.

CrucibleHanging

Before they can get started, Patience interrupts. She never would do such a thing, except Mary has just told her the Squire, Sir Humphrey, gave her a lift to the inn. She’s worried that him being there, he might have seen something.

Spoke too soon

He tells Patience to take Mary up to her room to finish dinner, let’s Harry take care of Jem, and then heads upstairs to a locked room.

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

And in there is the squire.

Say What

It turns out that Jem was right all along, there is someone else in charge, the squire.

This was an area of the film Hitchcock strongly disagreed with. He wanted to wait until the very end to do one of his famous reveals, us finding out that the Squire, supposed good guy was the real villain. But Laughton was a big star and he wanted more screen time, and as he was also producing the film, what he said went. It is interesting to see Hitchcock as he is starting out and then later on, when his word was the law. Even when it drove his actress crazy, like Tippi Hedren in The Birds.

Anyways, yes the real criminal mastermind is indeed the Squire, Sir Humphrey.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Don’t let that pompous act fool you. He wines and dines the captains, finding out when ships carrying valuables are coming, sending word to Joss, who then gets the group out there to take care of it. Joss turns the goods over to the Squire, who sells the product taking a hefty cut, and giving the rest to be doled out the crewman. In some ways, this is very similar to Michael Crichton’s book Pirate Latitudes.

So Sir Humphrey is not happy with what he has, he thinks he deserves more.

minemineminepocahontas

Joss disagrees, warning him about the unruly crewman who think they are being created. They were lucky that Jem was a perfect scapegoat, but what if next time they men turn on him?

Them in this case

Them in this case

Squire tells him it doesn’t matter, and he better deal with the problem. They need to refocus as a new ship is coming in tomorrow night with lots of valuables.

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize.

Joss tells Sir Humphrey about Mary, and that he will remove her from the equation. Sir Humphrey disagrees, as he wants Mary to stay, that is until he’s had her.

Mmhm great gatsby

Meanwhile, Jem has been knocked out and tied up. The crew are looking for the right beam to hang him, unknowingly choosing the exact one that lies under Mary’s room.

She overhears them talking about killing Jem, and watches them through a knothole, as they tie him up to the beam. One of the men, Dandy, really likes Jem’s buckles. Instead of waiting to play dice for them, Dandy grabs them and runs off, causing the others to chase him.

Run Away

With them out of the way, Mary takes her knife and starts sawing through the rope, trying to free Jem. After he drops to the ground, she sneaks out of her room and completes untying him. She wakes him up, and he tries to get her to come with him, but she has to stay for her aunt.

However, they quickly discover Jem is gone. Patience figures out that it is Mary.

JamaicaInnItwasYou

and tells her to run. She takes off but soon finds herself about to be caught, when Jem pulls her onto the roof.

How romantic

How romantic

How sweet, he couldn’t leave her behind to face everything on her own.

The two take off for the shore, Jem saying he knows a place they’ll be able to hide for a while.

Joss figures out who let Jem out, and sends everyone in teams to find them and kill them. He then goes to see the Squire to warn him.

Back at the squire’s home, we discover that he isn’t as rich as he’s been pretending to be.

rebeccaitwasallalie

I also suspect that he suffers from being bipolar or some other disease. They way he switches so quickly from anger to joyful, there’s something disconnected up there.

im-back

It turns out that his Butler is also starting to question what’s going on with the squire, as madness runs in his family.

Joss goes to him worried about what might happen with Jem and Mary, who they will tell. Sir Humphrey tells him to calm down as he is the only justice of the peace in the area. He kicks Joss out and tells him to focus on the ship wrecking.

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize

He continues to yell at Joss, and also tells him to leave Mary alone. That girl is his.

All-Mine

The next day, Mary wakes up in the arms of Jem.

JamaicaInnArmsfacetogether

She is suddenly freaked out as the realization of her choices hits her. She betrayed her family to save a man she doesn’t even know, a thief and pirate. She can never return to her Aunt’s home, all family is lost to her, and all she has is a pirate who could be cruel to her or hurt her.

