A woman hired to write the history of a wealthy family stays at the family's estate in Oregon. She discovers that she strongly resembles a long-dead ancestor in the family, and finds things... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Midnight Offerings (TV Movie 1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Vivian has magic powers. She doesn't hesitate to save her boyfriend David from failing in school by murdering teachers. However, David has gotten tired of her and is putting his charm on a ... See full summary »

Director: Rod Holcomb
Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Mary Beth McDonough, Patrick Cassidy
Deceptions (TV Movie 1990)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A detective gets involved with a suspect in a murder case.

Director: Ruben Preuss
Stars: Harry Hamlin, Robert Davi, Nicollette Sheridan
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A woman traumatized by her brother's suicide is inducted into a world of games involving murder.

Director: James Bruce
Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Robert Joy, Lenny Henry
Raw Nerve (1999)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A cop lures his girlfriend and his former partner into the dangers of arson, robbery, and murder.

Director: Avi Nesher
Stars: Mario Van Peebles, Nicollette Sheridan, Zach Galligan
Good King Wenceslas (TV Movie 1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based upon the true story that inpired the Christmas carol about a young king's care for his people.

Director: Michael Tuchner
Stars: Stefanie Powers, Jonathan Brandis, Perry King
Crime | Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A romantic comedy which explores the pressures on police officers.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Robert Foxworth, Paula Prentiss, Harry Dean Stanton
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A television producer decides to find out the whereabouts of a former movie actress whose career has long since faded. He discovers that his inquiries have set off a string of murders.

Director: Gary Nelson
Stars: Don Murray, Bert Convy, Yvonne De Carlo
When Michael Calls (TV Movie 1972)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Helen keeps on receiving phone calls from a child, who claims being her nephew Michael - but Michael died 15 years ago! In these calls he scolds on acquaintances, who then die in suspicious... See full summary »

Director: Philip Leacock
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Elizabeth Ashley, Michael Douglas
Shadows of Desire (TV Movie 1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A woman is torn between her love for a gentle man, and her secret passion for his dangerous brother.

Director: Sam Pillsbury
Stars: Nicollette Sheridan, Joe Lando, Adrian Pasdar
Shirts/Skins (TV Movie 1973)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Six businessmen who have a weekly after-hours basketball game get caught up in a bet about a hide-and-seek contest.

Director: William A. Graham
Stars: Rene Auberjonois, Bill Bixby, Leonard Frey
The Secret Night Caller (TV Movie 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man who is the pillar of his community has a secret - he has a compulsion to make obscene telephone calls.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Robert Reed, Hope Lange, Robin Mattson
Valley of Mystery (TV Movie 1967)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A Meridian Airlines flight from Miami to Caracas crashes in the Venezuelan jungle, stranding 130 passengers and crew in hostile surroundings.

Director: Joseph Lejtes
Stars: Richard Egan, Peter Graves, Joby Baker
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Margaret Drake
...
Jason Drake
...
Phillip Drake
...
Noelle Drake
Steve Inwood ...
Jerry Mills
...
Jessica Drake
...
Banda Drake
Raymond St. Jacques ...
Davis
Grant Aleksander ...
Nicholas Drake
Yves André Martin ...
Cody Drake
...
Shellane Victor
...
Alexander Drake
...
David Forbes
...
Captain Hemmings
Vincent Pandoliano ...
Chef
Edit

Storyline

A woman hired to write the history of a wealthy family stays at the family's estate in Oregon. She discovers that she strongly resembles a long-dead ancestor in the family, and finds things happening to her that happened to--and led to the death of--that woman. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sea | haunt | ghost | ship | mansion | See All (5) »

Genres:

Thriller

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 August 1986 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Crossing "Dark Shadows" with "Falcon Crest"
23 May 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

The opening credits leave no doubt "Dark Mansions" is patterned after "Dark Shadows" - but, surprisingly, "Mansions" isn't like the successful supernatural-dominated "Shadows" of 1967-1970. Instead, it revisits the show as it played out during the more lackluster years of 1966 and 1971. This show has the Gothic tone of writer Art Wallace's original concept, which producer Dan Curtis steered the show back toward, in 1971. Taking the vampires, werewolves, and witches out of "Shadows" proved to be fatal, so "Mansions" may seem like puzzling pilot. But, it's also a shadowy version of the then successful "Falcon Crest" (actor David Selby did "Crest" and "Shadows"; writer Robert McCullough did "Crest" and "Mansions").

So, "Mansions" begins with star Linda Purl (as Shellane Victor) arriving as an authoress, to work on the biography of reclusive matriarch Joan Fontaine (as Margaret Drake). The character's name "Shellane Victor" is likely an homage to original "Shadows" protagonist "Victoria", who was originally named "Sheila". Like legendary golden-aged actresses Joan Bennett ("Shadows") and Jane Wyman ("Mansions"), Joan Fontaine assumes the role of a wealthy family matriarch. Note, Jean Simmons fit the bill in the 1991 run of "Dark Shadows", which makes it a Joan/Jane/Joan/Jean quartet. (Play other name games at home).

Anyway, Ms. Purl is the spitting image of the dead "Yvette" (rhymes with "Josette"), who plunged to her death over the seaside cliffs, where the two "Drake" family mansions rest (but not in peace). The mystery of what really happened to "Yvette" is the ABC-TV movie pilot's main storyline. Widower Michael York (as Jason Drake) is also Fontaine's favorite son, and a potential romantic interest for Purl.

Other family members (and suspects) include: Mr. York's bratty blonde daughter Nicollette Sheridan (as Banda Drake), his bratty blonde son Grant Aleksander (as Nick Drake), adopted "old house" castaway Paul Shenar (as Phillip Drake), his sexy wife Lois Chiles (as Jessica Drake), their blind clairvoyant daughter Melissa Sue Anderson (as Noelle Drake ), and hot-blooded son Yves André Martin (as Cody Drake). Blue-collared Steve Inwood (as Jerry Mills) and Raymond St. Jacques (as Davis) are significant outsiders.

There are too many characters, and too much back-story, in "Dark Mansions" - although, admittedly, it all would have served a TV series well (had this "pilot" sold). The locations, sets, and overall setting is beautifully done; and, as photographed by Paul Lohmann and directed by Jerry London, they are the film's greatest strength. The cliff-side dwelling is how the original "Dark Shadows" might have looked, with a bigger budget. Watch for especially representative scenes as characters walk along the cliffs, with waves crashing in the background. And, if the house looks like "Collinwood", it's because it is the house (Greystone) picked to serve as "Collinwood" for both the 1991 and 2004 versions of "Dark Shadows".

***** Dark Mansions (8/23/86) Jerry London ~ Linda Purl, Michael York, Joan Fontaine


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does anyone have this on tape? PeterBradford
Dark Shadows REMAKE of sorts movieperson113
Discuss Dark Mansions (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?