There’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

StepfordWives

I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

So first, happy 40th anniversary! February 12, 1975 brought this great film to us.

So one day I was spending the night at my friend’s house, and her grandmother had a massive movie collection, although nothing made past the ’90s. We were trying to figure out what to watch, when she chose The Stepford Wives (2005). I thought it was funny, and even bought it for myself when it was on sale for $5 at Wal-Mart.

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Then I was at a yard sale, where a friend who has a monster horror/mystery film collection was selling all the VHS he had just bought DVDs of. I saw The Stepford Wives (2004) and was shocked. There was another version of the film?

Say What

I bought it; along with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Wolf Man (1941), Rebecca (1940), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), North by Northwest (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1950), Family Plot (1976), Lifeboat (1944), The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Notorious (1946), and The Night of the Hunter (1955).  I really cleaned him out.

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Then one day, I decided to watch The Stepford Wives (1975). And I LOVED it! I thought it was sooooo much better than the remake, in fact I never even watch the 2005 version anymore. I really should just donate it to the library or thrift store.

So this film was based on a novel, in fact written by the same man who wrote Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin. Funny that I should review both films the same year. I didn’t even realize they were by the same person until right now.

Anyways, on with the review.

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The film starts out with Janna Eberheart (Katherine Ross) saying good-bye to her apartment they have been living in in the city.

Sadface Batman

She doesn’t want to leave, but moving to the suburbs will be better for her two young kids.

Now Katherine Ross is extremely beautiful, and her husband is only so-so. How did he score such a ringer? Not  to be mean, but he looks old and is balding, and looks like the type to get a beer gut.

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They are unpacking their stuff when a beautifully coiffed woman comes over with a casserole, Carol Van Sant. She walks and talks a bit weird, almost unearthly in grace.

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Later Walter is walking the dog and tells his neighbor, she cooks as good as looks.

Men

Men

So it turns out that Joanna definitely did not want to move. It was all her husband’s idea. He thinks it is safe, secure, and there is more room for the kids and Joanna to have dark room for her photography. Joanna is still not pleased.

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The next day Joanna’s kids take the bus to school. All the other kids are too perfect and not rowdy at all. Weird.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Now that the kids are gone, what is the city girl gonna do? She has tea, clearly bored.

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She does get interviewed by neighborhood lady, who writes the women’s magazine. We found out that Walter Eberheart, her husband, is a lawyer; while is an inspiring photgrapher. The thing she misses most about New York? The noise.

The next day she goes to return the casserole dish to neighbor, when she sees a guy come up from behind and start feeling her up and kissing her. It is mid morning! Is that her husband? And what is he doing here instead of at work? Weird.

weird

That night Walter tells Joanna how he has met the other Stepford commuters. They invite him to Men’s Association. It has only one rule, men only. Joanna is not pleased.

Men

Men

We see that their relationships actually are having some problems that have been happening for a while.

Joanna Eberheart: You pretend we decide on things, but you have already decided on everything. You ask me if I want to move out of city, and I find you have already been looking. You ask me if I like this house place and I find that you have already made a down payment. You ask me about the men’s association and you have already joined. Why even bother to ask me at all.

When they go out grocery shopping, it seeems as if all the other women are more in control of their kids, have planned out their list better, being perfect; while  JOanna harried and forgetful.

Carol coming out of market, and gets into a car crash. She is taken by the ambulance, and keeps repeating herself over and over as if stuck on something.

Joanna Eberhart: [ambulance drives off] We may be new here, but isn’t Stepford Hospital that way?

Walter Eberhart: Oh, no, no, no, you’re wrong… No, no, you’re *not* wrong, the ambulance went *that* way, didn’t it?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

That night Joanna wakes up in bed alone, and hears something downstairs. It is Walter in front of the fire, as he just got back from mens association. He is upset and drinking. What’s going on? Why is he so sad and upset? What did the men do?

suspicious Hmm

The next day Bobbie Markowe (Paula Prentiss) comes to see her after reading about her in the lady’s paper. You notice she is the only other woman wearing pants as well.

Bobbie is like Joanna. She moved her from New York, not her decision but her husbands. She isn’t perfectly coiffed and doesn’t have a spic and span house. She is normal and the two quickly become friends.