I don't know what to do

She tries to sneak away, and steal the boat, but wakes Jem up, who is hurt at her not trusting him. I mean after all that you think they would have a bond.

Jem Trehearne: That’s women for you – save your life one minute, frightened of you the next. I guess I’m not a very pretty sight at the moment, but I don’t bite, you know.

While the two are arguing, the boat slips away and they are now stuck in a cave, and high tide will be upon them soon enough.

Reality Sucks

So now they are stuck. And in this scene we have some of the best banter. Jem is totally trying to make light of the situation. Mary, on the other hand, is angry at herself and the fact that everything is going wrong.

Jem Trehearne: Trust me to land myself with a woman. ‘Course, you did save my life.

Mary Yellen: I hope you make better use of it in the future.

Jem Trehearne: That’s a tall order for a desperate character like me.

Mary Yellen: No doubt.

Jem Trehearne: Smuggler and a cutthroat; that gives it.

Mary Yellen: Very likely.

Jem Trehearne: Do you think there’s any hope for me? Tell me, what all am I to do?

Mary Yellen: Anything you please.

Jem Trehearne: Well, I used to be a sailor. I can go back to sea.

Mary Yellen: I’m not in the least interested.

Jem Trehearne: You must be. Don’t forget you’re responsible for me.

Mary Yellen: I am not.

Jem Trehearne: Oh, yes. If weren’t for you I shouldn’t be here at all. You can’t deny that. When we’re safe in Trulo I’ll place myself entirely in your hands.

Mary Yellen: Oh, please be quiet.

I like Jem. I think he is sweet, funny, and pretty adorable while at the same time being a man of action, and having some honor. I wonder how he got mixed up with thieves?

The plot thickens

So while they are talking, they fail to realize that their lost boat has just given away their position. Harry and two other crew members, realize they are in the cave and throw down a rope, inviting them up. They’re trapped. Either they wait in the cave and drown when the high tide comes in. Or they are saved and killed by the pirates.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But Jem won’t give up. He decides to instead have him and Mary swim to shore. They have a better chance of surviving the stormy sea, then staying in the cave where the men will let them drown or hang them.

They make it to shore, and Jem wants to go to town. Mary changes his mind, by pointing out the Squire’s mansion is so much closer.

Spoke too soon

When they get to the house, they interrupt a dinner with a captain.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

The two come in soaked and telling the squire about what’s going on. Mary is sent upstairs to change into dry things, stopping to ask the squire for clemency for Jem, while Jem is regulated in front of the fire as he is not important. Go ahead and freeze to death or catch the flu and die, you’re not important.

Mr.DarcyMoveAsidepeasants Pride and prejuice

But Jem will not be regulated to the side. He insists on speaking to the squire NOW. In fact he has something very important to show Sir Humphrey.

officeroflawletter

His badge.

Say What

Yep Jem is not really a thief, he’s actual a cop and was just undercover trying to bust a ship wrecking ring. Before Sir Humphrey was just going to get rid of him or lock him up, but know that he is a cop with real officers knowing who he is and where he went. It’s time to change the game.

New plan

New plan

Mary overhears and runs over to the Inn to warn Patience, and try and get her to leave, but she won’t go. Soon Jem and Sir Humphrey arrive, Sir Humphrey playing along with Jem; as Jem deduces the how, where, and why of the whole situation. He just needs to figure out who the head man is.

WhoDoneItMystery?

He tries to persuade Joss to tell. This man is a tyrant that must be brought to justice!

Jem Trehearne: He [the head of the operation] remains aloof content to hire the scum of the coast to do his murderous work for him, thinking there’s no blood on his hands, but there is.

Jem leaves Joss with Sir Humphrey, as he goes to move the women upstairs. While he is gone Sir Humphrey warns Joss that tonight will have to be the last one, it would be best for both to take a little vacation. Then he hands over his gun.

Now think how much more awesome this scene would have been if this was the first time we realized that the Squire was the man they were working for. Hitchcock relly got gypped there. Oh, well.

So the men have heard Jem, and without Sir Humphrey as back up, the two are quickly captured and tied up.

