A poor, elderly white woman living in a tenement in a black ghetto is befriended by a neighborhood boy, and the two of them form a mutually beneficial relationship: he provides her ... See full summary »
Ernest Harden Jr.,
Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »
The ten year marriage of of Caroline Van Dyke and Greg Grannard is falling apart. A young woman, Allison, plots to become his second wife. Caroline's friend, novelist Julian, has long loved... See full summary »
Stars like Bette Davis were not getting the big roles for the big screen that they were in the days of the big studio system so many like Davis turned to the small screen. One of her better choices was The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home where she actually went back to her New England roots to play the Matriarch in a special matriarchal society that has developed in an isolated corner of Connecticut.
David Ackroyd with wife Joanna Miles and daughter Rosanna Arquette think they've found this picturesque relic of a town where time seems to have stood still. Even the fact that they find a house in need of a bit of repair seems to be inviting them to stay. What they don't know is that the family is being auditioned by Davis known to one and all as the Widow Fortune who rules the roost there. In fact if this were a beehive Cornwell Coombe would have the men either as worker bees or worse drones.
The women acclimate quite quickly, but Ackroyd starts developing suspicions. Sad to say they prove to be right. These folks have their own kind of religion, Christianity with pagan fertility rites. There's one male among them who is the Prince of the Harvest and what perks come with John Calvin's office. But what a price he has to pay for them.
The kid who is scheduled to be Calvin's successor wants to commit the unpardonable heresy of leaving. Michael O'Keefe plays him and it's his story that makes Arquette start to question 'the ways'.
Bette Davis really was born to play the Widow Fortune, I cannot imagine another actress doing justice to the role. O'Keefe as the young man who thinks there just might be something more to this old world than a New England farming community that has some strange ways is very touching in his performance.
I'm not a big fan of these kind of horror novels and the films that come from them. But author Tom Tryon did a wonderful job in creating some real three dimensional characters, not just meat waiting to be slaughtered by some guy waving an ax.
The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home is more than horror film fans.
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