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That night Joanna is working in her dark room developing pictures. Walter calls and tells her the meeting will be at their house, in 20 mins. That’s really short notice to be given, what if the house was a mess? But i suppose those guys think a house should always be perfect.

After Walter gets off the phone, Dale, leader of the men;s association tells him he recognizes that Walter is not altogether sure, telling him not to worry the change is for the better.

Gilmore girls creep

So while Joanna is pouring teas and coffees, Dale is watching her, he likes seeing women in domestic settings.

Joanna Eberhart: Why do they call you Diz?

Dale Coba: Because I used to work at Disneyland.

Joanna Eberhart: No, really.

Dale Coba: That’s really. Don’t you believe me?

Joanna Eberhart: No.

Dale Coba: Why not?

Joanna Eberhart: You don’t look like someone who enjoys making other people happy.

Joanna sit in on the meeting, One guy draws Joanna, as the rest of the men talk about charity events they could do. The men are absolutely boring and horrible at planning and deciding on something. She goes to check on the kids to get out of there.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

They all stop talking as soon as she leaves. Hmm…interesting.

When she comes back, the meeting breaks up and the guy gives her the drawing of her.

Ike Mazzard: [Handing drawing to Joanna] In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing.

Joanna Eberhart: You’re not the Ike Mazzard are you?

Ike Mazzard: I’m afraid so.

Joanna Eberhart: Walter tell him, I’m just awful on names. You’ll have to forgive me. I used to gawk at all those girls in those magazines. You blighted my adolescence, you know that?

Walter Eberhart: [Grinning] I thought I benighted your adolescence.

Joanna doesn’t like the men, as she thinks they are boring. The women, besides Bobbie, are not friendly and also don’t seem to think that much beyond how they look or how to cook. She thinks her husband is acting weird by hanging with these people.

Dale give a barbecue, and Joanna and Bobbie dress casual; Joanna in a nice sundress and Bobbie in pants. However, all the other women are dressed SUPER fancy in long dresses. Joanna and Bobbie feel really out of place, but can’t quite put their finger on why exactly.

Joanna Eberheart: It’s all so dazzling, so why don’t I like it. I like it but I don’t like it. Does that make sense?

Carol starts talking to them, but keeps repeating herself. Something is not right with her. Is she drunk? Or is it something else?

Really?

The next day Carol comes and apologizes to Joanna and Bobbie. She explains that she used to be an alcoholic, one of the reasons why they moved out of the city, and the reason why I was acting weird last night. I had started drinking again. Her husband made her come apologize to the newcomers, didn’t want to frighten them off.

stepfordwivesweirdwhat is going on

So strange to Bobbie and Joanna. Both ladies did women’s liberation in New York and decide they need to start something here in Stepford. They start inviting women, but they don’t really care and don’t want to. One too busy ironing, one too busy baking, another shopping, etc.

The last person they see is Charmaine. She is relatively new, only been here a little bit longer than Bobbie. She heard that the girls wanted to start meeting, and wants to join as she has had a hard time connecting. She used to play tennis with one girl, but now she is far too busy cooking and cleaning.

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One of the men wants to do a speech experiment with her. Needs to know every place you have ever lived, and you have to read off a vocab list he made up. Joanna won’t do it, unless the wives come to her meeting.

Joanna Eberhart: I’m very busy…just like your wife. Bobby and I tried to involve her in one of our projects, but she had too much ironing. Maybe you could convince her. Kit Sundersen, too. If they could find the time for me… I could find it for you.

Claude Axhelm: Isn’t this uh… kind of blackmail, Joanna?

Joanna Eberhart: It’s what made this country great, Claude.

They have the Women’s Liberation meeting, but the other wives don’t seem really into it. Joanna starts by saying she thinks walter cares more about law than her. Charmaine says that she doesn’t think her husband ever loved her, but only married her because she looked right. After that emotional piece, one of the wives says she didn’t bake any thing yesteday  because she didn’t finish cleaning. Then all the “other wives” start talking about products they use, sounding like a commercial.

So weird.

Joanna goes out for a walk with her dog, when she is gone men come over and looking at room and all her stuff. They leave after their observations.

