Sept. 4, 2008, 12:27 a.m. CST
Too bad Quint couldn't have ended his Lewton-athon with yesterday's offering instead of "Bedlam", which is my least favorite in the Lewton canon. Still, "The Leopard Man" and "The Body Snatcher" next month won't disappoint. As for tomorrow, "The Wurdulak" segment of "Black Sabbath" is disturbing as fuck all and downright scary. As I understand it, Karloff *really* did a lot of preparation for the role and really gave it his all and it absolutely shows. Genuinely disturbing, storywise, and beautifully lit and photographed. I wish I owned the DVD. I'd watch it right now.
Sept. 4, 2008, 12:48 a.m. CST
by the beef
I was afraid you wouldn't watch it. Bedlam is my least favorite of this Lewton set, but it does have its redeeming qualities.
Sept. 4, 2008, 1:11 a.m. CST
No - the real Mrs. Knowles has a black box like me
Sept. 4, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST
by wuher da brewer
Are you going to get to any of the Amicus anthologies in October?
Sept. 4, 2008, 3:13 a.m. CST
Bless your heart, Quint. Quite possibly Peter Sellers' finest moment, and definitely the best of the PINK PANTHER movies. And it's got a William Peter "EXORCIST" Blatty script.
Sept. 4, 2008, 4:35 a.m. CST
Sept. 4, 2008, 5:01 a.m. CST
The end of the first third gets a bit dry, too much talk, but events move along once she’s condemned. Clichés of insane people are sidestepped by developing them as real, even if they’re very ill or don’t speak. It’s a good accomplishment considering how easy it would be for constant over-the-top behavior, another example of the smart writing of Lewton productions. I must say I can’t think of many thrillers whose central conceit is how kindness might change people compared to how callousness hurts, once again rich writing. For a second time it seems Hitchcock was inspired by Mark Robson imagery. In The 7th Victim it was the shower conversation inspiring Psycho’s infamous shower scene. In Bedlam, it’s the two times people hang off the asylum’s roof edge inspiring Jimmy Stuart hanging off a roof in Vertigo. Obviously, it’s a great compliment to how good Robson is. The first and second halves contrast the viciousness of “polite, civilized” society versus the docile insane. At least you get what you see with the mentally ill. But the movie does not bluntly point this out, another positive for thoughtful filmmaking. Bedlam doesn’t have edge-of-your-seat suspense like other Lewtons, but the more I think of it in hindsight the more I like it. I’m glad Lewton has his own box set.<p>Of the Lewtons watched, here’s my ranking from favorite to least: The Ghost Ship, Cat People, Isle of the Dead, Bedlam, Curse of the Cat People, The 7th Victim.<p>It’s been fun going through these Lewtons with all of you. I’ll probably go ahead and watch the others. Keep up the good work, Quint. I’ll be tuning in. You’re in for a treat with A Shot in the Dark. It might be the best of The Pink Panther series.
Sept. 4, 2008, 5:12 a.m. CST
great thing about Hollywood in those days, having movie stars with appeal based on their creepy looks. Having villains as the lead character, ending that weren't really that happy. These films may as well be from another world. A good nuthouse horror film is British 1974 movie Ghost Story (not the Peter Straub one). Has ghosts, a spooky possessed doll, Marianne Faithful and lunatics.
Sept. 4, 2008, 5:38 a.m. CST
"Be careful, you fool! I could have killed you with a karate chop!"
Sept. 4, 2008, 6:31 a.m. CST
The portrayal of a 1761 insane asylum is fascinating. Apparently this was based on some fact. The treatment of the “patients” is unsettling. The scene where Nell is being evaluated is chilling. Although she answers all of the board’s questions with perfectly rationale responses, all of her responses appear irrational because of their preconceived notion that she is “insane”. Karloff is great and his ultimate fate is poetic. This is not a horror film but rather a history lesson of sorts. Nevertheless, it’s still engrossing and worth a peek.
Sept. 4, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
Does she use Yoko, as she is plugged by Harry? By the way Headgeek, I know you haven't talked about it for a while, but I'm still pulling for you on the weight loss. I hope all is going well. Also, take care of Quint. Don't let him have an aneurysm doing AMAD. It is one of the best, no, it is the best column, but we don't want him to burn out.
Sept. 4, 2008, 11:17 a.m. CST
Predates Goldfinger by several years.
Sept. 4, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST
Sept. 4, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST
Are you ever going to watch/review anything that wasnt made before the Reagan era?
Sept. 4, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST
As St. Martin of Scorsese once said, someone who wants to be a filmmaker should watch old movies just as someone who wants to paint should look at the old masters - to learn from them and see study what they did that works and what doesn't work. I think the same statement could apply to film fans and enthusiast. You watch old movies to see how it has progressed or regressed and to gain an appreciation for the art, to expand your horizons. I don’t think it is coincidence tha the best filmmakers out there usually have the biggest knowledge of cinema history to draw upon.
Plus, the entire purpose of this column to expose people to films they might never heard of or thought of seeing. Quint is acting as our scout, taking the risk of a bad movie so we don't have to. And even if the movies are not great movies, almost all films have one thing worthwhile in it. I think "The Last American Virgin" is one of the worst films I have ever seen, BUT it has one of the most poignant endings I have ever seen in any film.
Sept. 4, 2008, 5:45 p.m. CST
by the beef
Probably not. The reason why he's watching these films is to further educate himself (and us) as a devoted film fanatic. If he's been a fanatic his whole life then he's probably seen the overwhelming majority of films that people think he should see since he was young (the Reagan era on forward), plus he's a film journalist / critic and sees probably everything worth seeing year to year ever since he's been a writer.
Sept. 4, 2008, 11:04 p.m. CST
by The Eskimo
...one of my favorites in that genre in this period in film making. Looking forward to that review. And hey...if it hasn't been said: GREAT job with this colum Q. I look forward to it every day.
Sept. 5, 2008, 8:32 p.m. CST