A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

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Why would they all come back?

So this year I am doing something a bit different. I decided that every Friday this year I will review a TV episode instead of a film. I know it kind of goes against the grain, but I just feel bad for those awesome shows that try to make really creepy Halloween episodes or just have great episodes that fit for this. Their still horror, so they count.

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So this episode is from the TV series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. This show came out in the 1970s, the first season alternating every week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The second season saw four crossover episodes, and only three Nancy Drew as the actresses playing her, left the series. Season three was reworked to be just the Hardy Boys. It was a good series while it lasted, I just wish there had been more. If you are interested in watching, all these episodes are currently on youtube, here’s the link if you want to watch this one.

So on to the review:

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At the beginning of every episode we see the Universal logo. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t remade it, I would watch it. But then again they would probably mess it up like they did with Nancy Drew (2007) film.

forgetaboutit

So then we have the awesome intro and amazing intro music.

I love the setup, the book covers in the background, and that music. Ooh! It sends shivers up an down my spine and gets me in the mood for a mystery.

shiver

So the first thing we see is a woman, yelling at Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) about knowing who she is and pulling a knife on her!

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But it turns out that it is just a rehearsal for a play they are doing. Yep, they are tearing down the old theater in River Heights, and using the property to build a youth center. It was Nancy’s idea to put on a play Murder in the 4th Act. 

Unlike the book series, Ned and Nancy’s relationship isn’t clearly defined. Are they going out? Or just good friends? He seems more into her than she into him. As much as I like book Ned, I have to be honest and admit I love the idea of Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy, especially in this series. OTP of the TV series.

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Anyways, so Ned is a bit of an egotistical jerk in the TV series than the book, and this episode is no different. He sent some telegrams to some famous actors: Thelma March, Hollywood actress; Alex Richmond, game show host; Danny Day, TV actor, and Seth Taylor, news anchor- and they all agreed to come. Ned thinks it is because of his brilliance, Nancy thinks it is a bit odd. Why would these famous people be willing to give up their time for free to help a youth center?

The woman Nancy was rehearsing with, Janet Mustane (Pippa Scott), used to perform with these people, choosing to remain in River Heights instead of going off to “bigger things”. She does not seem happy about all those people coming back. Wonder why?

suspicious Hmm

Nancy decides to clean up the stage area and make sure that everything is nice for the “famous” people. As she looks around stage, their is a shadowy figure above her on the catwalk.

Phantom of the Opera

No it’s not him, :(. However there is a story that the theater is haunted by “The Phantom”.

Well, whoever or whatever this is, they decide to take down the chandelier and almost get Nancy with it.

Bad Stuff happens when you don't listen

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

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

Nancy was able to get out of the way in time, but starts thinking that something inky is going on. She checks the cord and sees that it isn’t frayed or old, but was cut.

sabotage

No one believes her though. So its up to Nancy to figure it out.

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The team split up to check over the theater more thoroughly.

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Nancy heads down into the prop room to see if she can figure out what is bringing everyone back. As she is looking, she finds an old playbill from the orginal opening of the play. And it turns out, all of those who are coming back, including Janet, were in the original performance.

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Weird

Weird

So they all show up, but no one can pay the cab, leaving Ned to foot the bill. How odd. How can such huge entertainment giants have no money? Hmmm….

suspicious Hmm

Something else strange is that they all seem to hate each other.

Hate YOu

If they dislike each other, why would they come back to perform with each others? And stay in the hotel across the alley (Janet’s place) rooming with each other?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So they start practicing, when Seth decides that he can’t do the scene without a pipe. He heads down to the prop room, but the lights won’t work.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

You know what that means. Someone’s coming after you.

But instead of looking for a prop he tries to open the window. While he is doing that, our mystery person or ghost knocks a statue over, trying to hurt him.

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

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

He’s fine, but Nancy wonders if there is more going on. Janet is convinced that the Phantom did it, and everyone else thinks it was just an accident; but Nancy knows that something is not adding up.

suspicious Hmm

She notices the light was unscrewed so it wouldn’t work, and that the window is opened. The window shouldn’t be unlocked as Ned checked it earlier, so Nancy is convinced someone came through there. Seth tells her it is stuck, so no one could get through it.

Wait a second!

Wait a second!

