The Uninvited (1944) - News Poster

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Oscar Horrors: The Uninvited

Boo! It's "Oscar Horrors". Each evening we look back on a horror-connected nomination until Halloween. Here's Tim Brayton on a '40s ghost story...

The Uninvited (1944) is a rarity among 1940s horror films twice over. For one thing, it's one of the vanishingly tiny number of genre films from that decade to receive Oscar attention, nabbing a Best Cinematography nomination – which is why we're here now, of course. For the other, it's one of the almost-as-tiny number of American horror films of its generation that actually commits to the paranormal. For years, stretching back into the 1930s, almost any time you saw a Hollywood film set in a haunted house, it was an easy bet that by the end of the last reel, you'd find out it was just an elaborate ruse by jewel thieves or some other damn thing. Not so for The Uninvited! Its ghost is real, and presents a genuine danger.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Nasty Politics and Eyebrow-Raising Gossip During Hollywood's Golden Age: Brackett's Must-Read Diaries

Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top Screenwriting Team from the Golden Age of Hollywood: List of Movies and Academy Award nominations

Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Olive Films Bring Film Noir and Otto Preminger to Blu-ray for Christmas

Olive Films releases classics old and new (but mostly old) on a monthly basis, and it’s not uncommon to find pockets of a theme at times — same actors, similar genre, etc. — and their selection of titles that hit shelves this week are no different. The seven films can be broken into two groups as four of them are film noir examples from the late ’40s and early ’50s, and the three more recent titles are all directed by Otto Preminger. My exposure to both is not nearly as deep as I’d like, so these offered up a great sampling of the noir genre and Preminger’s resume. Three of the films are genuinely fantastic, but none of the seven seem to enjoy wide popularity — this is somewhat baffling when you look at the powerhouse casts including the likes of Alan Ladd, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, William Holden, Michael Caine and others. Keep
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

The Chicago Critics' Top 100 Horror (or Just Plain Creepy) Films in History

Scariest movies ever made: The top 100 horror films according to the Chicago Film Critics (photo: Janet Leigh, John Gavin and Vera Miles in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho') I tend to ignore lists featuring the Top 100 Movies (or Top 10 Movies or Top 20 Movies, etc.), no matter the category or criteria, because these lists are almost invariably compiled by people who know little about films beyond mainstream Hollywood stuff released in the last decade or two. But the Chicago Film Critics Association's list of the 100 Scariest Movies Ever Made, which came out in October 2006, does include several oldies — e.g., James Whale's Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein — in addition to, gasp, a handful of non-American horror films such as Dario Argento's Suspiria, Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre, and F.W. Murnau's brilliant Dracula rip-off Nosferatu. (Check out the full list of the Chicago Film Critics' top 100 horror movies of all time.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘The Amazing Mr. X’ has a great story and some unexpectedly terrific special effects

The Amazing Mr. X (a.k.a. The Spiritualist)

Written by Crane Wilbur and Muriel Roy Bolton

Directed by Bernard Vorhaus

USA, 1948

Christine (Lynn Bari), widowed for two years, steps out one night on her bedroom balcony overlooking the nearby rocky cliffs and ocean. Something compels her towards the violent waters,, a voice, that of her late husband Paul. Her younger sister Janet (Cathy O’Donnell) gently reminds Christine that more than enough time has elapsed for her to rebuild her life, especially with Martin (Richard Carlson), affable and loving, trying to win her heart. A few nights later, Christine even makes the trek down to the beach where a raspy voice unmistakably calls out her name. To her surprise, a lone gentleman named Alexis (Turhan Bey) is lurking the premises and introduces himself as a spiritualist interested in her case. Tempted by the idea of contacting her dead husband,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Martin Scorsese names his scariest films of all time

Acclaimed American director favours classic black-and-white horror, such as The Haunting and Dead of Night – but The Shining gets a look-in

• Guardian and Observer critics' top 10 horror movies

• 'Here's Johnny!': The Shining scene is scariest in movie history, claims study

Martin Scorsese has named his top 11 scary movies – and surprise, surprise, there's not a Hostel or Saw to be seen.

Instead the professorial director of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Shutter Island has come down firmly in favour of old-school black-and-white chillers, with Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, the Barbara Hershey starrer The Entity, and the child-ghost shocker The Changeling being the most recently-made entries, all in the early 1980s.

Number one on Scorsese's list, compiled for the Daily Beast website, is The Haunting, the 1963 British-made spookfest about a group of ghosthunters staying overnight in a creepy mansion. Directed by Robert Wise, and starring Julie Harris and Claire Bloom,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Review: "The Uninvited" (1944) Criterion Blu-ray Review

  • CinemaRetro
By Raymond Benson

It’s not a title that readily pops into one’s head when recalling the great horror films throughout the decades. A British production released when Universal Pictures’ line of horror franchises had declined and Val Lewton’s minimalist Rko productions had reached their height, The Uninvited has remained fairly obscure, in the U.S. anyway, but has also consistently maintained a solid reputation as one of the great, classic haunted house pictures. In fact, The Uninvited could be the first film to treat ghosts seriously rather than as an instrument for humor.

