The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

under Capricorn

“The past of a man it is something.”

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

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

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

MeanGirls I know right!

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

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

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

Now back to the story.

Under Capricorn

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

It's one of those guys!

It’s one of those guys!

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

Joseph Cotton Under capricorne24se

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

Under Capricorn

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

Under Capricorn Dining eating

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

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

Sadface Batman

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

Under-Capricorn-Leighton

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

perfect plan

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

Under Capricorn Kiss

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

Under capricorn

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

Under-Capricorn4

Sad and lonely

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

Under Capricorn Dining eating

Back at the house, Milly has returned.

im-back

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

you're evil

I mean seriously this girl is a major jerk.

jerk_alert32

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

wordICan't say Toy Story

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

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

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

under capricorn ball

She returns home, weeping and half-crazed.

Sad and lonely

Sad and lonely

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

Say What

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

MeanGirls I know right!

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

aw cry

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

Sad and lonely

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

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

Under Capricorn

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

Under Capricorn struggle gun

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

A no win situation

A no win situation

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

Good-bye

Good-bye

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

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

Under Capricorn

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

let go past

Yep, sometimes you just need to move on.

1949UnderCapricorn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Grimwood Ghouls’ Gym Teacher: Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988)

Maybe I shouldn’t have taken this job as a gym teacher.

I love this film so much! I remember that I used to watch this all the time as a kid. I still do as I love it, and my nieces and nephew are always bugging me to watch it with them. We’re big Scooby fans.

Cartoon Network on Sarurdays used to be the greatest. They would to show Boomerang, and have Scooby-Doo marathons. And every Saturday night they used to do a double film feature. During October they used to do a Creature Double Feature and would show Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby-Doo and Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, and Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. My sister and I used to watch these all the time. My favorite was always Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School. I loved that they refrenced old monster movies, and I remember wanting to be Sibella because I though she was the prettiest of all the “ghouls”.

So the story starts out with Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy all going to Grimwood School for Girls to be P.E. teachers. Every year the girls compete against the Calloway military school at a volleyball game and lose; so this year Ms. Grimwood decides to hire someone to coach them. Fred, Daphne, and Velma aren’t there with them for some reason.

So when the guys get there, they discover that the school is for GHOULS not GIRLS! They being Shaggy and Scooby, are totally terrified and want to leave, but Scappy convices them to stay and hang out.

So the ghouls are Sibella, Dracula‘s daughter,

It’s fangtastic to meet you

Winne the Wolfman‘s daughter,

Hellooooooooo!

Elsa Frankenteen, Frankenteen (Frankenstein)’s daughter (her name also alludes to Elsa Lanchester who was in the Bride of Frankenstein),

Hello der

Tanis daughter of the Mummy,

I’ve been dying to meet you

And Phanty (Phantasma) the Phantom’s daughter. I think they are alluding to the Phantom of the Opera because she plays the organ, but they actually make her a ghost in this.

There is also a dragon named Matches and they also allude to The Adam’s Family by having a mobile hand crawling around.

So anyways; Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy start preparing the girls for the tournament. All are eager to win, espechially Tanis who wants to put the trophy in her mumuy case, and Winnie who wants to teach the Calloway Cadets a lesson.

I love the cheesy, punny lines in this film. “It’s Batastic”, “This helps me unwind”, and “it’s a real Howl”.

Couldn't resist

Couldn’t resist

Meanwhile the Cadets are also preparing for the tournament. In fact Tug, the leader of the group, has created a remote control volleyball so that they are sure to win.

There’s no way we’ll lose

However, everything that Tug creates ends up blowing up. Usually hurting him or the captain.

The next day, they have the tournament where the boys try out their secret weapon.

As cheaters always get what’s coming to them, the boys lose due to their attempt. The remote control they have ends up getting swallowed by Scooby-Doo, and his hiccuping with it helps the girls win.

The next day the school is all in a flutter as they are having an open house. Ms. Grimwood is making lots of snacks. This part always made me hungry, and want some kind of treat to eat. All the monster dads are going to come which starts freaking Scooby and Shaggy out as they realize they will have The Mummy, Wolfman, Dracula, Phantom, and Frankenteen all under one roof.