The next day, Bobbie and Joanna run into an older woman who tells them about a new family coming to Stepford, a black family. She says it doesn’t surprise her as Stepford is the most liberal place. Bobbie and Joanna are surprised and find out they used to have a ton of women’s groups, including a huge Women’s Liberation. What happened?

They go see Carol, who they discovered was the leader of the Women’s Liberation in Stepford. She tells them it died out because the women got bored.

Joanna Eberheart: Is it enough?

Carol Van Sant: It is enough for me, maybe not for you.

Joanna goes to New York to show some photographs to a gallery, but the owner turns her down. When she returns, she discovers that her dog is gone. She and Bobbie start driving around looking for him when they see Charmaine’s Tennis courts being destroyed!

Whattheheck

They go see her and she is dressed like other wives and acting like them. She only cares about making her husband happy. Fired the maid and wants to do all the cooking and cleaning herself. She’s letting her husband get the heated swimming pool that he always wanted.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Both are freaking out about this. Bobbie is convinced that they must be poisoning the water or something. She wants to take a sample and give it to a trustworthy chemist, but doesn’t now any. Joanna does, and when they give it to him; there is nothing in the water.

Bobbie is scared.

i'mscared

She wants to leave, and is planning on asking Dave tonight to move. She doesn’t want to become one of those women.

Creepy!

Creepy!

Joanna wants to leave, but Walter doesn’t. After a bit of pleading, he gives in. But is it too late to move?

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

They start looking in different areas together. Dave, Bobbie’s husband is mad about house hunting. He was so upset that he almost canceled their annual trip to plaza. Bobbie has Joanna take care of her kids.

The kids are crazy and loud, and Walter hates it. Joanna takes tons of photos while kids are playing. Joanna is working in the dark room making Walter have to care for the kids. He wants Joanna to take over as he is tired and can’t think of anything else to do. Joanna tells him too bad, she deals with it every day.

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Joanna goes to New York to get a gallery owner to look at them, thinks they are amazing.

Double double yay

Joanna goes to tell Bobbie about gallery accepting her work, but Bobbie doesn’t even care. She just wants to discuss clothes, looks, cleaning, all about taking care of Dave.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They’ve gotten to her, and she is no longer the same.

Joanna tries to tell Walter what is going on, but he doesn’t understand and won’t listen. He just keeps telling her that she is crazy!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna is going to leave, and planning on it today. Walter stops her, telling her they will move, but only if she sees someone. He tries to get her to see one in town, but she refuses. She wants to find her own person and someone far from Stepford.

Getting out of here

Getting out of here

Joanna visits a doctor far way, but is afraid to tell doctor the real reason why she wants to leave Stepford. Ater four months Charmain changed. After four months Bobbie chnged. And four months is how long Joanna has been in Stepford. She’s afraid that whatever changed them will change her as well.

Joanna Eberhart: I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

Dr. Fancher: Alright, now listen. I’ll give you a prescription which you have filled, then you gather up your children and you GET THE HELL AWAY! Don’t tell your husband, don’t tell anyone, just go, wherever you feel safe. Now, do you have family?

Joanna Eberhart: They’re dead.

Dr. Fancher: Well, just drive, and stop some place. Then in a few days – I’ll be back on the 10th – you ring me, I’ll come to you, and we’ll sort this thing out. Now how does that sound?

Joanna comes home and plans to do just that. She goes upstairs looking for kids, but they are not here.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Joanna wants to know where they are, but Walter won’t tell her. He tries to get her to go upstairs and lie down, grabbing her.

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They fight and Joanna breaks away, going upstairs and locking herself in. Oh no, just like in Rosemary’s Baby! But it didn’t save her!

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The phone starts blinking, and Joanna can see that he is talking to someone. While he is on it, she sneaks out of the house and heads off to Bobbies to look for her kids. But when she gets there, they aren’t there.

After she short circuts Bobbie, she heads back home. When she gets there, she smacks him in the head with a fireplace poker, demanding to know where her children are.

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He mutters “association” and Joanna decides to head out there. When she gets there she hears her children’s voices calling, follows the sound and it turns out to just be a recording. It was all a ploy to get Joanna there.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna Eberheart: Why change the women?

Dale Coba: Because we can we make them perfect.