Now how would he know that? He was looking for a prop. He must have tried to open the window, but why?

suspicious Hmm

Later that night Nancy tries to get Ned, her friend George Fayne, and her Dad, Carson Drew to investigate with her to find out what is going on, but no wants to help. None are convinced that there is anything more to it then an old building that is falling apart. In fact Mr. Drew thinks they should move the play somewhere else, as that building is probably too old.

forgetaboutit

But Nancy is convinced there is far more to the tale and won’t give up. She notices how all the actors are completely hostile to each other, and there has to be another reason why they would all come that isn’t nostalgia. But what?

The plot thickens

The plot thickens

That night the four visiting actors sneak out of their rooms and head over to the theater. They head down into the prop room and start taking it apart.

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That night, unbeknownst to them, Ned decides to head over and check the place out. You see Ned is very full of himself (I cannot repeat this enough, he is not like that in the book series) and decides that he needs to recheck the light plan as his genius must reflect well on the actors. When he gets there he runs into Julia and Alex disposing of the bricks from the prop room wall.

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This is one of the funniest scenes in the whole episode. Ned asks them what they are doing, and Alex tells him he needs the bricks to make a bed for his back, it is the only thing that can help him sleep. Ned finds it weird, but who is he to question it? He tries to head into the theater, but Julia stops him telling him he needs to go to bed and be well-rested. He says he doesn’t need to because he is young, and then Julia gets offended.

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She yells at him, are you calling me old?

I don't think so

And Ned, like a typical male, knows that it is no time to argue but vamoose.

Run Away

The next day, Nancy discovers the actors all asleep in the dressing room. They wonder what the heck is going on? Ned wakes them up and as they head upstairs to the stage, Ned tells Nancy about everything that happened the night before. Now Nancy is 100%s sure something is up, but what?

strange things are afoot at the circle k

So while they are talking the actors are having their own discussion. They are a bit worried about Nancy as she is always watching them.

creep watching lovely bones Stanley tucci

The other thing that is making them act crazy is they are all completely broke. Everyone has been paying a blackmailer for something they haven’t discussed, just yet. They know one of them must be the blackmailer, but which one is doing it?

suspicious Hmm

So they rehearse, and just as they are about to break up for lunch, a light comes crashing down, nearly hitting some people.

Phantom of the Opera chandelier

Everyone thinks that it is just another accident in an old theater, but Nancy feels that these accidents are too deliberate. As if someone was purposely attacking the people performing. But which one is doing it?

WhoDoneItMystery?

So Nancy tries to get Ned and Mr. Carson to back her again, but they still just think all the mishaps are from an old building falling apart, not a saboteur. Ned says that he heard a door shut and he thinks someone might have been there, but wasn’t sure. George disagrees as she thinks it is the Phantom!

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Nancy decides to put together a plan. She gets some phosphoric paint, and starts painting the areas in the prop room to discover who might be this “Phantom” messing with things.

Afterwards, the actors return and she puts her plan into motion. She turns off the lights and has George turn on the blacklight….and it shows that EVERYONE has the paint on them.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

THEY ALL ARE A PART OF IT!!!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So Nancy overhears them talking and decides there is much more to this story. Time to head to the library and do some research.

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They find the newspaper article and get some answers.

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So Jason Hall went from town to town raising money and investors for the show, promising it would be an amazing thing. In fact he really took River Heights, Nancy’s hometown, for a ride. The play closed before it opened, and it turned out that Jason took off with it all!!!! Or at least that’s what people think because he just disappeared. It turned out that he never had New York critics coming, that he intended to take everyone for a ride. But is that it, or is there more to the story?

suspicious Hmm

She starts thinking about it and everything starts coming together: the disappearance of Jason Hall, they all hate each other, they all are poor, etc. They must have done something to Jason. Someone is blackmailing them and they have no more money left. When they heard that the theater was going to be destroyed they must have decided to come back and clear up whatever evidence  they have before it comes to light with the destruction.

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Nancy thinks she has it figured out, now all she needs is to find the hard evidence to prove her theory.

While they are looking, the actors have been trying very hard to finish what they started. At last they have opened up the wall, and pulled out a sarcophagus. It turns out that Nancy was right. They did kill Jason, they hid the body in the sarcophagus, and sealed up the wall. They have been digging to get it out, so that their crime would not be discovered. And they have finally accomplished it.

When Ned spots them carrying it out, they tell him that Mr. Drew said they could have whatever props they wanted, and Seth wanted this one.

