“Time for you to awaken, Master. Time for you to go out.”
So last year I was lamenting that I couldn’t think of any films I wanted to open Horrofest with from the 1950s as that was the year I was going to start with. I mentioned some films I really wanted to do, but both came out in the 1940s.
So as this year it is time to start off with a 1940s film, I was like why not do one of the ones I mentioned in last year’s post? I already reviewed Rebecca last year, so I chose The Return of the Vampire.
I loooove this movie!
I saw it year ago on TCM and it has stayed with me my whole life. You know a movie is good when it hooks you years ago and you stay hooked.
The film was just so engaging and has beautiful cinematography. Plus it also has Bela Lugosi! You cannot go wrong with him in anything, let alone in a Vampire flick. I just love him.
So this film was actually supposed to be a Dracula sequel, but Universal threatened to sue Columbia Studios so they changed it to The Return of the Vampire and instead of Count Dracula, we have Armand Tesla.
We start this film during WWI with a vampire Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi) stalking the streets of London and using the war as a cover-who cares about people suffering from anemia and a few deaths when there is a war on?!
But someone does, Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort) and her colleague Professor Walter Saunders (Gilbert Emery) run a clinic and are baffled by the anemia.
Tesla is furious and uses his slave, a werewolf formally known as Andreas Obry, and the two break into the clinic. When he can’t finish his off his former victim he decides to make Saunders pay and goes after his granddaughter.
Professor Saunders, meanwhile, has concluded that the victim was attacked by a vampire. The victim dies and when Saunders goes home he sees a man feasting on his granddaughter. The vampire flees and Saunders saves his granddaughter Nikki (Nina Foch) by giving her a blood transfusion. While her life is saved for now, she will always be in danger. The vampire will continue to search for her to finish the job, and he will also be able to control her.
Professor Saunders and Lady Jane search for the Vampire in order to stake it and kill it.
They search out the local cemetery in order to search out the Vampire. They are both attacked by a werewolf who is being controlled by the Vampire-but once they stake the vampire the werewolf returns to his normal form of Andreas Obry.
Professor Saunders and Lady Jane know that the only way to keep a vampire dead is make sure the stake isn’t removed from the heart-remove the stake revive the vampire. They bury the coffin and make sure it is well hidden.
Time moves forward and the year is now 1942. Nikki has fully recovered from her experience, having no knowledge of the attack and is engaged to Lady Jane’s son John (Roland Varno). Andreas Obry has recovered from his experience and has become an assistant to Lady Jane.
You know thinking about this movie in 2020 it is really cool that the Vampire hunter/Doctor is a woman. I mean you wouldn’t expect it in the 1940s, and you certainly don’t see it in modern vampire stories (except Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but she basically is Van Helsing. Not the Hugh Jackman version, but the original one from the 1930s.
Of course what comes to mind is Jane the Vampire Hunter:
So Professor Saunders has passed way and Lady Jane decides to share about the vampire with Scotland Yard detective Sir Fredrick Fleet (Miles Mander) . He doesn’t take her seriously, but he does take the murder of a man seriously. He wanted to arrest Lady Jane, but she convinces him to check the body. If it is a regular man, he will be decomposed. If a vampire-his body will not have aged a day.
Stay the same age forever…
Lady Jane is going to show Sir Fleet but then a bombing raid occurs. One of the bombs hits the cemetery and a lot of bodies are dug up and two gravediggers are set to put all to right. When they come across Tesla’s body they find the stake in the heart and feel bad for the man. They pull it out and the Vampire returns!
The first thing Tesla does is contact his slave telepathically as he will need his help in moving the coffin and such. He calls to his former slave and werewolf Andreas.
Armand Tesla: [Offscreen, as Andreas walks in the woods] Andreas! [Andreas can’t locate the source] Andreas!
Andreas Obry: [Suddenly seeing Tesla] You! You have no power over me! That was ended many years ago! I’m no longer your slave! Dr. Ainsley has cleansed me of all the evil you forced upon me! You can’t bring it back! You can’t! I won’t let you! I won’t!
Armand Tesla: You’re a fool, Andreas! A complete, utter fool! Your fate is to be what you are – as mine is to be what I am… your Master! [In a commanding tone] Come here!
Andreas Obry: I won’t! [He moans]
Armand Tesla: [Commandingly] Look at me, Andreas! [There is a closeup of Tesla’s eyes] Look at me!
Andreas Obry: [after Andreas undergoes a metamorphosis into a werewolf] Andreas, come here! [Subserviently] Master, you have returned.
This is a fantastic scene, as you see Andreas really trying! He really, really wants to believe it is true that has overcome this. Looking at this as an adult it resonates so well as you have met people trying to overcome things, thinking they have, but then something happens and they are right back at the bottom again-addiction, toxic relationships, etc. It is extremely well done and poor, poor Andreas.
