A Scotsman abruptly breaks off his engagement to pretty Kitty and moves to his uncle's castle in the Scottish highlands. Kitty and her aunt follow Gerald a few weeks later, and discover he ... See full summary »
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A Scotsman abruptly breaks off his engagement to pretty Kitty and moves to his uncle's castle in the Scottish highlands. Kitty and her aunt follow Gerald a few weeks later, and discover he has suddenly aged. Some mysterious things happen in a maze made from the hedges adjoining the castle. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was to be the second 3-D film designed and directed by William Cameron Menzies. Contrary to some opinion, there is no evidence to substantiate that his previous film, Invaders from Mars (1953), was designed nor planned for for 3-D, and certainly was not shot in this process. Menzies, who was known as a director with a very "dimensional" style (eg. many shots are focused in layers), only directed one other 3-D film previous to this: "Fun in the Sun," a short that was shot for the aborted Sol Lesser production, "The 3-D Follies". This would be his final film as production designer and director. See more »
Kitty and Edith's rooms in the castle have their windows blocked with stone. That is shown in a shot of Kitty's room the night they arrived. The only light sources are candles and the fireplaces. Yet, in the morning, both bedrooms are bathed in light as if the sun were streaming in through these blocked windows. See more »
Great Atmosphere and Look but the Story Just Doesn't Work
The Maze (1953)
** (out of 4)
When her fiancé Gerald (Richard Carlson) leaves before their wedding with no real answer, Kitty (Veronica Hurst) and her aunt (Katherine Emery) follow him to his family's estate in Scotland. Once there the women discover that Gerald has aged for some reason and soon they realize that there's even more family secrets. THE MAZE is a hard film to judge because it contains some very good stuff but the problem is that the story itself is just boring and really drawn out for no good reason. The film features some terrific performances as well as a haunting atmosphere and these here make it worth sitting through. Director William Cameron Menzies (INVADERS FROM MARS) does a wonderful job building up the creepy atmosphere of the old castle. From the opening shots of the fog thick outside to the staircase with all the spider webs. The director really makes one believe you're in this location and he also puts the maze (much like the one later seen in THE SHINING) to good use. He also handles the B&W cinematography very well as the film looks terrific and the use of shadows is well done. Carlson turns in a good performance in the lead and I though both Hurst and Emery were good. The supporting players are good as well so with all of this what's the problem? The screenplay is incredibly weak and it just doesn't go anywhere. Gerald asks the women to leave. They tell a lie to where they can stay an extra day. They discuss what could possibly be happened. These three steps repeat themselves over and over and it's just really boring. I won't give away the secret but when it's finally revealed you really can't help but laugh. The effect of this reveal is also rather laughable. The film was originally shot in 3-D but watching the standard version I really didn't see anything that would really jump out. THE MAZE is an interesting film with a lot going for it but sadly most of the good stuff was just wasted.
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