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Nancy sees Ned who tells her about the sarcophagus and Nancy knows instantly, that must be where they put body. She tells her dad, who decides to call in the Sheriff.

As the group is gathered to open it, in walks the Sheriff. He demands to open it and when they do, they discover………………..

come on

Bricks.

Say What

Yes everyone is shocked! What happened? Where is the body?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Everyone but the actors are sent on home, and they talk amongst themselves. Danny thinks that one of them came back and moved the body, only pretending to help dig it out, but which one did it?

WhoDoneItMystery?

That night is the performance and the mystery is bothering Nancy. Who is the blackmailer? What happened to Jason? Who has been sabotaging the theater?

The plot thickens

She finally comes to the conclusion that the only solution that fits, is if Jason IS the blackmailer. Think about it: he somehow recovered from whatever they did to think they killed him and has been blackmailing them since. He must also be the person who has been sabotaging the theater. Yes that has to be it! Before she can tell Ned and everyone her cue comes, and she has to go onstage.

She goes onstage, and has to give everyone champagne, as she plays a maid. As she is giving out the glasses, she smells something odd.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Poison!

Spoke too soon

Nancy stops the play, crushing the glasses and keeping everyone from drinking them. She then yells at George to put on the blacklight. As they scan the audience, they spot one man covered in phosphorus paint. They get him.

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They pull off wig, fake glasses, and pretend nose. And discover that it is Jason. He has been alive the whole time.

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Afterwards the crew met up so Nancy can get the whole story.

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It turned out that Jason was a hustler and conman. He took the money for investing in the play and sent it to a private account in the Cayman Islands. He was planning in leaving the actors holding the bag, and having to pay for his crimes. They discovered this and argued with him, Jason fell and hit his head. They thought they killed him, so they buried the body in the wall, like in Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Black Cat. He escaped at one point and began blackmailing them, while the whole time they thought it was one of the five.

With everything done, the actors decide to finally stop bickering and continue in the play until enough money is raised for the youth center. Another case solved by Nancy Drew!

TheEnd_Title_2

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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)

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For more Nancy Drew, go to I’m So FANcy!

For more mysteries, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more TV series based on books, go to Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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1000000000000 points for Gryffindor as it has Jane Austen in it. (Us poor Slytherins, we’ll never get house cup ever again). So this post was inspired by my ex. Last summer we were watching Sense and Sensibility (1995), as part of a deal we made, and he noticed that a lot of the same actors were in Harry Potter. So I, being the huge nerd I am, decided I would compile a list of actors who crossed over into both worlds.

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Alan Rickman as Severus Snape and Colonel Brandon

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So many of you out there know of Severus Snape the Potions instructor from Harry Potter. He is first depicted as a mean, bulling, horrible teacher who dislikes Harry with a fiery passion.

Snape

 

Harry thinks Severus is a truly evil character, but it is later revealed that Snape is one that you can trust secretly helping and aiding Harry, working as a double agent against Voldemort.

Oh My Bad

He loved Harry’s mother Lily, and tried to do everything in his power to protect her. Loving her ’till he died.

Snape+Lily

Well Alan Rickman played Severus Snape in all the Harry Potter films, and also played Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (1995).

Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. He is rich and of high social standing, but doesn’t allow those customs to dictate the ways of his heart. He continues loving her and caring for her; even though all she thinks of him is an “old man” (he’s not too much older but she is only interested in men of her own age). And even though she may not care for him, he still loves her from afar and wishes her well.

So romantic!

So romantic!

 

When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. When she catches a cold and almost dies he travels a great distance to bring her mother to her. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.

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Both are men who are absolutely romantic, continuing to love their first love and will do anything to help their children. Snape becomes a double agent to protect Harry, all without his knowing. Brandon cares for the daughter of his first love, treating her as if she was his own. They are just amazing characters that you can’t help but love them. Truth be told, I would marry either one.

For more on Snape go to Even After All This Time

For more on Col. Brandon go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

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Elizabeth Spriggs who played the Fat Lady in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone also played Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility (1995).

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The Fat Lady is the portrait that guards the Gryffindor chamber. The kids have to give her the password before they are allowed in.

Mrs. Jennings is Lady Middleton’s mother, Sir John Middleton’s mother-in-law. She is kind and caring, always trying to send the Dashwoods extra food or inviting them to dinner as she knows the family has a fixed budget. She also invites the girls to join her for a season in London, knowing that they could never afford such a luxury. When stupid Willoughby breaks Marianne’s heart, Mrs. Jennings is in her camp and ready to skin him alive. However, her gossipy and meddlesome ways, does at times make her a difficult person to like all the time.