 But Joanna won’t just go down, she still has a lot of fight in her and takes off running. She gets lost in the hallways and opens a door to her bedroom.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Camera slowly pans…………..tension building…………dun dun dun dun dun….and we see:

Her!!!! Brushing her hair with her black demon eyes. Robot Joanna. Body even more perfect. Probably one of the creepiest moments in any horror film, of all time there.

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

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

Next day all in supermarket, talking to each other.

And we end seeing that new family in town, fighting the same way everyone else did previously. They are next on list.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

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So after watching this a second time, there are a few things I have noticed and wanted to bring light to now that the “real” review is over.

1)The Husband was the one who wanted to move. So I wonder, did Walter know ahead of time that the town was like that? Is that why he choose Stepford out of any other suburb?

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2) The clothes are great with the differences. Joanna and Bobbie are the only ones “in” with current fashion. They wear jeans, crop tops, no bras, and show lots of skin with their mini skirts and shorts. Originally the directors wanted the robot women to be “playboy bunnies”, but I think it was better having them in nice, lacy dresses. It definitely shows an extreme difference between the “fixed” women and those “still in need of alterations”. Plus the women in those dresses, defintely is a throwback to not the ’50s, like most assume: but the turn of the century. I mean look at those clothes, throwback to a time when women really had no rights. Or at least that is my views on the whole thing.

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

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For more on evil robots, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more by Ira Levin, go to What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

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

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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.

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

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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!

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One day Paula discovers a note to her aunt.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

Poster_for_The_Screaming_Skull

She’ll come back…she’ll come back

So a few years ago, my sister bought the Greatest 100 Horror Classics DVD collection. There were some great films on this: such as Carnival of Souls, The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Night of the Living Dead, Metropolis etc. And of course some duds, like The Beast of Yucca Flats.  This film was also included in the collection, and a film I really liked.

This film was a new thing for director Alex Nicol, who also played the role of Mickey. The film is based on the book The Screaming Skull by Francis Marion Crawford, but borrows a lot from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So the film starts out with us on a bayou. There appears to be something in the water as a guy creeps closer to shoot it. It is large, scaly, with ginormous eyes.

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This isn’t how I remember the movie starting at all. I better check the DVD menu. Yep, whoops. I accidentally chose the wrong film.

So embarressed

So embarressed

I would have reviewed Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) and you all would not have been ready for that. Now here we go with The Screaming Skull.

We open on a candle and flower arrangement. Dark depressing music…zoom out it’s a funeral Makes sense.

Narrator: “The Screaming Skull” is a motion picture that reaches its climax in shocking horror. It’s impact is so terrifying that it may have an unforeseen effect. It may *kill* you! Therefore the motion picture producers feel they must offer free burials for any that die of fright, during The Screaming Skull.

Let me stop and say this is one awesome beginning, like The Beast Must Die. I award it a thousand gold stars.

love it

So we open on a beautiful mansion, impeccable gardens, relaxing lily pond. A dream house.

rebeccamansionmanderley

When we see something in the water. What is that?  A SKULL!!!!!

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

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

It actually made me think of David Lynch and his constant use of a tranquil, pretty setting that has evil lurking below.

TwinPeaks dark henious evil

So we have the opening titles/credits using the same music from Sleeping With the Enemy, but added a woman vocalizing is high it almost like screaming.

So that switches with a peaceful drive up to the house, and light airy music. They park the car and out comes the newlyweds, Eric and Jenni Whitlock. Eric is bringing his new wife back to his old house.

Jenni loves the house as the garden looks like a magician paradise, it even has peacocks.

love it

She sees a window and asks if that will be their room.

Jenni: Will that be our room.

Eric: Will need some fixing first.

Jenni: Was that her room?

The “Her” she is talking about is Eric’s first wife Marian. He is a widower. I know what you are thinking:

Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca (1940)

But it is not the same. In The Screaming Skull, Marian the first wife was the wealthy one and the house belonged to her.

So as the couple are walking around, we that the house is pretty much empty. Marian got rid of all her families’ furniture and was planning on purchasing new pieces to make it “their home”. The two hadn’t gotten far with redecorating before she died. Now Jenni and Eric will make this house “their” house.

girlieButLoveit BuffyVS

He wants to show her the rest of the house, but she stops and looks at the window into the room.

dun-dun-duuuun

Eric picks up Jenni and carries her around the room. Meanwhile, there is a guy behind them creeping through the windows.