Now that Andreas is controlled by Tesla he sets him out for his first mission protect the coffin and find him a new identity. Andreas comes across a scientist recently escaped from a concentration camp, Hugo Bruckner. Dr. Hugo Bruckner was freed by help of the Resistance, something Lady Jane is a part of, and will be working with her. Man this vampire is extremely evil to murder a concentration camp survivor.
Tesla takes on the identity and slips into the Ainsleys’ and Nikki’s life. Some of you might wonder why Lady Jane doesn’t recognize him, but she only fought him that one time over twenty years ago, and at night in a foggy cemetery.
Lady Jane is throwing Nikki and her son an engagement party. Sir Fleet shows up and Lady Jane takes the Professor Saunder’s manuscript and locks it up, not wanting Nikki to ever find out about what happened. Tesla/Bruckner shows up, is introduced, and given free reign of Lady Jane’s office and laboratory. He uses this time to steal Saunders’ manuscript, the one Sir Fleet read. All are charmed by him except Sir Fleet, as he feels something is not quite right.
The next night the manuscript is somehow left in Nikki’s room and she reads it and finds out the truth. The Tesla calls to her…and the next day she has been drained of blood! Oh no!
Then they… then my mom made me stop watching it.
I know I was soooooo invested. What happens next? Will Nikki be alright? How will they defeat Tesla? I don’t recall exactly how old I was but this was well before google and we didn’t have TiVo or any blank tapes I could use to record, although my mother wouldn’t have let me as we were leaving the house and they weren’t going to leave the TV on with no one home. So I had to scan the newspaper and TV guide until it was on TV again.
So after she was drained of blood they transfused her. She survives but as we saw in The Horror of Dracula last year, that can only last so long. They need to find this vampire and kill it!
Stake through the heart.
Lady Jane starts to investigate and questions the grave robbers when the body cannot be found. She and Fleet also search Bruckner’s room and discovers the mirrors are all set down and a ring that she recalls from Tesla.
Fleet had had Andreas followed ad he was seen trying to change into a werewolf and found with Bruckner’s effects, his real effects.
Meanwhile, Nikki and John are attacked and Nikki starts to believe she has been transformed into a vampire. She pleads with John to stay away as she doesn’t want to hurt him. But you know these men in this old classic horror films-it doesn’t matter they are staying in this relationship and with the girl. How guys aren’t like that now? Most guys I know would be out in no time at all.
In reality, Tesla has been feeding. Tesla attacks Lady Jane, but she carries a cross and uses it to deflect him.
So there are two amazing things I noticed about this scene. First can we just stop and appreciate that Lady Jane has a giant organ. Man, you are a girl after my own heart. I can’t play the organ but if I had money I would want a giant one and learn how to play it. Then I could be my own version of The Phantom of the Opera.
Second-I love how in this scene she seems so meek and mild-and then bam-she’s got the cross and she flings it out at him. Lady Jane is awesome!
Later that night Tesla calls Nikki to him again and she and Andreas answer the call. Meanwhile, Lady Jane ad Sir Fleet have decided to follow them. They come upon them in the cemetery but a raid interrupts their pursuit, although Fleet shoots Andreas, mortally wounding him. Andreas begs his master to save him, but Tesla coldly refuses.
Andreas Obry: Heal me, Master. I am hurt!
Armand Tesla: What is that to me?
This was so exciting when I watched it. First of all I really wanted to know what happened after waiting so long. Secondly this scene has the vampire, the damsel, bombs, a gun-you just didn’t know what would happen next!
Tesla leaving Andreas to die is the wake to reality he needs. He grabs a nearby cross and thrusts it at Tesla, coming between him and his victim-Nikki. A bomb hits and the sun comes up, melting Tesla to nothing.
This is one of the first films to show a vampire disintegrating like this. It was actually censored in England for being too graphic. Oh, 1940s-if you saw the stuff we have today, although I have to say it was pretty yuck.
Of course Nikki and John get their happy ending, and Lady Jane stays awesome.
It was fantastic! I just loved it and you know who else would have if she existed-Catherine Morland.
You know it.
Please note that this is being said sarcastically.
So that’s our start with Horrorfest IX what else will it bring? Who knows! I start every year off with a plan but you know how that goes-anything can happen! Stay Spooky people!
This was back before I had established the “rules” of Horrorfest, one being always review the original film first.
It was an amaaaaaazing adaption! It used the original backgrounds from this movie and was full of talented actors, I highly recommend it. It is probably one of the best remakes I have ever seen.
And you know me, I’m not a remake person.
Well, every year since then I have thought I need to review the original, and with me being in my seven year of blogging (Horrorfest VIII), it is time to actually review the original 1920 version.
