I Have a Dubious Reputation: The Notorious Landlady (1962)

I have a dubious reputation.

So my mom and I were looking on Amazon for something to watch and stumbled upon this. Neither of us had ever heard of it, and we both think Jack Lemmon is hilarious.

So the film starts off in London with a man being killed, we only see his feet as he is dragged away in a car. Neighbors hear the ruckus, but don’t actually see who is causing it.

Hmm, …

Fast forward some months and  William ‘Bill’ Gridley, (Jack Lemmon), American diplomat, has returned from the Middle East. He is happy to be out of the desert and happy to be closer to America. His first duty is to find a place to live. 

Hmm…

Meanwhile, Mrs. Carlyle Hardwicke, (Kim Novak), has been in the paper and everyone looks down on her. She needs money, but can’t work because she is married. You know how it was back in the day, this quote is from Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1949)

Store Manager: Miss Krausheimer, we understood you were a single woman. As an aid to to the unemployment crisis, it is our policy not to employ married women.

So Mrs. Hardwicke needs money and with her husband MIA she is trying to rent out half her house. No one will take it as they don’t want to rent to a murderess, which all believe her to be.

But of course, newly arrived Bill Gridley has no knowledge of this. He sees the house as perfect location, great rent and wants it.

Mrs. Hardwicke doesn’t want to rent to him as she is already talked about, imagine how it would increase if she has a male boarder! She tries to dissuade him, pretending to be the housekeeper, but Bill sees right through that and insists.

Mrs. Carlyle Hardwicke: To put it plainly, Mr. Gridley, I have a dubious reputation.

William ‘Bill’ Gridley: You DO? I’ll pay you 45 pounds a month.

He gives her the money and the deposit and when he hears she and her husband are not together, asks the beautiful Mrs. Hardwicke out to dinner.

He then goes to work for his boss Franklyn Ambruster (Fred Astaire) who is all about propriety and staying out off the radar. If Bill messes up, Ambruster’s career is on the line.

Franklyn Ambruster: I want you to know that I have no intention of watching you go down the drain and using my career as a raft.

That night he takes the beautiful Mrs. Hardwicke out to dinner and they have a lovely night, except everyone watches and stares at her. All talk, gossip, etc.

Bill sees none of it, just Carly, and falls head over heels in love for her. But before anything could happen, he gets interrupted by a phone call from his boss to come in early the next day. Moment ruined.

That night a man watching Mrs. Hardwicke’s house makes a call. The next day Inspector Oliphant comes to the embassy to speak to Ambruster and Bill. He lets them know all about the case and how they would put him on trial except that there is no body so technically no crime. 

Bill is sure of her innoncence, but the inspector and his boss both want him to spy on her.

Franklyn Ambruster: If you foul up, Gridley, I’ll have you back in the Sahara so fast you’ll think London was a mirage.

William ‘Bill’ Gridley: In other words, if she knows I know, I go.

Franklyn Ambruster: That’s exactly right. And I hope you haven’t taken to talking in rhyme.

Bill sneaks into the house when Mrs. Hardwicke has left to try and get into the closet that she said he was never to use. There’s nothing in there but her husband’s clothes. He starts going through her room and finds a gun!

Ahhh!

But she is a single woman living alone. He puts it in a different place (as soon as I saw that I knew important!!!) and starts to search more But she comes back early!!!

Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of clips of this film, but it is hilarious. Jack Lemmon is great at comedy-physical, verbal, and the faces he makes.

So he doesn’t find anything incrimminating, which is great. But the words that the inspector said to him is really starting to get to him. Carly plans a surprise for him, but all he can imagine is her killing him.

He doesn’t pay attention at the BBQ grill and puts in too much lighter fluid, the fire department is called and his face is landed in every paper.

That’s not good.

Ambuster is furious as this goes against everything he told him he wanted. He doesn’t care that Bill is helping the police, he is sending him back to the Sahara or Iran or as far away from him as he can.

Franklyn Ambruster: Then tell me one good thing about this morning, except that it’s your last one in London.

Bill gets ready to pack up and heads to his office, Armbuster is going to go on with his usual things but is interrupted by Mrs. Hardwicke coming to the office. He is won over by her beauty and charm and has officially joined team Hardwicke.

Franklyn Ambruster: …she couldn’t possibly have done it.

William ‘Bill’ Gridley: [Pointing at himself excitedly and nodding his head] That’s your discovery?

Franklyn Ambruster: With you, it was an opinion. With me, it’s a conviction.

Carly wants Bill out of the house but Bill doesn’t want to leave. She starts acting weird and two men come to “pick up a package”. She tells them to come back the next day and then plays the organ at night.

Even weirder, she’s surprised that Bill heard her playing. Uh….???!!! You weren’t that quiet about it…

She also acts strange about her organ when talking about it.

Hmm…

All embassy business has been thriwn out the window. Bill and Ambuster are on the case. That night they see the man come to the house again to speak to Carly, and she leaves with a package. Armbuster follows her while Bill goes after the man. This is a hilarious chase scene through foggy London.

Bill ends up at a church, where he discovers that Carly sold her beloved organ to get money. That’s why she was being so creepy and weird about it. It was her last time to play her beloved instrument.

Carly gives Ambruster the slip, he ending up in a grave that is being dug. Carly goes to a pawn shop, pawning a silver candelabra.

That night Bill calls Armbuster to find out what he knows and Carly picks up a line and overhears the conversation, ah landlines. She’s furious and refuses to speak to Bill again, wanting him OUT!

That night she is getting ready for bed, when a man is in her room!!!

It’s her husband!!!!!! He wants the money he stole. He killed the man sent to assassinate him and took off to hide out. He struggles with her and she goes for her gun, but it’s not THERE!!!  Darn you Bill. 

Meanwhile, Bill is downstairs calling the inspector and telling him that he will no longer be a spy, he’s done as he is in love with Carly. The inspector has just woken up from the call and is unsure what they are taking about.

Wha??

Bill hears the noises from upstairs in Carly’s room and throws the phone down to help. The inspector hearing Bill being worried, sends the police over.

When Bill gets there he finds Carly standing over her dead husband and the next scene she is on trial.

Now here is the part of the film I don’t get. They put her on trial for killing her husband and there is no acknowledgement of what they did earlier-all those months blaming her for the murder when he was alive! And knowing that she killed him in self-defense they try to make it out to be murder?

Man a good lawyer would rip them to shreds!!!! You know it!!!

So Carly acts kind of weird and doesn’t seem to defend her self.

Now when Bill tries to defend her, the prosecutor really turns his words inside out and sideways.

Huh?

All seems lost until the next door neighbor’s nurse, Agatha Brown, steps in and testifies that Carly was just defending herself. The trial is declared a mistrial and all is good.

Except that Carly doesn’t seem very happy. Bill tries to talk to her but she wants nothing to do with him.

She goes home, Agatha giving her a ride and it appears the nurse is blackmailing Carly. When Bill comes home, the nurse is leaving with a paper, talking about her new room.

Huh?

BIll questions Carly, but she just tells him to leave, going upstairs distraught. She goes into the bathroom with Bill trailing behind and talking to her. He hears the water stop and then nothing.

He calls out his name over and over, but nothing.

That’s not good.

Fearing she might hurt herself, sure, he knocks the door down, but it turns out she is just taking a bath.

Seriously

He questions her and she reveals what happened was that her husband attacked her and wanted the candelabra she had pawned. They fought and she killed him in self-defense. She looks out the window and realizes that Agatha couldn’t have seen anything because she spotted her walking up to the house that night, hoping to get her attention.

So if she didn’t see her than who did…Lady Fallott must have! That means she must know about the candelabra! Agatha isn’t likely to share it so they rush down to the pawn shop to see if the candelabra is still there.

Instead of the candelabra, they find the dead pawn shop owner. They know Lady Fallot must be next and go looking for her.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1958)

Meanwhile, a bobby notices them running off and goes in the pawn shop.

That’s not good.

Carly and Bill go next door and question if they know where Lady Fallott is. While they are doing that, Ambruster stops at the flat to pick up Bill. The two run into a car to the station, heading to Penzance while the police show up.

In Penzance the two search for Lady Fallot, while Agatha is intent on murdering her. As they are scrambling and chasing, the police and Ambruster follow behind. This is a HILARIOUS chase scene all to the theme of The Pirates of Penzance  

I wish I had a clip to share with you all. In the end all is right and Bill and Carly end up together.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Fred Astaire, go to I Won’t Let You Get Away: Holiday Inn (1942)

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 8, Ill Repute

In the last episode I was invited to the opera by the Duke, ugh, and was able to get a preview with help from the Prince. That opera house was where my late mother used to perform. I also got a letter from my father warning me about the countess trying to slander me and that I need to do some husband hunting.

So you were just reading your father’s letter:

Keeping an eye on you!

So I have two goals: one stop all rumors that the Countess is spreading, and two-find me a man. I write back to let me father know that I don’t have anything concrete-no formal proposal or possible engagement.

After finishing my letter, I hurry to Mr. Woods so that he can mail it out before Countess, Miss Sutton, or my step-brother tries to steal it.

I got this!

Mr. Woods and Briar are planning on going off to drop letters off. Briar is such a little flirt with Mr. Woods and with Mr. Marcastle, she’s going to get in some serious trouble. And, as my dearest friend and the one I was raised with, IF she gets a bad reputation, than so will I. I’ve got to keep my eyes on her.

They ask me to come with them. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend my money on that, BUT, if I let her go off-she might do something. Plus, I might run into Mr. Sinclaire. So after some hemming and hawing, I decided to go with them.

Remember how in another chapter I bought a horse?

Since I have her, Fancy is what I named her, I get to ride her around London.

ME!!!

The first person I run into is Mr. Sinclaire.

Hello there!

We give him the letter, and then have to go on our way.

That’s it? That’s all I get?!!

You better have something better for me!! I’m going to be mad if I wasted 19 diamonds!

We get a little back story on Mr. Woods, how he grew up in London and went out to the country-hoping one day to settle down, marry, bring his parents out there.

Briar says how love is the most important thing, that it would be okay to “be as poor as a church mouse” as long as she is with the man she loves. Then why are you messing around with Mr. Marcastle? Hmmm…? Stay with Mr. Woods and leave Marcastle ALONE!

Seriously

We then visit with Mr. Chambers, who’s pants are undone as he was getting it on with another guy. We give him his letter and move on.

That’s it!!!!!????

To be honest, this is soooooooooooooooooo boring! I WOULD NOT buy this at all if I was you!

Just skip that “adventure”.

And I know that this is present thinking on the past to include a gay character and have nobody care-but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the widespread view. I mean in Regency times, sodomy was illegal-and faced severe punishment. I mean it was there, it did happen, look at Oscar Wilde. Anyways…

Moving on…

Later at home, Miss Parsons pay me a visit and brings a little puppy pug. Her sister’s dog had puppies, and offers me one-but I don’t have enough diamonds to purchase one. I don’t really want one as all I can think of is in Mansfield Park where the Mrs. Bertram has a pug.

“She was a woman who spent her days in sitting, nicely dressed, on a sofa, doing some long piece of needlework, of little use and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children…” –Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Afterwards, Miss Parsons and I head over to the opera house in Prince Hamid’s luxurious carriage. We are discussing things, and Prince Hamid tells me how he has heard awful things about me…but he still likes me:

Of course I am, because:

So we get to the Opera where the Duke is trying to get all over me-

I’m not interested!

The Viscount Westonly is trying to get with Miss Parsons, and I’m trying to help her avoid him. Her family is trying to marry her off to anyone with money, they don’t care that he is a seven wife widower. Hmm…did they die of natural causes or…!

Murdered!!!!!

Just kidding, it was natural causes…I think.

Hmmm…

At the Opera, Mr. Chambers also joins us and, ugh, Miss Holloway.

Miss Parsons mentions that she hasn’t seen Mr. Sinclaire at the opera and the Duke gives a commit that Mr. Sinclaire visits other costumed ladies-ladies of the night!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t believe this!

Could Mr. Sinclaire be a skeez? I know the Duke is one. The whole performance he keeps trying to touch me and comments about how he wants to see me-see me naked is more like it-ugh.

After the opera, instead of having my ride with the Prince and Miss Parsons, the Duke’s sent them all away.

Should I stay in the carriage and risk being assaulted by him?

There aren’t a lot of choices for women in the 1800s.

I spot Mr. Sinclaire and follow him. He is on his way to do something, and invites me along. I know it isn’t proper to go off with him, but what other choices do I really have? At least I know he will keep his hands to himself.

We go off as Mr. Sinclaire is giving food and clothing to people who live in the poorer areas. He is amazed that I would go with him, but first-he hasn’t been a woman trying to fight off the Duke, and second-he’s forgotten how I grew up. A little dirt won’t bother me, and I remember what it was like to have little.

Mr. Sinclaire is a very charitable and kind person, he thinks that no matter where or what station you are born, you should be treated right. So then why did he act like a jerk the first time I met him? He almost ran me down and then:

Right when I’m thinking that, he apologizes for any way he treated me that wasn’t right. Did he just read my mind?

I don’t apologize for the way I thought about him:

We walk along together, and then Mr. Sinclaire shares his feelings with me, but we get interrupted by rain! Romance always blooms more in rain!

After he holds me close, he calls a carriage and takes me home. It turned out to be a nice night…

That is until I get home and Grandma is there!

That is not good,

She’s heard the rumors that have been spreading about my “reputation” and has set out to control my London season.

She wants me with the Duke and will do whatever she can to catch him. I want nothing to do with that guy.

I don’t want to do this.

So with Grandma coming, how will it go?

Keep reading to find out! Or play the game yourself!

For more Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 7, Opera St. James

For more choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 6, An Intimate Affair

For more on the Opera, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 7, Opera St. James

In the last episode I had a dinner party with Mr. Sinclaire, and learned all about his real wife and the ugly side of the Duke. The two of us have grown closer together, and I don’t mind admitting I’m falling for the Mr. Darcylike man.

In this episode I’m invited to the opera, so first stop the clothing store!

You have the option of buying a beautiful dress, but as I’ve been invited to go with Duke Richards, yuck-I’m not buying anything nice. I’m just going to wear an old dress. He doesn’t need anything special.

The one I bought for the dinner will do nicely.

Poor Miss Parsons, we talk and she discusses a horrid date she had. It is with a gross old man, ugh, the girl can’t catch a break. Too bad my brother died or we could have been sisters.

As I head out of the shop, I run into Prince Hamid. You all remember him, the man who rescued Miss Parsons and I when Mr. Marcastle left us stranded in London.

He’s with the Duke, ugh! Can this guy just get lost!

The Duke

The Duke is planning on taking you and Miss Parson’s to see Handel’s Almira and is surprised to hear that I know of it. Seriously dude, my mama was an opera star.

Princess Almira has inherited the throne from her father, but he wishes that she marries someone from the House of Consalvo. The House of Consalvo has one son, but Princess Almira is not interested in him, and he only wants her for wealth and power. Instead, Princess Almira is in love with a man who has unknown parentage, Fernando. There are a lot of twists and turns in the opera, will it end happily or in tragedy?

So this makes me think of two things: first of all-wow what a crazy coincidence! That’s what’s kind of happening in my life.

And secondly:

Back to the game, Prince Hamid offers to pick you up when we go to the opera, but ugh the Duke is taking you. Bah.

Ugh, this guy!

However, the Duke has other business to attend to-so Prince Hamid offers to take you over early to the opera. Here is your chance to get a closer look at who your mother was!

I’ll get the secrets!

I go into the opera house and feel melancholy as I wished I had asked my mother more questions. I meet an actress who tells me my mother was an amazing singer, she was a big star until she became pregnant. They invite you to stay to watch, and as much as I love to I turned it down.

The stage is no place for a respectable girl, and I need to protect my reputation-I have Mr. Marcastle to deal with. And he is just waiting for an opportunity like this.

When you go home, you have a big surprise. Luke Harper is there with a letter from your father!

The hunt is on,

But which man do I want? It’s up to you to decide! Plus you have to fight the rumors that the Countess is spreading.

For more on Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 6, An Intimate Affair

For more on Choices, go to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

For more on the opera, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

For more ABBA, go to Dancing Queen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Book Club Pick: Far Side of the Sea

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 6, An Intimate Affair

 

So in the last episode your father made you his heir and gave you a London season! You and Miss Parsons traveled to London, you on your own horse,

Only to have Mr. Marcastle plot against you and try and keep you from arriving. You make it out okay and meet a Prince. 

You confront Mr. Marcastle angry that he treated you that way, Miss Parsons agreeing with you in her anger. The two of you manage to scare the daylights out of him.

Miss Parsons leaves to go to her sister’s house, as they are expecting her, while you return to your father’s townhouse and spot your friend and ladies’ maid Briar canoodling with Mr. Marcastle.

Forget you!

Now Mr. Marcastle is your evil engaged (as in very not single) stepbrother trying to sully your reputation and Briar was your best friend from back home. But is she really your friend as she is trying to have a relationship with Mr. Marcastle, your enemy!

This is soooooooooooooooooooooo bad for you. Can you imagine the kind of reputation you will get when this comes out.

And Briar what are you thinking? He’s evil! He’s plotting against me!!!! You are suppose to distrust him not jump him!!!! You are a bad friend.

See Hook agrees with me.

Plus he is engaged!

C’mon Briar, you are smarter than that!

So I am going to Mr. Sinclaire’s tonight for a dinner party, so Miss Sutton and I go shopping. I decided to buy the dress as I want to impress Mr. Sinclaire.

And I have to say out of any clothing purchase I have made this one does affect the game. Mr. Sinclaire sees me in my red dress and can’t look away.

He compliments me in front of Miss Holloway.

What?

Ugh, Miss Holloway is just as bad as Caroline Bingley. She keeps trying to make fun of me and drag me down, but is struck down by Mr. Sinclaire’s compliments. Very reminiscent of a certain scene:

Boom, shut up Miss Holloway/Miss Bingley.

Miss Holloway tries to make you seem an illiterate buffoon, but Mr. Sinclaire comes to your aid. He also takes you to his extensive library…

Hold up- Stop right there.

He’s perfect I’ve decided-he’s the man for me. You know me:

He then pulls a book off the shelf and reads a page to me, it is William Shakespeare’s book of sonnets, Sonnet 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

After he reads to you, he offers you the book. It costs 15 diamonds, but I don’t care, you know me:

It looks like I just have one thing left to get-Painting, maybe?

Miss Holloway makes a snide comment about your birth and then the Duke storms in-uninvited.

Ugh, I hate this dude. I hate people who do that-just show up uninvited and expect others to accommodate them. Such jerks.

Then not only does he do that but muscles his way next to me-no I don’t want him to like me-ugh!

This upsets the table with Mr. Chambers having to sit next to a man instead of a woman. Table settings are super important- remember A Change if Fortune

“Custom, however, has lately introduced a new mode of seating. A gentleman and a lady fitting alternately round the table, and this, for the better convenience of a lady’s being attended to, and served by the gentleman next to her. But notwithstanding this promiscuous seating, the ladies, whether above or below, are to be served in order, according to their rank or age, and after them the gentlemen, in the same manner. – John Trusler, p 6 from Regency Manners: Seating at Table at janeaustensworld.wordpress.com

Mr. Chambers doesn’t really care as he’s gay and is next to a very interested member of the party.

After dinner, you all go off to the drawing room. Mr. Sinclaire and you meet up aside from the others and he warns you off Duke Richards. Why does he dislike him so? And why is he so interested in who you might marry?

Mr. Sinclaire becomes so furious with the Duke he takes off on an errand…you have the option to follow. What do you do?

I followed him outside even though that wasn’t really acceptable in Regency time. It turns out that Mr. Sinclaire had an unfaithful wife, one that became involved with Duke Richards. It is very Rebecca:

Oh my gosh! Duke Richards totally makes me think of Jack Favell

The two of you have a heart to heart, Mr. Sinclaire baring his soul to you. He worries that maybe I would have been better off in the village then the shark infested society. But we still enjoy our time together.

Afterwards we go inside and join the party. They ask me to play and I blow them all away, thanks to the lessons by Miss Parsons.

 

The party ends later, you saying a fond farewell to Mr. Sinclaire.

The next morning you are awoken by Miss Parsons and Briar. You’ve been invited to the Opera St. James. The Opera St James!!! That’s where your mother used to perform!!! Will the night be fun…or a flop?

For more Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 5, The Road to London

For more on Choices, go to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

For more on William Shakespeare, go to Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 5, The Road to London

So in the last episode your father and grandmother planned a garden party for you. You learned to dance properly, and was having a great time with Mr. Sinclaire. You to play nine pins with him, and you dance with him. You also meet the jerky Duke, ugh, and your father promises you a London season.

The London season started as both Houses of Parliament were in session, and as not everyone finds politics interesting, they needed more entertainment.

Women would meet the Queen; along with attending dinner parties, balls, musicals, the opera/theater, etc. Some were going for entertainment, to renew friendships, and most importantly-catch a man.

So back to the game-your grandma gets you ready for the season. You won’t be the only one trying to catch a man, as there are many other ladies-but the one for you to watch out for is Felicity Holloway. Her father is a viscount and she will be your biggest rival in catching an eligible man.

Afterwards, you and Miss Parsons go for a walk. Both of you feel uncertain about being “out” in society. It is unsettling to be a piece of meat up for auction.

Miss Parsons is having an extremely hard time as she was engaged to your brother. She didn’t love him, but respected, admired, and was his friend. What if the next man she is engaged to is cruel? Mean? Have nothing in common with each other?

I don’t want to do this

Your grandmother offers you a new riding suit for 25 diamonds, but I turned it down. I’ll wear what I have as that was what you would typically do. With all the dust, dirt, etc-why wear something new?

It still is a beautiful dress.

You and Miss Parsons are heading off to London together. When you reach the city you will split, as Miss Parsons will stay with her sister and you at your father’s townhouse with Miss Sutton and your stepbrother Mr. Marcastle.

So not fun…

Stuck with the schemers ugh. Well, you know what they say-

Before you leave, you have the choice of purchasing your own horse. In all the other games I never bought an animal companion, but thought it would be interesting to see how it plays out.

So I ride my horse the whole way to London, which makes no sense as I’m not an experienced rider nor does side saddle seem like it will be comfortable over such a distance.

What is this?

We stop for a picnic where we lament a bit more about the marriage market, and a market it is. Everyone competing, each man sizing up a woman’s fortune and physical attributes.

You arrive in London, but there is no one there to meet you.

That is not good,

It is a very dangerous situation for two unescorted ladies, but then to your luck you meet Prince Hamid. He is a friend of your father and escorts you two to your townhouse. When you arrive, he offers to take you around town but I declined. First of all, that would not be appropriate as we have no chaperone, and secondly I didn’t have enough diamonds.

The two of you then go into the townhouse and confront Mr. Marcastles and his mother’s plot to derail you from your London season.

For more Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part II

For more on Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part II

Sorry all, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post. There are just so many things…I’m swamped.

So quick review: In this game you are the illegitimate daughter if the Earl of Edgewater, something you discover on your mother’s deathbed. You meet your father and he accepts you and wants to make you his legal heir, as your half-brother passed away.

You have an evil stepmother and conniving stepbrother, with a dim fiancé. They are plotting against you.

In the last episode your father and grandmother planned a garden party for you. You learned to dance properly, and was having a great time with Mr. Sinclaire. He asks you to play nine pins with him, but I had run out of enough diamonds to purchase the event. I had to wait until I had earned 30 diamonds.

So was it worth the wait? Let’s see?

So Mr. Sinclaire explains the game to you and we are ready to go:

How well you do depends on how close you paid attention to the rules of playing. I did really well and ended up winning the game!

Yay!!!

Your grandmother interrupts you with the Duke’s entrance. After your grandmother’s big to-do about him I was expecting someone more…favorable. Most of these games give you multiple choices of who you want to be with-but the Duke is a total jerk!!!

He seems to like me a lot-which pleases my grandmother and father-but eeyuck! I don’t want him.

This dude

Miss Parsons and I talk about it after and she asks me to join her for a walk but I decline. One, I have no more diamonds to purchase that option, and two-I do need to do my duty and be a good hostess. I mean how would it look if I walked out on a party given in my honor?

Later Mr. Sinclaire asks me to dance and I blow him away with my prowess, thanks to Miss Parsons and her amazing teaching skills! (And my shoes).

I am definitely liking Mr. Sinclaire the most. I think he is rather fun. 🙂

Afterwards my father surprises me with the fact that he has made me his official legal heir I will be going off to London to have a season, (and hook a man).

Will it be a success? Or a flop? Tune in next time to find out!

For more on Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

For more from Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 3, Threading the Needle

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

Poster - Gaslight (1944)_03

…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.

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

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

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

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

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

iLoveyou

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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)