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

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

Who the heck is he? And why is he doing that?

weird

While the two are kissing, he sneaks away.

suspicious Hmm

The two walk around the yard and pass Mickey, the gardener’s, tool shed. He’s been in charge of maintaining the grounds since Eric has been away. Wow Micky sure has a green thumb, it looks amazing!

keanu Whoa

As they are seeing the yard, Eric tells Jenni that Mickey & Marian would spend hours working on the garden together. He doesn’t think Mickey ever got over her death, he was in love with her, and still believes she is coming back.

Missing You

So as the two are talking and walking, someone drives up. It is the Reverend and  Mrs. Snow. They came to meet the new bride and drop off something for dinner. As they are all talking, the Reverend and Mrs. Snow get invited to dinner.

As they are heading to the house, Eric spots the gardener, Mickey. It turns out he was the guy creepin’ on them earlier. So Mickey isn’t really a creep, he is developmentally disabled. He and Marian grew up together so it is hard on him not having her in his life.

aw cry

Mickey sees the land as his and Marian’s place, and anyone else is trespassing.

Who is that?

Back inside the house, the group is clearing things up a little. Mrs. Snow and Eric go off to make dinner, while the Rev. and Jenni hang out.

While they are preoccupied, Mickey sneaks  inside the house and goes to look at a painting of Rebecca…opps I mean Marian. Sorry, certain parts of the film are a bit similar it was easy to make that mistake.

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Mickey wants Marian to send them away, so it can just be the two again.

Gilmore girls creep

Eric is talking with Mrs. Snow and she is saying how much she likes Jenni, and how great she is. Eric thinks it is great Mrs. Snow likes Jenni, but there is something he has to tell her.

dun-dun-duuuun

I knew there had to be more to her than just a sunny personality. Here we go, give me the whole story.

So Jenni didn’t have a happy childhood. She lost her parents years ago in a horrible way. She is very impressionable, so talking about sad pasts is something best to stay away from. It sounds to me as if she and Ruth from Dangerous Crossing had a similar experience after they lost their fathers. Jenny probably had to go to a mental hospital afterwards too.

How did she loose them? They drowned in an accident, and Jenny saw it all. That is super damaging for a child to experience something like that. SUPER damaging.

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

So the Rev. and Jenni are talking when she asks him how he knew they were in town. It turns out that the Reverend heard of them moving in from the lawyer, as the lawyer and Eric are executors of the estate. All that was left to Eric out of Marian’s tremendous fortune, was the house and grounds. He notified the lawyer he was back and moving in with his new wife.

Even more what Jenni wants to know is how did Marian die?

Reverend Snow: Didn’t Eric tell you?

Jenni Whitmore: I think the subject is painful for him. He doesn’t like to talk about it. Will you tell me? I’d really like to know

So it was a rainy day and Marian and Mickey had been working in the greenhouse. She left him to go back to the house for a few minutes. The way it was pieced together later was that she was probably coming back and slipped in a leaf, fell down, and smashed her skull in the cement wall around the pond, fell in the water and drowned. That was where Eric found her later.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

While they are talking, Mickey is sneaking about. I think it would be mean to say this, but the way he moves and creeps makes me think of Gollum from the The Lord of the Rings series.

After dinner the Snows are walking home and talking about the two.

Reverend Snow: Did you know that Jenni is very wealthy?

Mrs. Snow: Yes Mr. Mowry told me. She’s not at all like Marian. So gentle and timid, as if she is afraid of something.

OMG Jenni is Joan Fontaine from Rebecca. Sweet, young, shy, timid, like same character. Except Joan was poor while Jenni is rich.

That night, Jenni and Eric are sleeping in cots, as their furniture isn’t out of storage yet. That night Jenni is reading a book sent by Mrs. Snow, Beast in the Jungle. It seems like a very sad book, I don’t know why she would give such a book to Jenni knowing her background.

That night Jenni hears loud bumping and clanging noises.

Who is that?

Who is that?