So this film was influenced by the life experiences of Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Janowitz served as an officer in WWI and was very embittered by his experiences. Mayer feigned illness to try and get out of service, as he was a pacifist-and spent a lot of time in an asylum and under intense examinations. In fact, Dr. Caligari is based off a doctor that Janowitz was forced to talk to (and really didn’t like).
The two met through an actor friend of theirs and the inspiration to write the film came through Janowitz’s friend Gilda Langer. Mayer was in love with Langer, and she became the basis for the “Jane” character (the one that is in the love triangle with the two best friends.)
One day Gilda took Janowitz to a fortune teller who predicted that Janowitz would survive the war but Gilda would die. When Gilda died unexpectedly in 1920, that experience influenced the scene when Cesar predicts Alan’s death.
There are conflicting stories regarding who exactly wrote, planned, directed, filmed, etc-did what, something that will most likely never be settled. When this film first came ouot there were actually protests regarding the film when it showed in LA as Germany was still not very popular in 1920. People were still upset over World War I
This style of film and the background artwork reminds me of the Bauhaus movement, with its style and a bit of Metropolis. Dr. Caligari is supposed to represent the German government being in control and dictating others, while Cesare the solider-those who have been conditioned to kill. The rest of the characters are the people being lulled, hypnotized, and controlled.
The set is beautiful-painted, angles, and nothing is quite right giving the film a demented and creepy space. This disjointed feeling really adds to the question, is the main character telling the truth? Or are they insane.
So it is hard to review this film as I reviewed the amazing remake that actually copied every scene perfectly-but I’ll try.
The film starts at the end when the main character, Francis, is speaking to an old man about his fiancé. This one feels creepier than the remake as the music is completely eerie and the actors have to overact as this is a silent film. Everyone eyes bug out and they just freak you out. Serious chills!
So Francis starts sharing how his fiancé has been through such a strange event that she will never be the same again. She walks every night in a trance, and does not speak anymore. Francis starts to recount his story…
We go back in time to a city and place that we don’t know where it belongs. The backgrounds are amazing and slanted.
A man comes to the main hall to get a permit for his carnival. He calls himself Dr. Caligari, and speaks of having a psychic who can reveal all’s future. The clerk is in a BAD mood, and is extra rude to Dr. Caligari and forces him to pay an exuberant amount of money. Caligari does and walks away, but all does not seem to bode well for this clerk.
The next day he is dead. Murdered.
Then we are introduced to Alan, who is stopping by to visit his friend Francis and is begging him to partake in some kind of adventure. We learn that Alan has been combating depression and has been holing himself away these past months, even having to visit an asylum. He however, is feeling much better and convinces Francis to see the fair with him, “for old times sake”.
On the way they meet up with Jane Stern, a girl they are both madly in love with. Both are eager to get an answer from her as to who her choice will be, but she manages to slip away and into the night. The friends say good-bye and to the fair.
They stop at the fair and see the psychic Cesare. Cesare is a “living dead” man who can foretell all. He lives in a coffin, only being released every once in a while, Cesare is really creepy-the faces he makes.
Francis wants to leave, but Alan is rooted to the floor. When Dr. Caligari calls on him to ask a question, Alan is compelled to answer. He is physically incapable of leaving or turning away. He asks Cesare his question, but all does not go well.
“Alan: How long shall I live? Cesare: The time is short. You die at dawn!”
Francis quickly grabs Alan out of the tent and fearing a relapse in his friend, reassures him that Cesare’s tricks are stupid and do not mean a thing.
The next day Alan is dead. Murdered.
This horrible tragedy leads Francis on a path of reality so intermingled with insanity that one can hardly tell the fact from fiction. Francis is so sure that Dr Caligari killed his friend, that he becomes obsessed with finding proof. Is he trying to stop a mad killer? Or has he experienced such trauma he has reconstructed reality?
So while the remake tries to leave you guessing whether it is real or not, whether he is crazy or if he knows the truth and is silenced. In this they make it clear that he is being treated in a hospital. That was a bit of a disappointment, but the film seriously deserves a watch. Those eyes, they are haunting.
So I’m sure you all think I will be talking about this:
Instead it’ll be on this:
Yep, here we are with another fan-filled posts all on the things I hardcore fangirl over. Read, watch, and enjoy!
Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress in the whole wide world. I think she is just so amazing in everything she has been in and absolutely beautiful. Plus she has the best fashion sense! Everything I see her in I want, every hairstyle I need; but I would never look as breathtakingly beautiful as her. Not only was Audrey an amazing actress, but she was a true patriot (working against the Nazis on her bike delivering messages in WWII) and a philanthropic woman, creating and giving to many charities. There is no better woman to look up to.
