Haunted house chiller from Dan Curtis has Oliver Reed and Karen Black as summer caretakers moving into gothic house with their young son. The catch? The house rejuvenates a part of itself ... See full summary »
Elizabeth Winfield is a retired teacher and matriarch of a problematic family who desperately tries to keep her family together, after many years they separated from each other. While she's... See full summary »
J. Ashley Hyman,
Summer people in Maine: things are changing. Whales no longer pass close to the shore as they did during the youth of two elderly widowed sisters who have a seaside home where they've ... See full summary »
In 1926, famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared for six weeks. When she surfaced, she claimed that she had been kidnapped and held prisoner in Mexico. Others claimed that she ... See full summary »
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.,
The plot centers around a large area of land owned by an old black lady, Elvira Backus. It had been given to her by her one time employer and secret father of her two children, a southern ... See full summary »
One of Bette Davis' best performances late in her career
Say what you will about the translation of Tom Tryon's fine gothic chiller Harvest Home into this TV film, Bette Davis' performance here is riveting and really nails home the creepiness of the tale. Unlike her sad farewell in The Wicked Stepmother (1989) where she was clearly having trouble focusing on her acting, here she is a powerful presence that (goose)fleshes out this telefilm the way it should be.
Playing the Widow Fortune (a prophetic name if ever there was one), she is the matriarch of Cornwall Coombe, a small Connecticut village just on the other side of the Lost Whistle covered bridge where "the ways" hold sway over the villagers. What they do and how they do it is bound by tradition, one hundred percent, so when a city family comes to stay, culture clash is inevitable.
Of course we all know this is a gothic chiller standard--sophisticated city couple/family comes to small quiet village only to find it mired in evil and horror, et cetera. Too true. But Davis' character is spellbinding enough that the viewer can overlook this tried and true plot point and enjoy the proceedings. Additionally, aside from some minor outdated bits of dialogue here and there, the script is actually pretty intelligent; a low stupidity quotient in the dialogue helps tremendously.
Unfortunately the VHS release of this film was chopped considerably; the original five hour length was shown on TV but unless the viewer taped it (as I did), it's completely unavailable. High time for a DVD release.
This is a great way to spend an evening with a roaring snowstorm outside. And the ending really is a shocker.
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