A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
George and Catherine Apley of Boston lead a proper life in the proper social circle, as did the Apleys before them. When grown daughter Eleanor falls in love with Howard (from New York!), ... See full summary »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.
In 1844, the Wells family lives in a small farm of their own in Greenwich, Connecticut and the sons and daughters have a rigid discipline and religious education from the patriarch Ephraim Wells. When his wife Abigail Wells receives a letter from her wealthy distant cousin Nicholas "Nick" Van Ryn inviting one of her daughters to live with his wife Johanna Van Ryn and him nursing their daughter Katrine Van Ryn, the naive Miranda Wells gets excited with the perspective of traveling. Her mother convinces Ephraim to let her go and Miranda travels with her father to New York. They meet Nick and they learn that he is a patroon of farmers at the Hudson Valley. Then Miranda travels to the Dragonwyck mansion where she is introduced to the voracious Johanna and the sweet Katrine and to the housekeeper Magda. Miranda also meets Dr. Jeff Turner, who is a sort of leader of the farmers that work for Nicholas, in a party and befriends him. Soon she notes that Katrine is neglected by her parents. ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The family name Schermerhorn, which is the subject of gossip at the ball at Dragonwyck is actually the name of writer Mankiewicz's ex-in-laws. See more »
As Miranda and Van Ryn dance through the doorway from the balcony into the ballroom, she holds her closed fan in her hand. When the shot changes after they enter the room, the fan dangles from her wrist. See more »
Excellent early Price in a brilliantly Gothic mood piece
With shades of Hitchcock's Rebecca, Dragonwyck is a lushly Gothic melodrama; abound with themes of social class; centring on the struggle between the rich and the poor in nineteenth century America. The most striking thing about Dragonwyck is the beauty of the piece. The sets are brilliantly Gothic, while director Joseph L. Mankiewicz keeps the atmosphere thick and foreboding, which in turn ensures that the film succeeds in capturing the best of it's locations. The film reunites the two strongest cast members from Otto Preminger's masterpiece 'Laura' - Gene Tierney and the master of the macabre, Vincent Price. These two are both great thespians, but it is Vincent Price that shines the most. Many people pass this great man off as merely a camp horror movie actor, but with his performance here; along with the vast majority of his later ones - Price proves that he is far more than that. His voice and mannerisms make up a lot of his performances, but it's the subtleties that he hints at beyond his immediate performance that really make him great. Just like he did with The Fall of the House of Usher; Price plays one thing, while all the time hinting at a darker side to his character.
The plot follows a young farm girl (Tierney) who goes to stay with her mother's cousin, Nicholas Van Ryan (Price), in his castle upon his request. It isn't long after her arrival that she hears strange things from the servants, and it's not long after that she realises all isn't quite right with Dragonwyck. The plot is rather thinly spread, but the film always manages to stay interesting because of the fact that it doesn't let you know anything until you really need to know. Things are hinted at throughout the film, but the audience never really knows anything for sure. Even by the time the film reaches it's climax, there are several things that have been left open. Vincent Price's performance here stands out from the rest of his oeuvre because he manages to be charming at the same time as being dark and brooding. After having seen the likes of The Abominable Dr Phibes, it's hard to imagine the man being charming; but here it's hard to imagine why Gene Tierney wouldn't fall for him. Dragonwyck has a few problems, but on the whole this is a quality forties melodrama and comes with high recommendations, especially to the Vincent Price fan.
39 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?