She calls to Eric, but he is not there.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

She decides to investigate, calling to Eric, but receiving no answer. Eerie music starts playing as she keeps calling Eric. Turns out to be a shutter in Marian’s old room, not properly latched.

As she is leaving, Eric comes in and scares her as she leaves the room. She starts when she sees something on the ground, that looks like water and a lily pad.

Why is that in here?

Why is that in here?

Jenni thinks Mickey brought it in as he doesn’t like her as she is a replacement Marian. Eric, on the other hand, thinks it was just an accident. It freaks Jenni out and she looks at the painting sounding a bit crazy as she talks. She thinks the painting reminds her of her mother, who she hates. Almost as if she is haunting her.

rebeccapainting

We find Mickey in the pond, by the lily pads. Did he bring it in? Is he trying to upset her? Make her go crazy?

Why is that in here?

The next day, Eric tells Jenni that he talked to Mickey and he is no longer allowed in the house. Jenni is worried Mickey might become angry and take it out on her, but Eric tells her not to worry about it. But Jenni is worried. She wants Mickey to like her, for them to be friends. Eric tell her to garden with him.

Eric leaves that day to get the electricity turned on, furniture out of storage, and see the bank and lawyer.

Now it just occurred to me, what does Eric do? What does he do that he had the ability to live away for two years, but then move back to his former home. They all said Marian had money, I mean he did move into her family house; but they never mention him having money. Does he have any? And if he doesn’t, he sure was lucky to bag two wealthy wives.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

Jenni sees Mickey and tries to befriend him. But Mickey won’t say a word. She tries to reassure him that she wants the garden to stay beautiful in honor or Marian. They pick flowers to place at her graves.

Now her grave is a weird one. It is an obelisk with a relief of Marian’s face in it. And it is just creepy, like she was mixed into the stone or forever watching.

creep watching lovely bones Stanley tucci

While they are doing this, Mickey is overcome with emotion.

Mickey: She cries in the night.

Jenni Whitmore: Dead people don’t cry Mickey!

Mickey: I heard her.

 Jenni Whitmore: Heard?

Is Mickey really hearing something, or just messing with Jenni? And if he is hearing something who or what is it?

Who is that?

At the house, Jenni looks at Marian’s painting. She hears some creaking, but just assumes it is the house settling.

So earlier, Eric said he was going to be gone all day and out late that night. When night comes, the electricity still not on, forcing her to use candles, as she is getting ready for bed.

Once again, Jenni hears the shriek of  the peacocks. Creepy little buggars. Jenni decides to try to go to sleep, but feels weird not having Eric in the house.

Gilmore girls creep

Jenni hears a noise and looks to the window, nothing. She runs downstairs to investigate…just the peacocks. Looks at the picture of Marian again. She is looking at the painting when the cabinet door behind her slowly opens.

She turns around and sees a SKULL!!!!

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

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

Suddenly cuts appear on her hand!!!!

what what'shappeningSupernatural

And she runs away to her room, and locks the door jumping under the covers. Now Jenni is so freaked out that every noise is making her heart race. She hears tree branches scrapping, making sounds like something trying to get her.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

And then it sounds like something is coming up the stairs. A banging noise.

i'mscared

Something is coming up the stairs!!!!!

OMG gasp

This scene is shot from the “thing’s” point of view so we don’t know what it is!!!!

Suspense have to know

I know there is a strong likelihood that it is just her husband, but I’m still a bit freaked, my heart os pumping. Who or what is it?

i'mscared

Jenni is equally freaked, what is coming?! She goes to look and nlocks door to see what is making noise, but there is nothing there

Whattheheck

Jenni runs to window, the peacocks are gone, nothing is here. What could be making such a racket?

She looks at cabinet, and sees that the skull is still there and not a figment of her imagination. She goes to get the skull ad flings it out the window.

Good-bye

Good-bye

It rolls on the grass an stares at her with its eyeless gaze.

The-Screaming-Skull-1958

She goes back to bed, but can’t sleep.

Then the camera zooms on the front door Something’s coming?!!! Something starts knocking…Don’t answer it!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Jenni is afraid, and she just sits in bed waiting for it to go away. Soon  she feels the need to check, after all it couldbe important. She looks down from room, unsure of what to do.

They're watching her!