Directed by Lewis Allen and starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey and gorgeous Gail Russell in her first film role, the motion picture was released by Paramount in early 1944. Milland was a minor star at the time who would shoot to super-status the following year by winning a Best Actor Oscar for The Lost Weekend.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

'The Uninvited' (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review

I enjoyed watching Lewis Allen's 1944 haunted house feature The Uninvited for the first time on Criterion Blu-ray as much as I raised my eyebrows. Considered one of the first supernatural films to take the idea of ghosts seriously rather than as a punchline, it undoubtedly has an effective level of atmosphere and while it successfully takes its ghost story seriously, it also knows to balance any tension with some humorous beats and moments of romance. That said, I wasn't really buying the romance angle and making this a tale of cohabitating siblings also seemed a little... weird to me. We're introduced to Rick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister Pamela (Ruth Hussey) on holiday in Cornwall, England where they stumble upon a cliffside house. After their dog chases a squirrel through an open window, they ultimately barge in to fetch him, realizing the house has been empty for some time.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

What I Watched, What You Watched #216

Well, I've watched as much of "Breaking Bad" as Netflix Instant will allow me to watch as they don't yet have the second half of the fifth season available. My Comcast On Demand only has the series finale available and while I could just rent the rest from Amazon, I have more than enough to watch in the meantime. For instance, this week I also watched two great new Criterion titles, which I'll be offering full reviews this week, in Michelangelo Antonioni's La Notte and Lewis Allen's The Uninvited. Both offer very limited special features, but what the small amount of features included are really quite excellent. More on that later. Additionally I received the much-talked-about documentary Blackfish, which I can't wait to finally watch, as well as a trio of Bruce Lee titles on Blu-ray along with a couple documentaries on Lee's work. Like I said, I
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

New DVD Blu-ray: 'The Conjuring,' 'Before Midnight,' 'The Way, Way Back'

Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week:

"The Conjuring"

What's It About? James Wan's "The Conjuring" follows the paranormal hauntings of a Rhode Island farmhouse, based on the real life events documented by investigators of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga). When the Perron family moves into a new home they begin experiencing loud pounding noises and eerie occurrences that force them to contact the Warren's to help rid them of their home's evil essence.

Why We're In: "The Conjuring" wasn't just one of the best scary movies in years for its hefty amount of solid jumps and scares, but it also took full advantage of the horror genre. Wan's film paid homage to old-school scary movies by implementing the horror tactics we love, bringing a refreshing creativity to exhausted cliches.

Watch: Go behind-the-scenes on "The Conjuring" (Video)

Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week:

"Bruce Lee:
See full article at Moviefone »

In October, Criterion Marries a Witch, Gets Uninvited, Loses Face, and More

You know those movies your cinephile friends geek out about? The Criterion Collection is their steward. They've spent years curating a selection of classic and contemporary films that have been deemed significant to the craft of filmmaking for one reason or another, and every month they bring four to five new titles into the modern age with new DVD and Blu-ray releases sporting extensive extras and the best remasters you can find. This month, the Criterion Collection honors brings us Michelangelo Atonioni's La Notte, and then dives into the spirit of the Halloween season with René Clair's I Married a Witch, Lewis Allen's haunted house pic The Uninvited, and Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face. We also get a box set of five films by John Cassavetes. For a full breakdown of each release, just keep reading.

Read more...
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Don't Let the U.S. Government Shut Down! Quality Halloween Movies in October, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Cat and the Canary’ 1939: Paulette Goddard / Bob Hope haunted house comedy among Halloween 2013 movies at Packard Theater There’s much to recommend among the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus and State Theater screenings in Culpeper, Virginia, in October 2013, including the until recently super-rare Bob Hope / Paulette Goddard haunted house comedy The Cat and the Canary (1939). And that’s one more reason to hope that the Republican Party’s foaming-at-the-mouth extremists (and their voters and supporters), ever bent on destroying the economic and sociopolitical fabric of the United States (and of the rest of the world), will not succeed in shutting down the federal government and thus potentially wreak havoc throughout the U.S. and beyond. (Photo: Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard in The Cat and the Canary.) Screening on Thursday, October 31, at the Packard Theater, Elliott Nugent’s The Cat and the Canary is a remake of Paul Leni
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Uninvited (1944)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 22, 2013

Price: DVD $19.95, Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Criterion

Ruth Hussey and Ray Milland investigate things that go bump in the night in The Uninvited.

The 1944 horror-mystery film The Uninvited, directed by Lewis Allen (Suddenly), was groundbreaking for the seriousness with which it treated the haunted-house genre.

A pair of siblings (Ministry of Fear’s Ray Milland and The Philadelphia Story’s Ruth Hussey) from London purchase a surprisingly affordable, lonely cliff-top house in Cornwall, only to discover that it actually carries a ghostly price. It doesn’t take too long before the two are caught up in a bizarre romantic triangle from beyond the grave.