These two characters aren’t very similar, although they both like to state their views. After the first film, they change the Fat Lady, but I don’t care for those depictions as much as I liked Elizabeth Spriggs.

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Now the Sybill Trelawney costume is done so well that many of you probably didn’t recognize her. But Trelawney is played by Emma Thompson not only wrote the Sense and Sensibility screenplay, but also was one of the lead characters, Elinor Dashwood.

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Professor Trelawney is the divination teacher, and I have to side with McGonagall that I feel she makes up more than what she actually sees. But at times she does see things, such as she predicted the destruction of Voldemort. She also predicted the return of Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort.

Elinor is very different from Prof. Trelawney. Elinor is always sensible and quiet, keeping all her feelings and thoughts inside her head, never spouting them off. She is very serious as everything to keep the house going and family together falls on her.

This two are extremely different characters.

For more on Elinor Dashwood, go to On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas

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Gemma Jones is Madam Pomfrey in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows Part 2. She also played Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995).

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In Deathly Hallows, Madame Pomfrey is a great healer. She is able to fix everything, from Hermione’s cat appearance to Harry’s broken arm. She is always in charge, cool, collected, and knows just what to do.

Mrs. Dashwood on the other hand is no where near the level of Madame Pomfrey. Truth be told we never see how she acts pre-grief, but after the death of her husband she loses it. Besides the grief/loss, she is also being kicked out of her home, losing everything she owned, forced to move, and is put in conditions she never thought she would be a part of. She does not cope well, both living in the past and doing nothing; leaving up everything for her daughter Elinor to take charge.

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Unbridge in Harry Potter also plays Mrs. Charlotte Palmer.

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So as Dolores Umbridge she is evil incarnate. I mean the writing lines in your own blood? How horrifying! How does someone like this work around children? Seriously! And keeping Moody’s eye on her door like some great prize!!! What a, I can’t even say the words…just

Jerk

She deserved being beaten (or worse) by the centaurs. She def deserved it.

As Palmer though, she isn’t mean or evil, she is just very loud and prattles on ALL the time. You know the type that never shuts up. She is kind of annoying but you love her relationship with her husband (played by Hugh Laurie)

Mr. Palmer

Anyways, even though Charlotte can be annoying and never stops talking, much better than ugh, Umbridge.

Ugh

Ugh

Despicable Me Umbridge Harry Potter

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Robert Hardy played Fudge in Harry Potter and Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility.

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Now as Fudge, he’s a horrible man. He chooses to be a little ostrich and keep his head in the sand rather than deal with the issues that are abounding. He is also extremely horrible in the way he tries to turn everyone against Harry. He brings dementors to the school and tries to kill Buckbeak. He then becomes so afraid of losing his job as Ministry of Magic that he goes crazy trying to make Dumbledore a villain.

While some find Sir John annoying I think he is a really nice guy. He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life), but he still has a kind and gentle heart. When the Dashwood’s are kicked out of their home, he lets them his cottage for a price far under what it is worth. Not only does he do that, but he invites them over to his house daily, supplying them with food and comfort far beyond their current abilty. He is fiercly loyal and caaring for his friends; standing by Colonel Brandon even when others say things about his rash behavior of breaking up the outing. He even forgives Willoughby after the whole Marianne issue.

These two guys couldn’t be more different.

For more on Sir John Middleton, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

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Ciaran Hinds playes Aberforth Dumbledore

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Now in the films we don’t really get a sense of who Albus is. He only comes in at the very end; helping Ron, Hermione, and Harry sneak into Hogwarts for the final battle. He ends up joining the last fight, even though he promised he would do nothing to help his brother as he still blames him for his sister’s death.

Similar to Persuasion, his character Fredrick Wentworth also knows how to hold a grudge. He is upset at Anne for having rejected him all those years ago, but unlike Albus, forgives her and the two reconcile. However, he is still adorable and wonderful.

lovedyou Persuasion

For more on Captain Frederick Wentworth, go to A Letter of Love

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Fiona Shaw was both Aunt Petunia in Harry Potter and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion (1995)

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Now here are two characters that couldn’t be more different. As Aunt Petunia, Shaw is just horrible. Petunia is a mean, jealous, cruel, abusive woman. She has always been jealous that her sister Lily had the powers and she had none, therefore unable to go to Hogwarts. She unleashes all her unhappiness and issues on her nephew; locking him in a cupboard, practically starving him, letting her child bully him, etc.