JamaicainnTiedUp

Joss puts Patience on guard with a gun, while asking Mary along, just in case she had the urge to free Jem again.

Jem puts on a brave face and tries to convince Patience that if she gives up the location of her husband, then it will help him serve less time. Patiene refuses.

No thank youhowaboutno

Sir Humphrey doesn’t even bother talking, getting out of the unknotted knots Joss tied on him and walking right out. After all, he has a ship to catch.

Jem is embarrassed and angry he could be tricked so easily, but continues to try to get Patience to set him free. But Patience says no, she loves Jem.

Laura what I want No good

Eventually something must have worked on her, as the next scene we see Jem free and out to get help.

Meanwhile Mary is out with the crewman. They put the beacon out and wait, but while all are preoccupied, Mary runs out to fix the beacon. She gets in a fight with one of the men, accidentally breaking the beacon and setting her cape on fire. She hangs that up and saves the ship.

The salvagers are very angry!

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They grab her and start tearing at her clothes, making threats about what they will do. Joss comes into save her, but gets shot by Harry.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Mary manages to get his body to the inn. There Patience is heartbroken and tries to warn Mary that Joss wasn’t the real leader, there is someone worse, when she is shot!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Sir Humphrey shot her as he didn’t want her warning Mary about him. He then goes and ties her up, giving her a hooded cape to hide it, and takes her with him in his carriage.

tumblr_dr.jekyllhydemirrorsneakupbehindscareaah!

So Sir Humprey has completely succumbed to the insanity that runs in his family.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Jem is not too far behind the two, being able to get the regimental captain that was dining with Sir Humphrey earlier to use his troops to stop the men. They round up the ship wreckers and find the bodies of Joss and Patience. They set out to follow Humphrey’s trail.

At the ship, Sir Humphrey throws Mary inside a cabin. Telling her that she may have wanted to marry some normal, man and have a litter of kids, but that’s not what she should have. She should have the finer things with him.

Sir Humphrey: Good thing you have a man of sensibility, who’d rather see you dead first.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Before Sir Humphrey can make good on his threats, the regiment arrives. He tries to take Mary as a hostage, but they are prepared to shoot any part of his body they can. In order to escape he climbs up the sails of the ship, choosing to jump off and commit suicide then be taken alive.

Mary is shaken over everything, with Jem taking her and comforting her.

TheEnd_Title_2

So was it as amazing as his later work? No. Was it still a good movie? Yes. I thought it was interesting, fun, a tad campy, but still entertaining.

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1939JamaicaInn

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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 Story. We’re Living It. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

For more films based on a book, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

For more on Maureen O’Hara, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

 

There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist: The Mist (2007)

The_Mist_poster

David, there’s nothing out there. Nothing in the mist.

So The Mist was an okay movie. I thought it was doing really good and totally creepy until the end. The end was totally screwed up as the director had to go and change the story. What a loser!

Book Slappers

So this is based on a story by Stephen King. And I know y’all know that a Horrorfest would not be complete without one. It is also not a complete rip-off of The Fog (the new or old film), as everyone thinks it is. There are quite a lot similarities, but they are extremely different in the motive and what the “monster” that is attacking is. In the different versions of The Fog, the creatures are it is supernatural, while in The Mist…well, you’ll see.

So the film starts the day after a huge thunderstorm has hit a little town (of course) in Maine (the usual). A thick, unnatural mist starts to descend on the town, and at first they don’t realize that something far more sinister is lurking within it.

supernatural supernatural

So, that day David Drayton (Thomas Jane), a graphic artist, decides to go to the local grocery store to buy supplies, bringing his eight-year-old son, Billy (Nathan Gamble), and his neighbor, Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) along. You know, just a normal average day.

h90CCAFFE

So while they are at the store, another storm comes and hits the the town. This time it severely engulfs the area in a thick mist. (Whenever I bike to work early in the morning I always think about this movie and The Fog.)

They do notice something very strange. It seems as if there is a plethora of military roaming about the area.

