Donnerstag, 29. März 2012
Let's watch.. ..DRAGONWYCK (1943)
One of the three Films I am aware of that Gene Tierney did together with Vincent Price is
Connecticut, 1844: Her devout parents (Walter Huston and Anne Revere) are not too happy when cousin Nicholas van Ryn (Vincent Price) invites Miranda (Gene Tierney) to live with his wife (Vivienne Osborne – it was her last film) - who is merely interested in desserts - and him and to take care of his daughter (Connie Marshall) - but because they think it’s God’s will they let Miranda go.
Nicholas – who is a rich patroon with tenant farmers who are not so happy about having a patroon at all – is very much attracted to Miranda and she likes him, too. Also very interested in her: Doctor Turner (Glenn Langan) – a friend of the tenant farmer’s – not of the patron..
The manor Dragonwyck where Nicholas, his family, and his servants live is quite a haunting place: years ago a Van Ryn had taken her own life here. It is said that she cursed the Van Ryn family and that she still can be heard playing the harpsichord and singing. When Nicholas’ wife dies under mysterious circumstances Miranda goes back to her parents – but not for long because Nicholas brings her back to Dragonwyck and takes her for his wife – but when she gives birth to their son the little boy isn’t strong enough to survive – and Nicholas starts acting very strange..
When Monty and I were distributing the films to review this month on The Show I was very, VERY avid to get at least one film Gene Tierney did together with Vincent Price to write about - and was very happy to receive DRAGONWYCK, which is as I think the first film I ever saw Gene Tierney in.. Still: Maybe it wasn’t a good idea at all for me to pick this film: You see, I merely don’t see anything or anyone else in this film but Vincent Price. When he appears on screen my eyes a practically glued to him. I think his performance is just wonderful.. (I always think that - whatever he does..)
Gene Tierney does a good job as the a little bit naïve and good willing country girl – and after all I aslo still notice the supporting cast in this film: It has among others the wonderful Spring Byington and also Jessica Tandy - and Harry Morgan who is credited as Henry Morgan here.
During the filming of DRAGONWYCK Gene Tierney met a man and started to have an affair with him who later should become quite a name in US politics: Ever heard of John F. Kennedy?
The first choice to play the part of Nicholas van Ryn was actually Gregory Peck – and I am sure he would have done it perfectly. The second choice would have been one of my very high ranked favourites: Laird Cregar who would have been just amazing in this kind of character – but sadly he didn’t live long enough – so Vincent Price finally was engaged to perform as the male lead in this film – he did lost some weight to do it.
Another one who was actually meant to work on this film was Ernst Lubitsch – but he became ill so Joseph L. Mankiewicz – another one of my favourites – took over as the director. He managed to put in the name of his ex-in-lawes in a little gossip dialogue in this film – a name Gene Tierney’s character furiously claimed to have never heard of: Schermerhorn..
If you are looking for a gothic drama – I highly recommend this marvelous film!
Thank you very much for listening!
Enjoy the show!!