They have a fun time, but then all the monsters let Shaggy and Scooby know that if anything happens to their daughter and her friends; their lives are OVER!

Unbeknowest to them, evil lurks in the area. Revolta, the evil swamp witch wants to kidnap the girls and turn them into her evil slaves.

She uses her evil spider bats to spin webs around Shaggy’s head, convincing him to take the ghouls out on a jog through the swamp. The girls love it, but pretty soon the Spider Bats have captured all the girls, and Revolta spirits them away to her lair.

The Calloway boys see what’s happening, but don’t do anything. They are supposed to be going on a hike through the swamp as welll, but are trying to just get back home.

It’s up to Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy to save the day. Matches ends up joining them as well. In Revolta’s lair they have to defeat evil mirror monsters and giant swamp creatures to try and save the girls.

In the end they are captured and Scooby-Doo turned into a frog. Frog Scooby was able to save the day though. Revolta had hooked all the ghouls up to these machines to make them her evil minions. Frog Scooby was able to jump around and cut off the tubes, having all the girls turn back to normal. They use Revolta’s wand to get rid of her. The Calloway boys come back and save the day using a helicopter they created.

At the end, the ghouls and cadets have a big party and dance the night away. The monsters also come and join in.

Scooby and Shaggy are feeling really confident with themselves, when Ms. Grimwood introduces the newest recruits. One of which is The Creature from the Black Lagoon‘s daughter,

And what appears to be The Great Gila Monster’s or Godzilla’s daughter.

This is too much for Shaggy and Scooby as they cannot handle any more ghouls and monsters. They quickly grab Scrappy and jet outta there. It ends with them waving good-bye to everyone, and heading out on the road to a new place.

Good-bye!

Terrifying Tuesday Post. More to come!

ScoobyDooGhoulSchool

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong In the World

To go to the previous post, go to The Only Thing That Matters is the Ending

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For more on Scooby-Doo, go to A Monster Race

For more films based on cartoons, go to Disney Lesson

For more horror parody, go to A Deliciously Creepy Tale

For more on The Addam’s Family, go to Someone Very Special

For more on The Bride of Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more on Dracula, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more on Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE!

For more on The Mummy, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket

For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness

They’re Here: Poltergeist (1982)

They’re Here!

So I’ve never actually seen the film Poltergeist. I’ve only ever seen this part of the film.One time I tried to watch the first one. but my mother wouldn’t let me; she said it was too scary for me. I haven’t gotten around to watching it, but maybe I will this October. It looks really good though.

The part I did see, as you yourself can watch the clip, is pretty creepy. How calm the girl is, is just freeeeeaaaaaaky.

Anyways, so recently our TV has been acting really strange, and every time it freaks out it makes me think of that scene.

The other day I turned off the TV and walked five steps away, when I could hear this talking noise, I turned around and the TV had turned itself back on. I thought it was really creepy, but just shrugged it off. I turned the TV off and watched it making sure it was off.

A few days later I was watching TV, but had to go and do something else so I picked up the remote and turned it off. My roommate came out of our room and started to say something to me, when the TV turned itself back on, and my cellphone started going off. Immediately my friend and I looked at each other

 “Poltergeist!”

It was really strange, but we both laughed and once again didn’t think much of it.

A few days ago I decided I would stop using the remote and turn it off by hand, pressing the power button, to completely turn it off. I knew that there would be no way that it wouldn’t work this time.

I went and turned the TV off by hand and smugly walked back to me room. I knew I could outsmart the dumb electronic. I was almost in my room when I heard voices.

I turn around and the TV turned itself on. I went and turned it off again, stepped back from it and it turned itself on AGAIN!

I don’t really believe in poltergeists, but I don’t know what’s going on with our TV. It is acting pretty freaky.

Happy Terror Tuesday from our evil TV! More terror to come!

Here is a poster I made for my facebook cover page for my Halloween countdown

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To go to the beginning of Horrorfest, go to I Don’t Belong in the World