Now how can you think that? You’re Audrey Hepburn and utter perfection.
in which she plays Jo Stockton, philosopher and book store employee. On a photo shoot she gets noticed by a famous photographer (played by Fred Astaire) who quickly gets this beatnik caught up in the world of fashion and takes her to Paris as his model. She tries to stay true to her beliefs, do well in the shoots and on the runway; all the while falling for the man behind the camera. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
I’m sure you all have heard of it, if not seen it. It is about Holly Golightly, New Yorker and sometimes model, trying to find a millionare to take care of her all her life. She meets Paul Varjak, a one hit writer, who has traded his typewriter to be a kept man to an older, rich, society woman. The two become friends, and Paul becomes fascinated with the mysterious Holly, eventually falling in love with her. Now Paris When it Sizzles (1964)
is not for everyone. Any one I show this film to has one of these two reaction: 1) they love it and think it is a hilarious comedy, or 2) think it is the stupidest thing they have ever seen in their life. I’m in the #1 category, of course. Anyways, this film is a parody of filmmaking: criticizing the way writers, directors, and producers act; cliches like the bad boy/girl with the heart of gold; the use of fade-out for time passing or characters getting closer than the MPAA would like them too; etc. In this film we have the pairing of William Holden and Audrey Hepburn once again. William Holden plays an alcoholic, procrastinating, Hollywood scriptwriter, living in Paris. As he has waited until the last minute to write the script for his film, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower, he has hired typist Gaby, played by Audrey Hepburn, to help him finish the piece by his deadline, three days from now. As Holden writes, he and Hepburn act out the characters in the story creating one comedic masterpiece. As an extra treat, there is a hilarious bit part done by Tony Curtis. Moving on to something that is both funny, serious, and musical…we have My Fair Lady (1964)
A retelling of Pygmlion with music. In this Audrey plays the flower girl, Eliza Dolittle, that Professor Henry Higgins bets he can turn into a true lady by altering the way she talks. A truly great musical and film. Now the story of me and How to Steal A Million (1966)
Is tale of trying to find each other. When I was young I watched this movie about stealing art that took place in France, but couldn’t remember the title, just one scene. I remember asking my mother about it and quoting the scene, but she couldn’t figure out what film I was talking about. The only film she could think of that had a burglar, that isn’t really burglarizing, the man being the thief, a woman partner, and taking place in France was To Catch a Thief. I eagerly watched the film, and loved it, but it wasn’t how I remembered the film. I figured I just had faulty memory and was done with it. 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. 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. One night, she catches a bungling burglar, 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. Meanwhile, her father has allowed the museum to take the famed Cellini‘s Aphrodite, a forgery done by Nicole’s grandfather. After he has signed off the museum paperwork, he discovers that the museum will be testing the statue in order to insure it. 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 O’Toole to steal it for her, using one crazy scheme.
Now these are just a few of her great works, and I urge you to watch her films and see for yourself how truly amazing she is.
I was in my early teens when I became obsessed with the band. My parents had heard of this free concert that had Ever Stays Redand Everyday Sunday. Ever Stays Red performed first, and I thought they were okay. When Everyday Sunday performed…oh I was hooked. I bought their CD immediately. Of course I thought the guys in the group were hot, but even more I enjoyed their songs. The Wake Up! Wake Up! album was my favorite and I bought it as soon as it came out. I listened to the song Let’s Go Back on my CD player a gazillion times. I was obsessed with them.
And of course there is my story of getting all their autographs. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but for those of you who missed it, this is what happened:
So I went to this huge outdoor concert, (three days and a bunch of bands), to see them. I was first in line to get their autographs, and was fully prepared as having borrowed my mom’s sharpie with the promise to return it to her. So I was waiting in line and I had recieved Trey ❤ (squee!) and another band member’s autographs, but I still needed the other two. I was standing around waiting, when one of the guards/manager/whatever people told me I had to go because I was blocking the way. I was so heartbroken to have to leave, but started making my way out:
As I was walking out I ran into another member and got his autograph.
So I was still sad that I didn’t have the last signature, but then as I was walking out I ran into the last guy! And got his autograph. But then I realized I had left my mom’s sharpie! And I had specifically been told to make sure I brought it back. So I ran all the way down to the autograph table, told them what happened and was given the sharpie back. It wasn’t until I got back to our tent that I realized I had my mom’s sharpie had been in my pocket all along! Now I had an awesome souvenir!!!
Unfortunately, I lost that pen sometime when we moved. 😦
The band has changed a lot since then, so I don’t follow them as much as I used to. They still remain a big part of me, as I constantly listen to that Wake Up! Wake Up! album.
