Thursday, November 29, 2001


I've wanted to see this for a long time, ever since I was 12 years old and noticed the entry for this in the "TV Key Movie Guide," a forerunner to Leonard Maltin's guide. I thought the title sounded cool! After all these years, it was a bit of a letdown, mostly due to the male actors. In plot and details, it's practically an archtypal Gothic, with elements of JANE EYRE, REBECCA, and GASLIGHT, but the whole is less than the parts. Gene Tierney is quite good as the poor girl called to stay with her rich relation (Vincent Price) to be a companion to his daughter. Tierney gets a crush on Price, Price's wife dies (mysteriously, of course) and Price marries Tierney, looking primarily for a male heir. Price really drags the movie down--he is just not romantic figure material. Thank goodness for his career that he got into horror movies. Even worse is Glenn Langan as the kind-hearted village doctor; I know him mostly as THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN ten years later. I can understand from this movie why his career never really took off. His acting is bland and his looks are off-kilter--he looks a bit like a drag queen who forgot to take off all of his makeup. Spring Byington plays against type as a non-whimsical, non-scatterbrained housekeeper. There are plotholes galore--at one point, the daughter just vanishes from the story, never to be seen again. The studiobound atmosphere serves its purpose. The movie's not terrible, but it's not a must-see either.

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