That's strange

That’s strange

When they get to the supermarket, they find it packed with people stocking up. A military policeman, goes after the soldiers in the supermarket, telling them to pack it up as their leave is over and they need to head out. Everything is normal until a local townsperson runs into the store covered in blood.

OMG

He begins screaming that there is something out there in the mist, killing and attacking people. People go to look out the windows to see what is out there, but the mist is so thick that they are unable to spot anything.

TheMist Supermarket wall window

Several people rush, out and everyone hears their screams…then nothing.

What!

Gilmore girls creep

The decide to seal the doors in order to keep “everything” out. One woman is worried about her children and decides to risk trying to go home. She asks for someone to accompany her, but no one volunteers.

How rude

She leaves and we never see her again.

Sadface Batman

So as you can guess, just like Night of the Living Dead, this film becomes more of a survivor story/deconstruction of humanity than an actual monster movie. You have a group of people trying to survive in a confinied area and while some rise to the challenge, others do not. This film has all the usual Stephen King clichés, like an deeply religious psychotic person who wants to kill/punish all who tries to control every one.

Of course

Of course

It couldn’t be a Stephen King film without it.

At one point the group tries to go check on their clogged generator. A couple men go to open the loading dock door to see what the issue is when large tentacles come reaching out and kill them.

the-mist-2007--05tentacles

This is just the beginning in monster attacks, as they face giant insect, pterodactyl -like creatures, and many more.

In a raid for medicine vis-à-vis The Day After Tomorrow, they run into the military supervisor from earlier hanging from a gigantic spider web. He tells them to question the men in the store for the true backstory of the mist.

truth downton Abbey Lord Earl

In the end it turns out that military are to blame as they opened a portal to another world.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Yes. In an ending as disappointing as Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull aliens just leaving. (Although the worse is yet to come.)

Eventually the section of the group that is run by the psychotic women, has increased that it outnumbers the other group lead by David. As she tries to get Billy to be a sacrificed, David’s team decides to leave, risking the unknown.

They are able to score a car and the group drive as far as the SUV will take them. They take stock of their options and decide it is better to end their lives, rather than be torn apart by whatever the things are. David shoots everybody in the car, including his son. Right before he turns the gun on himself, a military tank comes charging through proclaiming that they have defeated the monsters.

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

Yes. Yes. He has just killed his child and everyone when he didn’t need to.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Now I could forgive everything else. The stupid plotholes, the crazy clichés, the other dimension monsters, ANYTHING; but that ending? Really? Really? It’s just dumb.

Duh!

Duh!

Did you guys have to that? It is so horrible! First of all as he murdered his child when he didn’t need to. And secondly, it is extremely anti-climatic! I mean come on, it would have been so much better if they just had them driving off, no one knowing what will happen to them or whether they will survive. You know, like how it ended in the book?!

BetterthantheMovie

Yep you guys really messed up there.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

2007The-Mist-2007

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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 The Past of a Man

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For more on Stephen King, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more films based on books, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

For more quotes, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

under Capricorn

“The past of a man it is something.”

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

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

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

MeanGirls I know right!

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

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

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

Now back to the story.

Under Capricorn

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

It's one of those guys!

It’s one of those guys!

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

Joseph Cotton Under capricorne24se

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

Under Capricorn

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

Under Capricorn Dining eating

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

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

Sadface Batman

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

Under-Capricorn-Leighton

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

perfect plan

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

Under Capricorn Kiss

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

Under capricorn

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

Under-Capricorn4

Sad and lonely

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

Under Capricorn Dining eating

Back at the house, Milly has returned.

im-back

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

you're evil

I mean seriously this girl is a major jerk.

jerk_alert32

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

wordICan't say Toy Story

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

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

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

under capricorn ball

She returns home, weeping and half-crazed.

Sad and lonely

Sad and lonely

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

Say What

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

MeanGirls I know right!

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

aw cry

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

Sad and lonely

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

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

Under Capricorn

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

Under Capricorn struggle gun

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

A no win situation

A no win situation

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

Good-bye

Good-bye

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

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

Under Capricorn

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

let go past

Yep, sometimes you just need to move on.

1949UnderCapricorn

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

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

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

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

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

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