Here are some of my favorite songs: Apathy for Apologies, Bring It On, Find Me Tonight, From Me to You, I’ll Get Over It (Mis Elaineous), I Won’t Give Up, Let’s Go Back, Now You’re Gone, Star of the Show, Take Me Out, Tell Me You’ll Be There, Untitled Anonymous, Wake Up! Wake Up!, and What We’re Here For.
I am a huge fan of Indiana Jones. I used to dream about meeting him (or Harrison Ford). And how could you not love the incredible hunky hero? For those of you who have been living under a rock and are unaware of this awesome man; Indiana Jones is an archeologist and Professor of History, living in the 1930s; who balances his time with his classwork and going on grand adventures. The first film is Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Indiana is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant from the bible, before Hitler does. He sets out trekking the globe, bringing along old flame Marian and friend Sully. The sequel to this movie wasn’t as good, and for years I would watch only the beginning and end as one scene scared the crap out of me. Eventually I overcame this, but it was’t until last year that I actually sat down and watched the film from beginning to end. In this, Temple of Doom, the adventure starts out in China, with a deal gone wrong causing Indy to flee the country with his sidekick Short Roundplus a singer and the MOST ANNOYING PERSON IN THE WORLD, Willie. The group ends up crash-landing in India and set out to save a tribe’s lost children and sacred stones, both of which were stolen from them. The series picks up again with the third film, The Last Crusade, in which Indy and his father (played by Sean Connery) set out to save the Holy Grail from being stolen by Nazis. They made a fourth film which was a real disappointment so I won’t even speak about it. The first and third films are absolutely amazing, with the second definitely having its cool moments.
Now after the three films came out, we had Indiana Jones mania and lots of other things were made to increase money. I have to say I jumped on a lot of those trains. There was The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. This TV series had Indiana Jones meeting famous people throughout history (educational) and going on adventures. In the second season he is an adult and it follows his adventures with Pancho Villa, the IRA, and involvement in WWI, later returning to school and joining a jazz group. This show was a lot of fun, and you learned a lot as well. Piggybacking off of this series was two book series involving the adventures of young Indiana Jones. One was a regular story format about his adventures as a boy, while the other covered his time as an teenager and were Choose Your Own Adventure themed. I have to admit that I read both of them. Big time fan.
And that’s not all. I read the book series Indiana Jones: Prequelsof which detail his life from college to right before the first film. Now quite a few books in the series were bad fanfiction, but there were actually quite a number that were written well. Most of the good ones were written by Rob MacGregor who actually assisted with the screenplays, so he had the truest to form character of Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils, Genesis Deluge, Unicorn’s Legacy, Philosopher’s Stone, Dinosaur Eggs, and Secret of the Sphinx were good. The rest were okay or downright awful. I even went as far as starting the series that took place during WWII and covered events mentioned in the last Indiana Jones film, but those weren’t as good.
And that doesn’t end my fangirlness. I also started a Indiana Jones fanclub. All us girls in it chose state names before our last names, in honor of Indy. We had Alaska Adams, Ohio Hirano, Virgina Mabel, Georgia Hattie, Illinois Villers, and Nevada Sinclair (Me). We even created our own pictograph language to pass notes. Yep, I was obsessed and still am. In fact, my most recent purse was chosen because it resembled Indian Jones satchel.
And of course I am a huge fan of the ride, which you can read more about at And Away We Go.
Now I got into this fandom after the group had broken up. It all started with just one song, Welcome to the Black Parade and that was it. I was hooked and had joined the fandom.
First of all we have the amazing Gerard Way who looks good no matter what he does.
The songs are amazing and the music videos are AWESOME!!! Like Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na).
Now I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ll be saving that for my individual posts on the songs. Here are some of my favorites: Welcome to the Black Parade, I Don’t Love You, House of Wolves, Cancer, Mama, Teenagers, Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na), Bulletproof Heart, The Only Hope for Me is You, Save Yourself I’ll Hold Them Back, Summertime, and The Kids from Yesterday.
Now I never wanted to be a fan of Nancy Drew. My older sister Jessica loved her, and that was her thing. But, Nancy would not be deterred from my life. Oh no.
It started one day when I was in sixth grade. My middle school library was amazing and I spent many happy days there. They had a great collection of all types of books. I loved the series Sweet Valley High (more on that later) and would check out tons of the series’ books. One day I grabbed Strange Memories as I was in a hurry, and when I got home realized it wasn’t a Sweet Valley High, but a Nancy Drew: Case Files.
After that, I was hooked. I started reading the series and became a huge fan. I still try to collect the whole series, every time I spot one in a thrift store, snapping it up to add to my collection. These books came out in the late ’80s and continued until the early 2000s. These books involved pretty, redhead, 18 year old Nancy Drew who was one amazing crime-solving sleuth. She was often assisted by George Fayne, her tall athletic, dark-haired friend; and Bess Marvin, George’s cousin, blonde, curvy, and also utterly gorgeous and boy-crazy. She is always trying to lose 5-10 pounds, but looks good all the same. Ned Nickerson is Nancy’s boyfriend, who attends college and is always having an internship in a various things (making me wonder what his major is) which always involve Nancy coming around to solve a mystery. The two fight over Nancy not always paying attention to Ned and his needs, and even break up momentarily. Of course this couple can’t be far apart for long, and resume dating.
Now I absolutely loved this series, but not everyone did. As Nancy Drew is revamped every ten years or so, people who liked the series before don’t care for this version, and those who become a fan later, can’t get into it either. The other thing I loved about this series was that they did Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys crossovers. I love Nancy and Ned together, but I have to admit…a big part of me always wanted her and Frank Hardy to get together.
Some of the books were absolutely wonderful, while others were just okay. But hey, that always happens in a series. My favorites are: Secrets Can Kill (#1), in which Nancy goes undercover in a preppy high school to figure out who a blackmailer is; Deadly Intent (#2), in which a concert to see Barton Novak turns out to an abduction case; White Water Terror (#6), Nancy wins a river rafting trip for four and takes along Bess, George, and Ned. But what should be fun in the sun, turns into a series of sabotage and murder. In Stay Tuned for Danger (#17), Nancy goes on TV to figure out who is threatening a famous soap opera star. When Bess falls for the star, Nancy finds herself racing against time to save both of them. Sisters in Crime (#19) sends Nancy to San Diego State in order to investigate an accidental drowning and a sorority. She discovers that college life isn’t glitz, fun, and studying; as murder walks the campus. Recipe for Murder (#21) finds Nancy back in school, cooking school that is. She and the full gang are getting lessons in French cooking, pastry, and Chinese food. While there Nancy discovers some unsavoriness; sabotage, blackmail, slander, murder, and espionage. In Something to Hide (#41), Ned is doing a testing project on acne creme for his marketing class. When Nancy steps by to say hi, Bess becomes ill. And she’s not the only one! Suddenly an epidemic is spreading through the town, all of which tie back to the Acne creme. Now Nancy is one the case to discover who could be poisoning teens, and why? A Model Crime (#51)in this book, Bess is chosen to be a finalist for Face of the Year, a modeling contest (think America’s Next Top Model), but as Nancy travels to Chicago she sees that there is more to this “Face” than meets the eye as someone is trying to sabotage it. Don’t Look Twice (#55), is one of my absolute favorites. In this Nancy goes to visit Ned at an away game, finding a cheerleader who looks a lot like her, wanting to put Nancy out of the picture. This cheerleader, Denise, invites the group out to pizza, where Nancy gets kidnapped! She is let go as the kidnappers got the “wrong girl”, leaving Nancy to figure out who will be abducted and when.Tall, Dark, and Deadly (#66) when a young girl is kidnapped, Nancy and Bess go undercover to figure out where she is. The two find themselves trying to find the girl’s last date and hopefully abductor. Designs in Crime (#89), Nancy once again sees that the fashion world has a dark side when she investigates the thefts of a designer’s famous designs. This case of corporate espionage turns deadly, when an assistant is found murdered. Betrayed by Love (#118), Nancy and Ned are invited to an old friend, Angela’s, wedding. There they find what should be a happy occasion is anything but: with the mother of the bride wasting away to a disease unknown, the groom’s ex-girlfriend insisting that they are still together, a serious case of sabotage, threats against the bride; and one dead body. And of course, Strange Memories (#122), in which Nancy and George are vacationing in San Francisco, only to find a girl with amnesia.
Then there are the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Mysteries which always involved two cases that ended up connecting at some point in the book. I loved these as I loved the pairing of the two sleuths and as before-mentioned, Nancy and Frank. Sorry Ned. Of these books I loved: Double Crossing (#1), Nancy goes on a cruise to visit George, the activities director. When she gets there she discovers that Frank and Joe are undercover trying to discover who is robbing the guests. The three detectives also come upon a double dealer, selling American secrets. Will the three find the thief and save America’s security? A Crime for Christmas (#2), Nancy and Bess are visiting New York City, doing a little Christmas shopping; when they run into Frank and Joe. The Hardy Boys are once again on a case, trying to catch a Cat Burglar team. The four also meet a guest staying there, who turns out to be a crown prince and find themselves caught in the middle of a coup. Dangerous Games (#4), Ned calls in Nancy, George, Bess, Frank, and Joe to help protect a sister and brother from Scandinavia competing in the Games tournament. All go undercover and try to find out who could be sabotaging the two. When one of their supervisors starts investigating an old unsolved murder involving the athletes gathered, he is almost killed, leaving the detectives to solve that case as well. Hits and Misses (#16), Bess is competing in a talent TV show with Nancy tagging along. The two discover an amnesic girl and try to find out who she is, a situation that won’t be easy as many are trying to kill her. Frank and Joe are visiting an old friend and trying to figure out who would steal the masters of the singer Angelique. The two cross paths and discover that their cases as more closely related than they would have thought.
From 2004-2012, they came out with a new series of Nancy Drew that I was also a fan of. I liked the series, but nowhere as much as I loved the ’80s one. In this Nancy became an environmentalist, scatter-brained, forgetting everything, detective. She also worked with and against the Chief of police more. George was updated to not only being athletic but super tech-savy. Bess was no longer curvy on a diet, but perfectly formed interested in makeup, clothes, and super handy at fixing things. I didn’t care for this series as much as most of the mysteries were really lowkey. For instance in one Ned wants to fly, but then keeps avoiding it; as it turns out he is afraid of heights. In another one George keeps avoiding a certain spa, when it turns out the reason is that she applied for a job there and was turned down. In one they are reenacting the Civil War, and a website like Ancestry.com is ripping people off telling them they are all descendants of Union generals who did amazing things during the war. Boring.
Then they had the graphic novels and I LOVED these! I highly recommend the whole series if you have yet to read them. These involved the same updates from before, but switched from lowkey crimes to high, scary, and at time supernatural ones. I HIGHLY RECCOMMEND THEM!
I’ve read a few of the original books, but can’t get really into them as they are so easily solved. Oh well.
Then there are the films. I reallu liked Nancy Drew: Detective and Nancy Drew…Girl Reporter which came out in the 1930s. In these Nancy is fast talking, crime solving girl who is eager to prove her mettle and will not let chauvinistic comments bring her down. In this Ned and Nancy aren’t dating, and he tends to be her unwilling assistant. These films are funny and adorable and can be viewed on Youtube if you wish.
There also was a film in 2002, Nancy Drew, starring Maggie Lawson. In this Nancy is going to college to be a journalist, but I didn’t like the film at all. I thought they made Nancy sorta brainless and mean to Ned, completely ignoring him.
And then there were the Nancy Drew video games. I never bought these but borrowed them from the library, played them, and sent them back. Secrets Can Kill didn’t work as it had a scratch, but the beginning was great as it really puts you in the mystery. Stay Tuned for Danger I knew as I had read the book. The Final Scene was great, as I had never read the book. In this Bess is kidnapped, and you have to solve the mystery before the theater is demolished with Bess inside! And the last game I played was Danger by Design, in which Nancy goes undercover to infiltrate a Parisian designer, Minette. It was thrilling and hard.
And now finally:
Now I absolutely loved this show!
I came upon this series when I bought a VHS at a library sale. Afterwards, I discovered the series online (youtube) and watched the whole thing. I love the mysteries of Nancy and the Hardy Boys; with the crossover episodes being the best. Unfortunately, both actresses who played Nancy Drew left the show, leaving it just The Hardy Boys. I highly recommend this show as well as I think it was absolutely fantastic and wish there were way more episodes of them. Not to mention I love Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy.
This also has one of the best intros. It starts off with the book covers of both series appearing in time to creepy music. It then switches to clips from the show in combo with book covers. It’s fantastic.
This film takes place shortly before the “official” start of WWII in London, England. The film is based on the novel of the same name, published in 1938
Miss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a governess/nanny, who has quite some trouble keeping a job. At the start of the film she is fired and denied her pay. She bumps into a young man who mentions he has just been released from prison and flees from him, leaving her luggage behind. She heads to a soup line, but gets bumped into again and loses her meal. This noise attracts the attention of a fashionably dressed couple from across the way
The next day Miss Pettigrew heads over to the employment agency where she learns that after her last firing, she has run out of chances. While she is pleading, the phones rings and a Delysia Lafosse asks for a person to be sent over. While the people at the employment agency are distracted, Miss Pettigrew takes off with the address in hopes of getting the job.
When she reaches Delysia Lafosse’s apartment, she finds an undressed, half-asleep woman (Amy Adams). After Miss Pettigrew introdices herself and tells her what time it is, Delysia gets freaked out as she has to have the entire apartment cleaned up, with Phil up and out of there. Miss Pettigrew tells her she will help get her little boy out, only to discover that Phil is not a little boy, but one of Delysia’s boyfriends. You see Delysia wasn’t asking for a governess, but she needed a social secretary. Anyways, Delysia is sleeping with Phil in order to get the part in the musical he is producing and her big chance to become a real star. The only problem? Delysia’s other boyfriend, boss, and the man paying for her clothes, food, and apartment; Nick is on his way and will NOT be happy if he finds Delysia with another man. With the help of Miss Pettigrew Phil is out the door, and shortly Nick is bumped out too.
