A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.
In New York, after seven years in prison, the lawyer Max Monetti goes to the bank of his brothers Joe, Tony and Pietro Monetti and promises revenge to them. Then he visits his lover Irene ... See full summary »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Edward G. Robinson,
Matt Denant, ex-RAF flier, sentenced to three years in Dartmoor for striking and accidentally killing a detective who was attempting to arrest a lady of the evening to whom Denant had been ... See full synopsis »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
In 1844, farmer's daughter Miranda Wells is invited by Nicholas Van Ryn, distant relation, to live in his mansion as companion to his daughter. Arriving in high hopes, Miranda finds the Van Ryns a bit strange. The parents barely know their daughter, Katrine; Nicholas faces a revolt of his tenant farmers; the servants hint darkly of curses and visitations. And what does Nicholas really do up in his tower room? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
You mustn't take me seriously, Miss. No one ever does.
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A great mood piece, if a bit stiff in its clichés.
A high drama, historical drama, and drama drama. And the drama part works, so that's most of the movie. It's a fairly stiff arrangement, however, including the purposely stiff Vincent Price, who plays a noble Dutch American (a patroon) with a fabulous estate on the Hudson. Director Mankiewicz is great at nuanced characterizations, including a zealous father played by Walter Huston. This may not be his best product, but it's rich with details and lush textures both visually and in the narrative, and it gets more intense as the small events come to conflict by the end.
What sometimes hobbles the whole thing is the simplified tenant farmer revolt, whatever its roots. (I live near to where this is fictionally set, and there is no trace of this kind of culture at all here, just some place names, and I have a suspicion it was never this exaggerated, not in the 1800s, though perhaps in the 1600s, when the Dutch really ruled the area, then called New Netherland.) The pageantry, the great house, the storms, and the big dances, all of this is romantic Bronte territory, well done, and great atmosphere. The music by Alfred Newman and the photography by Arthur C. Miller, both great talents at their professional best, do their usual best, as well.
So what works best, beyond the overall mood, is the presence of the two women: the visiting niece of course, the star, Gene Tierney, and equally, in a subtle way, Connie Marshall, the suffering wife of the patroon. Tierney has a kind of cool reserve that works here, letting the light work on her pretty head. Eventually, the handsome doctor's role takes on more complex importance (played by Glenn Langan), and Price has a fine end, which Price fans will greatly admire.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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