Monday, October 1, 2018

CAFTAN WOMAN'S CHOICE: ONE FOR OCTOBER ON TCM


Dead of Night is a horror anthology from Ealing Studios that was a critical and popular success in its day and continues to thrill contemporary audiences. 

Mervyn Johns plays an architect troubled by strange dreams. A weekend in the country with a client brings up a strong sense of Deja Vu and encourages the other guests to impart their tales of the unexplained, while he remains reluctant to share his own. I wonder why. The following stories are related for you to accept or not.

THE HEARSE DRIVER
by E.F. Benton, directed by Basil Dearden

Anthony Baird, Miles Malleson

Have you sometimes thought it might be better not to run for the bus?


THE CHRISTMAS PARTY
by Angus MacPhail, directed by Alberto Calvacanti

Uncredited as Francis Kent, Sally Ann Howes

There's nothing so very frightening about little children, or about a large rambling house, is there?


THE HAUNTED MIRROR
by John Baines, directed by Robert Hamer

Ralph Michael, Googie Withers

Is an antique a thoughtful gift, or are you borrowing second-hand trouble?


THE GOLFER'S STORY
based on The Unexpected Ghost by H.G. Wells, directed by Charles Crichton

Naunton Wayne, Peggy Bryan, Basil Radford

You'll pardon my saying so if you are one of the legions of folks who love to chase the little white ball, but don't you find some golfers to be just a teeny bit obsessive?


THE VENTRILOQUIST'S DUMMY
by John Baines, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti

Michael Redgrave

Keep your friends close because your enemies may be even closer.


Googie Withers, Roland Culver, Mervyn Johns, Mary Merrall, Frederick Valk

A relaxing country house party for the weekend or a nightmare?


Dead of Night is part of the TCM super spooky Hallowe'en lineup on October 31st. This British classic is slotted in for 6 PM, just when the little monsters come knocking at your door. Don't jump!












14 comments:

  1. Wow, I never saw this film. You made me want to see it now! Thanks!

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    1. Hooray! I'm pleased to be the one to introduce you to this classic.

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  2. Paddy Lee, I really like the movie poster. Imagine that, "suitable only for adults." Times sure have changed since 1945. This movie is a Classic British horror anthology from Ealing Studios, which isn't known for making horror movies, but they hit this one out of the ballpark. I particularly liked "The Ventriloquist's Dummy," but they are all very good.

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    1. My favourite seems depend on what mood I'm in when I watch the movie. When I shared it with my daughter she was suitably creeped out by The Ventriloquist's Dummy (Redgrave is amazing!) and completely taken aback by The Golfer's Story. The Appearance of the macabre humour in the middle of it all really threw her for a loop. When it was all said and done, she loved it.

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  3. It's a marvelous pick for the month! "The Ventriloquist's Dummy" is super creepy and features an incredible Michael Redgrave performance, but it's the framing story that always haunts me about this movie.

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    1. Indeed. It's a clammy, cold sweat, racing mind feeling that kicks you in the gut. (That's a lot of stuff happening!) I tell myself it won't get to me "this time", but there's such fear on Mervyn Johns' face.

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  4. I love Dead of Night! I have to watch it every October. It was a big influence on Amicus's movies.

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    1. Definitely a perennial of the season. Undeniable influence. I should have guessed you were a fan.

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  5. Oh, I've been wanting to watch this for years! I don't know why I keep putting it off. Those anthology films that England released in the 1940s/1950s were all so good. And what a fantastic cast. Look how young Sally Ann Howes is...and aren't those the two cricket-loving fellows from the train in The Lady Vanishes?

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    1. Yep. It's Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne together again to delight and confound you!

      Let this be the year you join the Dead of Night club.

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  6. Can you tell each of these stories had different directors, or do they all have a similar feel?

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    1. The sustained mood isn't broken, but the different narrators and stories retain an individuality. If that makes any sense at all.

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  7. One of my favourite horror films. Truly one of scariest and best anthology films ever made. The racing driver, haunted mirror and ventriloquists dummy stories are my favourites. Perfect viewing for Halloween.

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    1. just knew you'd be a fan. I shared it with my daughter for the first time last year What took me so long? I'm a bad mom.

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