Rich in atmosphere and such genre staples as a tragic family past, a mysteriously locked room, cold chills, and bumps in the night, the gothic-flavored Uninvited remains an elegant and eerie experience, featuring a classic score by Victor Young (Written on the Wind
See full article at Disc Dish »

Criterion Announces October 2013 Titles: 'La Notte', Cassavetes, 'The Uninvited' and 'Eyes Without a Face"

Criterion has announced their October 2013 releases and it includes brand new Michelangelo Antonioni, the company's first DVD box set Blu-ray upgrade and a Blu-ray upgrade of a film many were talking about when Holy Motors premiered last year. First is Antonioni's La Notte (10/29) starring Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau, which I first watched on Netflix Instant what feels like a long, long, long time ago. I can hardly remember the story of a couple who confront the issues within their relationship and the world around them over the course of one night. The version I saw was dark and I can only assume this new 4K digital restoration will be worth the price even if the included features are merely a couple of new interviews, an essay by Richard Brody and a 1961 article by Antonioni. Another new title to the collection is Lewis Allen's 1944 haunted house feature The Uninvited
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

‘The Uninvited,’ more than just Paramount’s ‘Rebecca’ styled ghost story

The Uninvited

Directed by Lewis Allen

Written by Dodie Smith and Frank Partos

Starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp & Gail Russell

USA , 99 min – 1944.

“If you listen to it long enough, all your senses are sharpened. You come by strange instincts. You get to recognize a peculiar cold that is the first warning. A cold which is no mere matter of degrees Fahrenheit, but a draining of warmth from the vital centers of the living.”

The Uninvited is a supernatural film that is more mysterious than it is horrific. Spirits are taken to be a real possibility in the film, which after the success of Hitchcock & Selznick’s haunting, Rebecca (1940), must have been a necessity. The people who laugh at the notion of the supernatural are quickly proved wrong (as the early voice over suggests) and the film introduces ghosts with both kind and malicious intentions. Ultimately, The Uninvited’s
See full article at SoundOnSight »

This week's new DVD & Blu-ray

Die Nibelungen

As folk tales go, the old German epic poem Nibelungenlied is as important to that country's culture and psyche as The Iliad is to the Greeks. Fritz Lang's 1924 film version, split into two halves with a combined running time of almost five hours, removed all the Wagnerian stodge (and beards), delivering the silent-era version of a blockbuster. He couldn't match the American directors like Dw Griffiths in terms of budgets and scope of production, but he could outclass them.

Lang's film revels in style and artifice, using film tricks and elaborate sets to conjure a world that still impresses. Die Nibelungen, the emboldening tale of dragon-slayer Siegfried, his quest for power and the revenge that followed, was a film that would alert the world to the proficiency and ability of German cinema and give insight into the nation.

If anything Lang did his job too well: such
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ghouls on film: why women make the scariest ghosts

Don't be fooled by Madonna's chic spectre in pearls in W.E. Female ghosts are the most terrifying spooks on film

One of the daffiest aspects of W.E., Madonna's deeply daffy film about Wallis Simpson, is the way our heroine keeps popping up as a peculiarly soignée ghost. Clad in a little black dress and pearls, she dispenses fashion tips and lifestyle aperçus to her younger namesake, who's having a bit of a breakdown that coincides with her Simpson-fixation, in 1990s Manhattan. Murmured words of spectral wisdom include: "Attractive, my dear, is a polite way of saying a woman's made the most of what she's got," and, "The most important thing is your face. The other end you just sit on."

This is perhaps the battiest but also the most diverting element in the film, and one I wish Madonna had explored at more length, if only because the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Halloween on Turner Classic Movies!

Joe Dante runs down the TCM Halloween rundown!

Of all the available outlets for classic movies, TCM leads the (admittedly small) pack in variety, invention and print quality.

Still not nearly as widely available as it should be (try finding it on hotel televisions), the brand has nevertheless firmly carved an essential niche in the cable/satellite movie landscape, allowing owner Time Warner to maximize its vast library of vintage movies culled from numerous studio sources. In fact, Time Warner owns more titles than any other entity, and lately has been forthcoming with clever marketing ideas like the Warner Archive on-demand dvd service, which has been thankfully adopted by MGM, Sony, Fox and Universal. There are more titles available to the general public than ever before, often in pristine condition.

But to love a film you have to see it, and to see it you have to know it exists.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

A Brief History Of Horror – Cat People And The 1940s

Monsters in horror movies more often represent an internal than an external threat. Henry Frankenstein’s Creature is, depending on how you read it, symbolic of the repressed; when he sees the monster in Bride of Frankenstein his shock isn’t a response to its features, but to what the Creature means to him. He’s a respectable, well-to-do, loving husband who lights up with a manic obsession when confronted with the possibility of playing God, and the Creature is irrefutable proof of that obsessive streak.

In the 1940s Universal’s hold on the genre started to wane, and less effort and artistry was put into the resulting films. After The Wolf Man in 1941 it switched from A to B pictures, and focussed on increasingly silly sequels to the big franchises: Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula and The Mummy. With films like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and House of Frankenstein
See full article at Obsessed with Film »
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