She decides to risk it and opens the door. Creepy music playing again getting the blood pumping with fright. She calls to Eric, but no answer. Just more pounding on the door.

i'mscared

Jenni opens it and the skull is there!

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

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

what what'shappeningSupernatural

She screams and runs inside, the skull tumbles after her.

OMG gasp

She faints. And I don’t blame her.

Mickey pops out of the shadows. Could he have done this? If not, did he see who did? Or what did?

shiver

Jenni wakes up in Eric’s arms. She asks him if he saw anything when he found her, but he says no. Just her on the floor.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Is it all in her head?

So Jenni weirded out. She had never imagined any such thing before, why should she see it now? She wants her doctor from New York to examine her, but Eric vetoes the idea, saying that Rev. Snow will be coming tomorrow and can help.

I think it is weird how Eric doesn’t want a trained psychologist’s help. Seems odd to me, especially as she asked for him. Hmm…

Why is that in here?

The Rev. comes and studies the cabinet. He discovers that the door is very loose, and can easily open on its own. The door is also damaged on the bottom, which caused Jenni’s scratches. Both look for a skull but find nothing.

Jenni feels like a fool, but knows that she saw a skull there.

weird

She asks the Rev. if Eric told him of her past. He says he knows a little. Jenni decides to gives him a bit more. She grew up loving her father and hating her mother.

Jenni Whitmore: I wasn’t a child when I wished my mother dead. One day I got my wish.

So both of her parents drowned. She tried to help them, but couldn’t overcome tide. She still hears their cries. She blames herself for the deaths, saying she killed them. This is common in grief, survivor’s guilt. For Jenni she became so unbalanced that she had to be put in hospital. She was released and told cured. So why would she be seeing strange things now?

Eric is outside looking for Mickey, but he can’t find him anywhere. He sends the Rev. and Jenni on ahead for lunch, promising to be there soon. After they leave he heads into the garden. He goes to Marian’s grave and calls for Mickey. Mickey hears him but keeps running away from him. Is he running because he is in trouble or running from trouble?

Why is that in here?

When Eric arrives at the Snow’s house, Rev. gives him a talking to. The Rev thinks he should take Jenni far from the house as it scares her and makes her think she is crazy. Eric refuses as if they left, it would mean Jenni is crazy. I guess that reasoning makes sense, but it still seems a bit off to me.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

Later eric finally find Micjey, grabbing him and questioning him, scaring Mickey and Jenni. Mickey says it isn’t him, but Eruc doesn’t listen tossing him aside. This is Another side to Eric. He has quite the temper.

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Jenni feels bad about Eric’d behavior toward Mickey, as she believes what is going on is all in her mind. I’m not so sure Jenni, there’s something rotton in the state of Denmark.

So Eric decides to burn the picture of Marian as it reminds Jenni of her mother, and is what Eric says is the root of Jenni’s current madness. They create a bonfire and Eric forces Jenni to light the match, even though she doesn’t want ti. As thepicture burns there is a huge screech!

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

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

Eric says it is only the peacocks, but is it?

dun-dun-duuuun

We are show the garden where the pond bubbles, the flowers at Marian’s grave are uprooted, and shrieking is heard. Sounds like Marian is not happy to be destroyed.

Th deed is done and Eric asks Jenni to help him bury the ashes. Jenni feels worse after the act, as if it’s not over yet.

Jenni Whitlock: She’ll come back…she’ll come back.

Jenni spreads the ashes while Eric waters them down. As she is spreading them, she unearths a SKULL!!!!!

The-Screaming-Skull-1958

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

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

She screams for Eric, but he doesn’t see anything.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Jenni faints, and while she is knocked down, Eric touches the skull, picking it up and hiding it somewhere.

OMG gasp

Aha! He is behind it! I knew it!!! This isn’t Rebecca, it’s Gaslight!

Eric places the skull in the pond and heads back to Jenni. Little does he know, Mikey was watching the whole time.

Tht night Eric has to go out of town. Jenni is freaked, but Eric tries to calm her down. The Rev. comes over to drop off some eggs for Jenni. Eric takes the Rev outside and tells him what happened, saying he saw “nothing”. What a jerk.