Mrs. Croft on the other hand totally rocks! Her and the Admiral’s relationship is so cute as you can see how much the two love each other, so much that Mrs. Croft refuses to stay on land when her husband is at sea, but travels with him as she hates for them to be parted. She also cares deeply about her brother and wants him to be happy. She tries to help him pick the right girl. She is so kind to Anne as well and becomes a dear friend to all.

For more on Mrs. Croft, go to A Frederick Wentworth Sighting

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Now Sophie Thompson is a real wonder, being in two Jane Austen films

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Now in the film Malfida Hopkirk doesn’t play as large a role as she did in the book. In the film she seems to be really a nothing character, only being there so Hermione has someone to change into when she, Harry, and Ron are breaking into the Ministry of Magic.

Now in Persuasion Thomas plays Mary Musgrove, not the most important character but still more crucial. Mary is Anne’s sister and horribly whiny and annoying. She’s like the Mrs. Bennet of Persuasion. She is the younger sister and has always been jealous of her eldest and pretty sister Elizabeth, and the nice, quiet, sensitive, sister, Anne. Whenever one of them gets attention she just goes on and on whining about how unfair it is.

Person hate talking

Ugh I hate her. I’ll be writing on her more later.

As Mrs. Bates she’s not much better. Mrs. Bates is a spinster and unlike Emma, she is poor and dependent on the help of others. She lives through her niece Jane, which subsequently means she will not stop talking about her. Everything makes her think of her, she continuously talks about how perfect she is, ugh so annoying.

Ugh

Ugh

But she is a nice woman, just lonely and unhappy so you can’t totally hate her. But you do understand why Emma has a low tolerance for Jane when she comes to live there.

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Guy Henry plays Pius Thicknesse in Harry Potter and John Knightly in Emma

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Now Pius played a bigger role in the books than they give him in the films. In fact, you hardly spend anytime seing him the film, making him pretty nonexistent.

He plays John Knightly in the Emma (1998). John is so annoying. He doesn’t care what anyone says only what he thinks is right. He is such a wet blanket and AWFUL I have a whole ‘nother post on him.

Pride&PrejudiceDarcypunch

For more on John Knightly, go to Take a Chill Pill John Knightly

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Mark Williams played Arthur Weasley, along with Sir John Middleton from Sense and Sensibility (2008)

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As Arthur Weasley, we have the purebred, albeit poor, wizard. He is deeply interested in muggle things and always asking questions on what is the purpose of this item or that one. He is utterly adorable!

You're so cute

But don’t let that fool you. He still is a butt-kicking member of the Order of the Phoenix and will do anything in his power to take down Voldemort.

He also is a great father to not only his massive brood, but to Harry and Hermione as well.

Now Sir John is kind and adorable but often people find him annoying.  He can be a bit intrusive and a gossip, involving himself in other’s affairs (primarily Colonel Brandon’s love life). Now in this remake they toned it down from how active he was in the book and 1995 version, causing his mother-in-law to be the one who really is the busybody.

He is fiercly loyal and caaring for his friends; standing by Colonel Brandon even when others say things about his rash behavior of breaking up the outing. He even forgives Willoughby after the whole Marianne issue. One of the sweetest guys ever.

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Michael Gambon replaced the original Albus Dumbledore along with Mr. Woodhouse in Emma (2009)

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As Dumbledore, Gambon plays the extremely powerful professor, who has a ton of secrets and never reveals them to Harry Potter, even though most of them have to do with him. He is very wise and personable. Also  loved by all the students.

As Mr. Woodhouse, he’s completely different. After he lost his wife to illness, he shrunk as a man. He became very fearful; everything could cause issues and pain, like cake, going outside, etc.

The two are similar in that tragic deaths in their past changed them significantly, but unlike Mr. Woodhouse, Dumbledore isn’t afraid of the world, but afraid of himself.

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All this resulting in:

SnapeProfTrewlaney

and

MadamePomfreyProfessorTrew

and

fatladycornileusfudge

and

fatladyDoloresUmbridge

and

SnapeFudge

and

dumbledorehopkirk

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 For more on Emma, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

For more on Persuasion, go to Part VII: It Was Said One Night

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys