This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

This is fate we’re talking about, and if fate works at all, it works because people think that THIS TIME, it isn’t going to happen!

So many of you say, hey where is the Jane Austen in Horrorfest? Well, we have had Death by Persuasion and Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans TV show High Seas/Alta MarBut I thought I would throw in another film with a Jane Austen connection. Because, you know:

Yes, while they were filming this-producer Lindsay Doran discovered that Emma Thompson loved Jane Austen. They spent a lot of time talking about Austen and her books:

“I got to know Emma very well over the course of the twelve-week shoot, and it wasn’t long before we discovered our mutual passion for Jane Austen. It was clear that she knew the books by heart, and that her appreciation of them was not of the dry, academic sort she enjoyed them, and she loved their wit as much as she admired their intelligence.” Lindsay Doran, from The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film

Doran than watched Emma’s show Thompson, and after seeing the writing and acting there-asked her to write Sense and Sensibility. Yes, without this film, this film never would have been born-or a less wonderful version would have been created.

So let’s review Dead Again

This film struck my interest when a patron checked it out at the library. So, of course, when it came back I had to check it out and watch it. It is a film-noir, murder mystery romance.

Film Noir

So the film starts off in black and white in the 1940s-amazingly with newspaper stories and headlines about the Musical Murder of Margaret Strauss by her Conductor Killer, Roman Strauss. Actress Margaret (Emma Thompson) was stabbed by scissors and her conductor husband Roman, (Kenneth Branagh) put on death row for the murder. As he approached the electric chair, journalist, Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), goes to hear the last words-Roman saying that this is far from over.

Now in color it is 50 years later-a woman (Emma Thompson) with no memory and can’t talk is in an orphanage.

The nuns and priest have been taking care of her-but it appears the help she needs is much more than what they can offer. They hire Michael Church, (Kenneth Branagh) a private detective who was raised at the same orphanage, to take her to the asylum and discover who she is.

Laura

Michael Church (Kenneth Branagh) is known for being able to find “anything” and “anybody”. He has just found Dr. Cozy Carlisle (Robin Williams) psychologist turned store owner who’s been hard to discover. He gets the call and heads to the orphanage.

Ready for any case

Michael inspects all that they know about the unknown woman and discovers she has a Claddagh ring-an Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship-but only one band, the other is missing. He takes her to his friend at the newspaper who takes her picture and they plan on it being printed in tomorrow’s edition. Church then goes to take the woman to the asylum, but after seeing how horrible it is-takes her to his home. Just because it looks bad-like it has nothing to do with the fact she is a pretty woman?

The woman experiences nightmares, a fear of scissors, and screams out Dysher. The next day, Church gets all kinds of calls about the woman-but all are just cranks. But then, Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi), comes calling. He is an antique dealer and hypnotist who wants to help. He regresses the woman and we shift to black and white-to the Strausses.

Los Angelas Late 1940s

Margaret was an actress-beautiful, English, and beloved by all. She went to a concert and saw conductor Roman Strauss and was struck by him. Roman was from Europe, and escaped the Nazis, his wife dying in the escape.

Roman is just as struck as her and the two date, fall in love, and marry. Roman gifts her the Claddagh ring, with a matching one, and a very expensive anklet.

Roman Strauss: The man I bought it from explained to me that, when a husband gives it to his wife, they become two halves of the same person. Nothing can separate them… not even death.”

They marry and at the wedding, a Mr. Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), writer, comes as the date of someone. He is enamored of Margaret and actually tries to flirt and charm her at HER wedding-ugh this dude.

I’m out!

Understandably, Roman is very upset and does not like him.

Margaret “doesn’t” understand his feelings as she loves Roman.

The two are in love and happy-except for one thing. Margaret hates Roman’s servants -Inga and her son Franky. She thinks they don’t like her and they keep usurping her authority. She wants to be rid of them, but they saved Roman’s life. He never would have made it out of Germany without them.

After the regression, the woman can speak. They look over the Strauss story in Life magazine, located in the antique shop. They see a resemblance between the Strausses and them and that the orphanage where they both spent time, was the old Strauss mansion.

Spooky…

Church gives the woman the name Grace, and then goes to see Dr. Carlisle to talk about what happened. Dr. Carlisle tells him some cases where he worked with patients and regression helped solve the issues. He thinks they should continue to see the hypnotist and see what comes of the Margaret and Roman story. 

Hmmm

Grace and Church spend a lot of time together and fall in love.

They have sex and the next day a man shows up claiming that Grace, real name Katherine Sharpe, is his fiance. He has all the answers to Church’s questions, until he catches him in a lie about gloves. The man takes off and Church tries to catch him-but the man gets away.

Why would they want Grace? WHO would want her?

Hmmm

Church and Grace go back to the hypnotist where Grace regresses more…

Los Angeles Late 1940s

They Strausses are having a few cracks in their relationship. As Roman is not involved in Hollywood, he is seen as a “nobody” and is trying to write an opera but suffering from writer’s block. They are at a party and no one wants to talk to “nobody Roman”.

Margaret gets approached by Gray and the two go outside to talk. Gray is so in love with her it is super obvious-and Margaret should not be feeding it. Gray asks to “look” at her anklet, and she obliges-he holding her leg up to take a “closer look”. Really…really now?

Margaret, can’t you see how this is something you as a married woman should bot be doing with a man who is not your husband? Hmmm….?

Seriously

Roman sees them and becomes understandably furious, punching Gray in the face  (not understandable) which knocks him in the pool. They try to make it sound as if Roman is a jealous brute, making a big deal out of nothing-but I have to disagree. This guy started trying to get with Margaret at her wedding-and he’s still trying. Even though Roman shouldn’t have punched him-he totally deserved it.

The Margaret and Roman get in a fight-with it ending as Roman confesses his insecurities.

Later Margaret catches Frankie in her jewelry and tries to get Roman to fire them, but again he refuses. Gray calls Margaret, which Roman accidentally overhears. He questions her abut the call but she lies to him.

Later, Margaret was lying in bed when she is stabbed-by Michael Church!

Grace wakes up from her trance angry, confused, and scared. Michael takes her home but she flips out convinced that he will kill her.

In order to calm her, Church decides to regress as well. What he discovers changes everything. Will they figure out this mystery and solve it before another murder? Or will history repeat itself?

Hmm…

I liked how the movie was in color for the present and then reverted to the past. I thought it was pretty intriguing with a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming were thrown in very well. And now that I have seen the film, that poster is sop perfect and obvious. It is well worth a view for fans of Spellbound and film-noir

The end is a little cheesy, but Im not sure how else they could have had an ending that satisfied the viewer. I didn’t want to give away the end, so if you’s like to watch it, click here.

For more film-noir, go to Do You Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Turned into Something You Never Intended?: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

For more private detectives, go to Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

For more on Sense and Sensibility (1995), go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more on Lindsey Doran, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more on Robin Williams, go to Diamond in the Rough

Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

It’s Time for an Animated Film!

Every year we review an animated film and this year it is:

I’ll always look back on that first with the most fondness; my introduction to Basil of Baker Street, the great mouse detective

So guess what guys! Bonus Disney film and bonus Vincent Price!

This was one of my upmost favorite films growing up. I don’t think I could ever fully explain how amazing this film is-it is just too good.

So the original story is a book Basil of Baker Street, which was awful-don’t read it. Instead, when Disney went into production they borrowed from The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and other of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works.

As my costume this year was Sherlock Jane Holmes Austen, I knew I had to review it.

Mystery, you say?

The main character Basil of Baker Street is a mousified version of Sherlock Holmes-a mix of Leslie Howard and Basil Rathbone (where his name comes from). This film not only has a great main character but the best Disney villain of all time, Ratigan.

Played by Vincent Price-this guy gives Professor Moriarty (Sherlock’s archnemsis) a real run for his money.

This film starts of with father and daughter-Hiram and Olivia Flaversham. Hiram is a toy inventor and is celebrating with the apple of his eye, Olivia. Unfortunately, her birthay is interrupted with intruders.

He quickly hides his daughter and then is kidnapped. 

Meanwhile, in London, Dr. David Q. Dawson has just arrived from Afghanistan, newly retired from the war. He’s looking for a place to stay and to begin his practice.

Dr. Dawson: Little did I know that my life was about to change forever.

He sees little Olivia trying to make her way down the street without being run over, and feels sorry for her. She tells him she is looking for the famous detective, and shows him a newspaper clipping. He agrees to help her, and off they go.

When they arrive at 221 1/2 Baker Street, Basil is not there. They decide to wait when they are interrupted by a strange looking mouse.

Yes, it is Basil of Baker Street, the Great Mouse Detective.

Put my crime-solving cap on.

Olivia tries to talk to him, but he ignores her…until she mentions a certain little fact:

Olivia Flaversham: I didn’t lose him. He was taken by a bat.

Basil: Did you say… bat?

Olivia Flaversham: Yes.

Basil: Did he have a crippled wing?

Olivia Flaversham: I don’t know, but he had a peg leg.

Basil: Ha!

Dr. Dawson: I say, do you know him?

Basil: Know him? That bat, one Fidget by name, is in the employ of the very fiend that was the target of my experiment! The horror of my every waking moment. The nefarious Professor Ratigan!

Dr. Dawson: Ratigan?

Basil: He’s a genius, Dawson. A genius twisted for evil. The Napoleon of crime!

Dr. Dawson: As bad as all that, eh?

Basil: Worse! For years I’ve tried to capture him, and I’ve come close, so very close, but each time he’s narrowly evaded my grasp! Not a corner of London is safe while Ratigan is at large. There’s no evil scheme he wouldn’t concoct. No depravity he wouldn’t commit. Who knows what dastardly scheme that villain may be plotting even as we speak.

From here we fade out to take a look at the villain-Ratigan (Vincent Price). His plan is to have Haversham create a toy mouse Queen, kidnap the real Queen, and use his toy/puppet to rule all mousedom. After his amazing reveal and we have THE BEST VILLAN SONG OUT OF ALL THE DISNEY VILLAN SONGS!!

So debonair, so evil, so classy, so demented, etc. He has it all. Fantastic!

Meanwhile, Fidget goes looking for the girl and to find out what Basil has unearthed. They spot him and the chase is on-after a quick stop to Sherlock Holmes’ flat (Sherlock Holmes speaks with the voice of Basil Rathbone. Since Rathbone was already deceased it was edited from his reading of the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for Caedmon Records in 1966).

In the flat they pick up Toby, a dog, and track Fidget down to a toy store:

Olivia is stolen, but luckily they found the list and Basil uses al his power of deduction to find Ratigan’s lair.

It is time to suit up and head out. The two disguise themselves as sailors and head down to a tavern on the waterfront.

Bar Maid: What’ll you have?

Dr. Dawson: I’ll have a dry sherry, with, oh, perhaps a twist of…

Basil: Two pints for me and my shipmate. Oh, by the way. We just got into port. We’re looking for an old friend of mine. Maybe you know him. Goes by the name… of Ratigan! [Everyone at the bar gasps and turn to Basil]

Bar Maid: I… never heard of him.

Basil is on high alert and notices that the drinks have been roofied. But it is too late for Dawson who causes a giant scene:

When I was a kid I never noticed how racy this was. It almost didn’t make it in the final cut. I just remember enjoying the song.

Oh, well

So they get out of there and follow Fidget, but it turns out to be a trap. Ratigan has outwitted Basil. He takes his robot Queen, the Flavershams, and his crew and set off to fulfill his evil plan.

Let’s stop and talk about how awesome this scene is:

  1. Ratigan’s enthusiasm and how he can’t settle on one so he does all his ideas.
  2. How Basil figures out this plan and incorporates it, calculating in like a minute.
  3. When he is free the first thing he does is change back into his “uniform”.
  4. Basil catches Olivia as she is thrown through the air just like that.
  5. And he stops to have his picture taken.

Meanwhile, Ratigan has fooled the queen, abducted her, and has established his Robot Queen who has given him all the power.

Ratigan: I have the power!

Robot Queen: Of course you do.

Ratigan: I am supreme!

Robot Queen: Only you.

Ratigan: This is my kingdom! [maniacal laugh] That is, of course, with your highness’ permission. [the robot is idle; Ratigan slaps it to start it again]

Robot Queen: Most assuredly… you insidious fiend.

Ratigan: What?

Robot Queen: You’re not my royal consort!

Ratigan: [to crowd] Such a sense of humor.

Robot Queen: You’re a cheap fraud & impostor!

Ratigan: [under his breath] Flaversham!

Basil: [operating the robot] A corrupt, vicious, demented, lowlife scoundrel. There’s no evil scheme you wouldn’t concoct. [the robot goes crazy and breaks apart]

Robot Queen: No depravity you wouldn’t commit. You, professor, are none other than a foul stenchus rodentus, commonly known as a…

Ratigan: Don’t say it!

Basil: …Sewer rat!

Yes Basil came in just the nick of time. Ratigan escapes with Olivia and Basil and Dawson are on the train again. Basil crashes into Ratigan and they wind up in Big Ben and we have one of the most amazing scenes in Big Ben-and one of the scariest.

Back at Baker Street Hiram and Olivia leave to go home and get back to their lives-

Olivia Flaversham: Goodbye, Basil. [sniffles] I… I’ll never forget you.

Basil: Nor I you, Miss… Miss Flangerhanger.

Dr. Dawson: [chuckles] Whatever.

Afterwards, Dawson is going to go about what he originally planed t do, but Basil likes having a best friend.

Dr. Dawson: Well, it’s time I was on my way too.

Basil: But… umm… but I thought…

Dr. Dawson: Well, the case is over, and perhaps… well perhaps it’s best I found my own living quarters.

Basil: But…[Knock on doorOh, now who could that be?

[Dawson opens door; a lady mouse is standing there]

Lady Mouse: Is this the home of the famous Basil of Baker Street?

Dr. Dawson: Indeed it is, miss. You look as if you’re in some kind of trouble.

Lady Mouse: Oh, I am. I am.

Dr. Dawson: Then you have come to precisely the right place.

Basil: Ah, allow me to introduce my trusted associate Dr. Dawson, with whom I do all of my cases. Isn’t that right, doctor?

Dr. Dawson: Oh? Why, yes. By all means.

Basil: As you can see, Dawson, this young lady is from the Hampstead district, and is troubled about the mysterious disappearance of an emerald ring in the third finger of her right hand. Now, tell me the story, and pray, be precise.

And that is just the beginning-many more adventures are to cme. Although sadly they didn’t make any more movies. I don’t know why not!

It is such an amazing film, and I watched it over and over and over again as a child.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

For more The Great Mouse Detective, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more private investigators, go to Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

For more Vincent Price, go to Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more Disney films, go to One Who Was Both Hero and Villain: Maleficent (2014)

Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Did the niece poison Mrs. Harlowe?

So I have been wanting to watch this movie Gosford Park for a while and when I saw it was returned to the library-I was so excited! Unfortunately, it was dirty and would not play for me.

I didn’t have any other movie planned and decided to fill the place I would choose something that was on my Amazon Prime queue suggested list.

So this movie is based off a book and is the second remake, (3rd version of the story) filmed in and by a production crew in England.

On with the review!

The story takes place in France, the old stately Lady Harlowe, has just died. Her brother-in-law, Boris Waberski, thinks that he will inherit everything- he has even borrowed against his future gains-but to everyone’s surprise-the money is left to her adopted niece-Betty Harlowe!

Boris becomes so angry he accuses Betty of murdering his sister-in-law. They have the body exhumed and it turns out that she was poisoned.

Uh oh

Betty’s friend, Ann Upcott, is worried and sends to England for help. Jim Frobisher arrives to investigate, aiding the very intelligent and top french detective, Inspector Hanaud.

I found the story very boring

Meh.

And the inspector a complete rip off Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. You have the accented inspector-“the greatest mind in the world” and an old manor house with a “locked room mystery” and puzzles. Except Poirot was much better.

I think it was incredibly boring and that the characters were just too bland. Skip the film if I were you.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

For more private investigators, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more remakes, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

Those men are not going to stand for Nancy Drew poking her little nose into their affairs.

First saw this when I was staying in Wyoming. I was renting a room from a family and was happy to see they had cable as my family had gotten rid of it years ago. Finally I could watch TCM!

And what did they happen to be showing?  1930s Nancy Drew Marathon!

So Nancy Drew was published in 1930 and became extremely popular. The film rights were bought and movie contract for a few films starring Bonita Granville.

They do get one thing wrong instead of Ned, he is “Ted” Nickerson. Why? Don’t know.

This book is based on the Nancy Drew Mystery The Password to Larkspur Lane with a few changes here and there. That’s enough background:

Nancy Drew is the chairman of the committee presenting Miss Mary Eldridge an award.Mary Eldridge is donating to her old alma mater-$250,000 ($4.4 million in today’s cash). She plans to go and sign the papers at Carson Drew’s (Nancy’s dad) office after they finish this meeting. The money is to go to a swimming pool-the girls vote.

Great choices

The next day wait for Miss Elridge-planning on presenting her with a trophy. But she doesn’t come. She has ran away.

It all so odd.

Suspicious

The lawyer, Mr. Hollister, says that she is a hypochondriac and very eccentric. She does stuff like this all the time. Does she really?

Hmm…

All the ladies become angry that they won’t get their pool and turn on Nancy and Mrs. Eldridge. Nancy thinks something more serious is up and sets on to find her.

Nancy is out driving to Mrs. Elridge and spots something, in her rearview mirror: it is Dr. Spires being kidnapped! She follows the car and tries to get the license plate but it is so muddy all she sees os a “08”. She then gets a blowout and the chase is over.

Ugh

Dr. Spires calls Mr. Drew leaving him a cryptic message and that he needs him to come right away.

When they get there Dr. Spires tells them his story. He was kidnapped and brought to an old house, were he was blindfolded and only saw the inside. Inside was an injured elderly woman being held against her will and he treated her hurt shoulder. They let him go but he saw nothing and knows not how to find them. All he does know is when they came to the gate one of the guards said the word bluebell. They threatened his life if he told but he risks letting Carson know.

When the Drews leave Dr. Spires, two guys are watching them and decide to follow the duo.

The two don’t realize they are being followed and head to the police, the two men knowing that Dr. Spires let the truth out…

Captain Tweedy, (Frank Orth), the police chief, is no real help. Nancy is much smarter than him, and Tweedy feels there is nothing he can work off on.

Sorry, can’t help you. Good-bye.

I love how quick Nancy’s mind it, and how sarcastic she can be. She doesn’t like Captain Tweedy and neither do I.

Nancy and Mr. Drew discover a car is following them and Nancy does evasive measures and tries to follow them, but Mr. Drew essentially “grounds” her from investigating. But will Nancy listen?

Meanwhile, next-door neighbor Ted Nickerson (Frankie Thomas) is practicing for football and runs into Nancy’s yard. Ned Ted’s friend Spud Murphy comes over to speak to Ned as he found a carrier pigeon on his coop, but it isn’t his bird. He wants Ted to announce the pigeon over his radio. Nancy looks at the message and sees that it says “shoulder okay bluebells”

Nancy knows it is important evidence and leaves the bird with Ted for safekeeping while she goes to her father with the new evidence. But Dad doesn’t want her involved anymore-Dr. Spires was badly beaten, and he doesn’t want that to happen to his daughter.

Nancy returns to Ted and wants to take the pigeon to the police, but she isn’t allowed to go alone-per her father. Ted makes a coop in two seconds for the pigeon.

Now I didn’t care for the Ted character. I thought he was just mean and rude, and seemed to just be a big grump. Yuck.

They head out and drop the coop, the pigeon flying out. Ted tries to catch it, but Nancy wants it to fly away as she wants to follow it. She’s tricky. She did it all on purpose.

They follow a pigeon to a house that is described as Dr. Spires said except for watchman. She leaves Ted there to stand watch while she calls for backup. The police arrive, full force and rush the house. But all they find is Mrs. Eldridge business partner. Hmmm….

Hmm…

They all turn on Nancy saying she must have imagined everything. They all head to the coop in the back to find the proof-Nancy’s pigeon. But they can’t find it and just insult her instead.

Everyone leaves, but Mr. Hollister does have the pigeon. He is writing notes and he warns his cohort that the “Drew girl” is up to stuff.

It turns out that these men kidnapped Mrs. Eldridge and want her money to go to them not the school. Mrs. Eldridge tried to get away and they dislocated her shoulder.

Nancy is embarrassed, but goes after Dr. Spires to speak to him. He describes going ovr a bridge and a gravel driveway-he was blindfolded the whole time but knows this from the sounds he heard.

Hmmm….

Nancy realizes they went to the wrong house-Ned pointing out the pigeon was going to deliver a message. If they wanted to see where he came from they should have gone the opposite direction. They run the figures and discover the house should be by Silver Lake-right where Ted is heading the next day for a family trip.

Their musings are interrupted when they see a man trying to break into Nancy’s house-it’s just her father who forgot his key.

They try to open the door, but it won’t. It was barricaded. The look for the housekeeper and she tells them a man with a gun tried to get in earlier so she piled the furniture and hid.

The man is still in the house. He has a gun and holds them all at gunpoint and warns them to stay out of it. He then leaves.

Mr. Carson plans to leave town as they have news of Mrs. Eldridge in a sanitarium in St. Louis. Nancy is shocked as that doesn’t seem right, what about Silver Lake? Nancy invites herself on the Nickerson family trip as her gut is telling her the answer lies at Silver Lake.

Up at the lake three days they have searched and found nothing. Ted wants her to give it up, but Nancy doesn’t want but then gets a note from her father that he found Mrs. Elridge. It’s over.

Nancy spots Mr. Hollister at Silver Lake-even though he is supposed to be with her father in St. Louis. To make it even more intriguing, he jumps into the car that kidnapped Dr. Spires.

They rent a plane and search for the house.To get in Ned dresses up as a nurse and Nancy as an old lady. When they search the home they find Mrs. Elridge. It turns out hat the night before she was to make the donation she became sick. An they took her away in a plan to steal all her money.

They try to drive off to escape but are discovered. All are kidnapped and sent back to the sanitarium.

They stick the kids in the basement and they try to find a way out of their predicament. Ted finds an old X-Ray machine, and he hot-wires it to send out Morse Code.

Meanwhile, Carson Drew is bak and very suspicious of the lawyer as things do not match up with what he had said. He goes to Chief Tweedy when they get the message from Ted.They hurry out and go on their way to find them.

The crew is taking care of loose ends, when they are loading them into the car-Ned knocks into one who drops their gun. Nancy picks it up and shoots at all the guys scaring them off until the police arrive.

Wow. In the end all’s well that end’s well.

I recommend it, and the following films. It is extremely enjoyable.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

For more Nancy Drew, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more private detectives, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more kidnapping, go to What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)

You Were Right, Let’s Get Married: Psycho (1960)

Most Romantic Moment #12

PSYCHO

So I know you are probably thinking:

crazy

But just hear me out. It may be unusual but just read what I have to say and you’ll see why I choose it.

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Marion Crane is a secretary in a real estate firm in Arizona. She meets up with her long-distance boyfriend, Samuel Loomis every now and then but what she really wants is to be married. One day when a rich buyer comes in and pays in cash; Marion snaps and decides to take the money and journey to Sam. Unfortunately, it starts raining and Marion has to take a pit stop; pausing at the Bate’s Motel.

Psycho-1960-Alfred-Hitchcock-Bates-Motel-pic-51

She spends time talking to the young man who runs the motel, Norman Bates.

Boy/Man Child

Boy/Man Child

After their discussion; Marion decides to return to Arizona. However, she never gets the chance. That night she has a visit like she never expected.

Psycho-Shower

After her death; a private investigator comes searching for what happened to the money; along with Sam and Marion’s sister Lila.

So who is the killer? You better watch and see what Hitchcock had planned.

psycho-movie-poster-1960-1010541465

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Most Romantic Moment: Letter of Love

So the most romantic moment comes about halfway in the film. Not knowing of Marian’s death; Sam is writing a letter to Marion telling her that he was wrong and wants to marry her after all.

Now why this is so romantic is that between the two of them, Marion was the one who wanted to marry while Sam kept refusing as he is paying alimony and taking care of his father’s debts. He keeps telling her they need to wait a few years, that he doesn’t want her to be living in debt with him and over the father’s family store. However, Marion says that it doesn’t matter, she wants to be with him.

So seeing him writre to her such a beautiful letter telling her that he was wrong and that he agrees they should get married is so romantic.

psycho

How romantic

How romantic

Also extremely tragic as it is too late.

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To start Romance is in the Air:Part IV from the beginning, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For the previous post, go to I Want to Understand You: North & South (2004)

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For more on Psycho, go to We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes: Psycho (1960)

I’m Putting You First: How to Steal a Million (1966)

Most Romantic Moment #10

howtostealamillionaudreyhepburn

So I’ve mentioned before how this film was one I had been searching for, for a long, loong time. When I was young I watched a movie about stealing art that took place in France, but couldn’t remember the title, just the one scene. I was pointed toward To Catch a Thief, but it wasn’t how I remembered the film.

Really?

I figured I just had faulty memory and was done with it.

Whatever.jpg cheese fries

Over ten years later, I decided to watch this movie as I love Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. As I started watching it, I had this sense of deja vu, but I was certain I’d never seen it before. It wasn’t until they played the one scene that I realized this was the movie I had been thinking of the whole time.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally!

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This is an absolutely hysterical heist film. Audrey plays Nicole Bonnet, daughter of a forger and leading citizen of Paris. She has been trying to get him to stop to no avail.

Parents

Parents

One night, she catches a bungling burglar, Simon Dermott (Peter O’Toole), who is more than what he seems. He likes her and tries to date her; but she wants nothing to do with him.

No thank youhowaboutno

Meanwhile, her father has allowed the museum to take the famed Cellini‘s Aphrodite (a forgery done by Nicole’s grandfather) for an exhibition. After he has signed off the museum paperwork, he discovers that the museum will be testing the statue in order to insure it.

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Both Nicole and her father know that such tests will show that it is a fake and bring ruin to both Bonnets. In order to stop it, Nicole hires Simon to steal it for her, using one  incredibly crazy scheme.

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Most Romantic Moment: I’ll Protect You and Your Family

*Spoilers*

So the most romantic moment comes at the end of the film. Simon and Nicole have successfully stolen the sculpture and Simon is hiding it.

Simon Dermott: [about the Cellini Venus] Oh! She’s fine. She’s wrapped up in one of my old shirts, just as snug as could be. I rocked her to sleep in my arms last night.

He takes Nicole out to dinner, and reveals that he isn’t an art thief. He is actually a private detective who specializes in art forgery; finding the criminals and gathering evidence that will send them to prison.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Yeah not good for Nicole or her father. But because he loves Nicole he decides to not prosecute her father, (as long as he promises to not make or sell any more forgeries).

How romantic

How romantic

This is HUGE! It is his job! If word got out he would be in big trouble, and probably end up in prison for obstruction or accessory charges.

But for a man who has never settled and was only focused on work; he decided to put the girl he loved and her happiness first.

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part IV from the beginning, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For the previous post, go to You’re Sad So I’m Making This Day Extra Special: The Bikini in the Soup, Bones (2011)

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For more Audrey Hepburn, go to Heart and Soul

For more Peter OToole, go to What is This Thing: Phantoms (1998)

For more heist films, go to I’m Here for You: The Italian Job (2003)

For more private detectives, go to I Don’t Care What You Think, She’s My Girl: A Trip to the Dentist, Veronica Mars (2005)

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.

Nancydrewhardyboysmysteries

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.

hardyboysnancydrewmystery

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.

Hardyboysnancydrewmysteries

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!

midnightmadnesstheaterscreennosferatuphantomghostvampire

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.

BuffyvampireslayerLibrary92

They find the newspaper article and get some answers.

hardyboysnancydrewmysteries

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.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

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.

hardyboysnancydrewmysteries

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!

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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)