Laura (1962 TVM)

West Germany / 110 minutes / bw / Bayerischer Rundfunks, Riva Studios Dir & Scr: Franz Josef Wild Pr: Werner Preuss Story: Laura (1943) by Vera Caspary Cine: Günter Kropf Cast: Hildegard Knef, Adolf Wohlbrück (i.e., Anton Walbrook), Hellmut Lange, John van Dreelen, Hillie Wildenhain, Wolf Schmidtholstein, Nora Minor, K.G. Gensichen, Thomas Alder.

A while ago I wrote here about another adaptation of Caspary’s novel, A Portrait of Murder (TVM 1955) dir John Brahm, with Dana Wynter, George Sanders and Robert Stack, and, glancing at that entry just now, I couldn’t help but feel that its opening paragraph, minus a few words, is exactly apposite here:

. . . this is not so much a remake of Otto Preminger’s classic LAURA (1944), which featured Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson and Dorothy Adams, as a re-adaptation of Caspary’s novel for the screen. There’s a visible (and visual) awareness of Preminger’s version, but really this is its own entity. Much of the Continue reading

A Portrait of Murder (1955 TVM)

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“What a terrible way for a beautiful dame like that to die.”
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vt Laura
US / 43 minutes / bw / CBS Dir: John Brahm Pr: Otto Lang Scr: Mel Dinelli Story: Laura (1943) by Vera Caspary Cine: Lloyd Ahern Cast: George Sanders, Dana Wynter, Robert Stack, Scott Forbes, Johnny Washbrook, Gloria Clark, Gordon Wynne, Robert Williams, Harry Carter.

Done as an episode of The 20th Century–Fox Hour, this is not so much a remake of Otto Preminger’s classic Laura (1944), which featured Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson and Dorothy Adams, as a re-adaptation of Caspary’s novel for the screen. There’s a visible (and visual) awareness of Preminger’s version, but really this is its own entity. Much of the Continue reading

Undying Monster, The (1942)

vt The Hammond Mystery
US / 63 minutes / bw / Twentieth Century–Fox Dir: John Brahm Pr: Bryan Foy Scr: Lillie Hayward, Michel Jacoby Story: The Undying Monster: A Tale of the Fifth Dimension (1922) by Jessie Douglas Kerruish Cine: Lucien Ballard Cast: James Ellison, Heather Angel, John Howard, Bramwell Fletcher, Heather Thatcher, Aubrey Mather, Halliwell Hobbes, Charles McGraw, Alec Craig, Eily Malyon, Virginia Traxler, Heather Wilde.

Undying Monster - 0 opener

The year is around 1900. Perched on a clifftop somewhere in the south of England is Hammond Hall, creepy home of the Hammond family, heirs to a deadly secret. The family history records how the male Hammonds have come to dreadful ends. The current incumbent, Sir Oliver (Howard), who with his sister Helga (Angel) is the last of the Hammonds, is hoping to buck the trend.

Undying Monster - 1 helga, butler 'sometimes dogs are smarter than folks'

Helga (Heather Angel) and butler Walton (Halliwell Hobbes) agree that “sometimes dogs are smarter than folks.”

Undying Monster - 2 Helga and Walton in front of the great s-glass window

Helga (Heather Angel) and butler Walton (Halliwell Hobbes)  show off one of the manor’s great stained-glass windows.

One frosty night, as Helga is waiting for her brother to return home late from helping in the laboratory of her boyfriend, Dr. Jeff Colbert (Fletcher), she and the butler, Walton (Hobbes), hear a preternatural howling from without. Helga, fearing that Oliver might have defied family tradition by Continue reading