Jerk

Of course the Rev buys his bleeding heart routine. Eric also tells the Rev. “something I never told anyone.” When Jenni was in the mental hospital she tried to do away with herself.

So that’s his plan! Make his wife look crazy, murder her, and have everyone think it a suicide. After all you can’t have two accidents in a row.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

What? I think what? Yeah that’s right. I think he killed his first wife too. Probably wanted her money, and then when he ended up with none, decided to remarry and kill his second bride,

So Eric tells the Rev. he thinks Jenni will try again unless he get her to the hospital tonight. After tonight they are never coming back to the house.

Eric goes back in and talks to Jenni. She tells him the Rev. was kind. He told her he would search the whole estate for that skull. Jenni shrugs it off as kindness, but Eric is worried.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

If they find the skull,  it will bring up a lot of questions he doesn’t want answered. Jenni goes upstairs to pack. Eric goes looking for the skull, but it is gone!!!!!!!!

Where did it go?

Where did it go?

He spots Mickey and chases after him. Eric grabs him and questions him again, beating him. But Mickey tells him he didn’t take it, Marian took it.

Whattheheck

Eric laughs it off and leaves. After he is gone we see that Mickey does have the skull in his workshop, hidden away. Mickey put the skull in a basket, hidden under a cloth.

Meanwhile, Eric has checked the pond again, finding nothing. He then goes to the grave, hoping the skull is there. But he doesn’t find anything but uprooted flowers. Then when he looks at the grave, instead of her face he sees the SKULL.

Whattheheck

He throws a rock at the grave, angry.

Meanwhile, Mickey has taken his basket of skull over to the Snows’ house. They start questioning why Eric would lie about seeing the skull. Only one reason, he wanted to make Jenni crazy. They all head to the house.

the-screaming-skull-photo-crop

Jenni has finished packing and goes looking for Mickey. She wants to say good-bye, but can’t find him. She goes into the tooshed where she sees a headless body moving!

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

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

She runs for her life, while this ghostly hated figure chases after her.

Inside Eric is preparing a rope, going to hang his wife, when he hears her coming and screaming. She runs up the stairs where Eric is hiding. He grabs her and starts choking her, about to kill her when he hears a knocking at the door.

He goes to answer it, and when he opens it he sees the figure with a skull face!!!!

screamingskulldoorPhoto Jan 29, 4 36 06 PM

Eric backs away, while the figure comes closer. It is wearing the same dress Marain wore in the painting, it must be her!

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

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

The skull winds up on the stair blocking Eric from going up. It tumbles down, chasing him as lightening comes out overhead.

The skull becomes large and astral chasing him, and causing him to fall down. He tries to run and get in his car, but he sees it again! It is everywhere!!

metropolis

The skull jumps on to his neck, biting him in the throat and causing him to fall back into the pond, drowning.

Jenni wakes up and is freaked out. She finds Miraian’s dress on the ground. Just then the calvary show up (the Snows and Mickey) but are too late, and have missed everything. They ask her if she is okay, and she tells them what happened. Crying and completely freaked out.

Rev. Snow goes looking, and finds Eric’s dead body, in the same place Marian was killed. Jenni is confused and wants to know why he did it. The Rev. tells her his suspicions about the money. Now the question is, did Marian really die in an accident? We’ll never know.

They all leave, while Mickey goes to the pond and tells Marian they are gone, she can now rest.

TheEnd_Title_2

This was a great film and I strongly recommend it. The characters are good, the storyline, etc. It is a bit predictable, but that last scene when the skull really attacks, very creepy.

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Back to the facebook cover/mini posters.

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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 He is Coming: The Visitation (2006)

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For more on husbands who are more than what they seem, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more on the Greatest 100 Horror Classics, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more films based on a book, go to There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the Thirteen Guest (1943)

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.

dangerous-crossing-crain-rennie2

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.

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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.

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

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

OMG

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

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

Sounds suspicious

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

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

What?

They are all trying to kill me!

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

I don't know if I can trust you.

I don’t know if I can trust you.

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

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

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

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

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

What?

What?

She tries to hide, but he finds her.

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

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

IT’S THE DOCTOR!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

Screen shot 2015-10-11 at 11.42.16 PM

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

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

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

You're_in_love_with_her

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

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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)