Then the two head off to a fashion show where Delysia’s friend, Edythe Dubarry, is showing some pieces. Edythe is dating the famous underclothing designer, Joe Blomfield (Ciarán Hinds). Edythe and Joe are on the outs as Joe thinks Edythe is cheating on him as she was out when he called her the night before. Miss Pettigrew realizes that Edythe is the same woman she saw the night before, carrying on with a man that was clearly not Joe. Joe and Miss Pettigrew also meet and talk, with Miss Pettigrew deveoping a slight crush on him. Then Miss Pettigrew is whisked away by the girls for a complete makeover.
While shopping, Edythe recognizes Miss Pettigrew from the soup line and knows Miss Pettigrew saw her with another man. She blackmails Miss Pettigrew into helping her get Joe back or else she’ll tell Delysia the truth about her being a “social secretary”.
When the girls finish shopping, Miss Pettigrew and Delysia return to Delysia’s apartment. There they find a young man playing the piano. It turns out to be the same man recently released from prison that ran into Miss Pettigrew the day before. His name is Michael and he plays the piano in Nick’s club, accompanying Delysia, the singer. You see Michael is her third boyfriend. Unlike Nick who uses her for sex, and boy Phil who has never had the attentions of a woman before; Michael is in love with Delysia. He planned this big romantic scene on a boat in the river Thames, equipped with champagne and a ring to propose. Delysia never showed up, so Michael drank all the Champagne himself, got drunk, tried to steal the crown jewels; and was arrested and thrown in prison. Michael is planning on leaving for America and wants Delysia to marry him and come with. Delysia is unsure as she wants more than Michael can give her. Miss Pettigrew tells him that Delysia will have an answer by the end of the night.
That night holds a lot for them as Delysia has the announcement of the casting of the musical to worry over and how to handle young Phil. What to do about Nick as he is expecting payment for all the things he buys her. And whether or not to go off with Michael, the man who loves her but is poor. For Miss Pettigrew she has to help Delysia get the part in the musical, keep Nick at bay, encourage Delysia to make the right decision involving love, get Joe and Edythe back together, and figure out just what her role as social secretary really is.
***Most Romantic Moment***
One of the most romantic moments for me comes near the end of the film. Delysia has just won the lead in the musical, but had to declare her undying love to Phil to guarantee it. Nick understands, but still expects to get his payment from her. Michael, after hearing Phil shout his and Delysia’s undying love, is leaving to America, never to see her again. Everything in Delysia’s life is going as planned but yet, completely wrong. Just then the city is warned to take cover from an air attack. As Delysia is hiding under the piano she and Miss Pettigrew discuss love, Miss Pettigrew telling her about the man she loved but lost in WWI. They had nothing really, but to Miss Pettigrew their love was more than enough to build a life on. This encourages Delysia, and as soon as it’s safe she rushes toward Michael to tell him how she feels.
As she is running after him, Nick stops her and tells her to sing. Michael comes to her rescue, but Nick is a better fighter and knocks him down.
While Michael is recovering from that great hook, Delysia rushes over to him and proposes!
Delysia: Is the offer still open?
Nick: Get up!
[Michael stands and Nick knocks him back down with a punch to the nose]
Delysia: Well, is it a yes or is it a no?
Delysia: Well will you doggone marry me or will you doggone not?
Michael: [he grins in delight, scrambles up, socks Nick square in the jaw, and pulls Delysia to her feet] Yes. God help me, yes! [they kiss fervently]
I love this scene because Delysia asking Michael to marry her showed him that she really, truly, completly loved him and wanted to be with him. Plus it gives him the strength to knock Nick out of the way.
Okay I loved the original Conan films with Arnold Schwarzenegger, I thought they were absolutely great. (To read more of my thoughts on the first film, go here.)
So anyways, I found this pic on the internet and it is hilarious. 🙂 And it got me thinking…Wouldn’t Conan make an awesome librarian? I mean with him there would be no late fees, ever.
Let me show you what happens to people who keep items past their due date!
He would use all his strength and power to pass on the love of reading.
“Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To teach people how to use the online catalog, help people find the books they want, and create children and adult reading programs!”
Think about it people. Sometimes the way of the future can be pulled out of the past.
Now in other news, today is a very special day in our world & nation’s history. Not only is it Veterans’ Day, but 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of WWI. I would just like to take the time to give a shout out to all the veterans who have served, and all the troops currently serving. Thank you so much for everything you have done and for all the sacrifices you have made. I am so happy to live in a country that gives honor to those who deserve it for all that they do. Happy Veteran’s Day!