Recently married, Quentin and Tracy Collins have just moved into Collinwood, a New England estate that has long been in the Collins family and which Quentin has just inherited. They have invited their married friends, Alex and Claire Jenkins, who write horror novels together, to live in a cottage on the estate rent free. An artist, Quentin wants to find somewhere in the mansion to do his painting that will, among other things, give him some inspiration. The estate's humorless housekeeper Carlotta Drake, who comes from a long line of domestics serving the Collins family at Collinwood, directs him to the room in the tower. After his first trip to the tower room where he finds many other paintings, Quentin begins to see visions and have nightmares including that of a young woman hanging dead in a tree outside the mansion, and a young girl in another window of the mansion holding a doll. With further information from Carlotta about those visions and nightmares, Quentin may be placing ...Written by
When the MGM lion roars, no sound comes out. See more »
The original director's cut of Night of Dark Shadows was screened for MGM executives at 129 minutes. Unhappy with the running time, studio head James Aubrey ordered director Dan Curtis to cut around 40 minutes out of the picture, as it was considered a B-programmer. Curtis was given only 24 hours to re-cut the picture, and the 97 minute version was approved by Aubrey. The picture was press screened at that length, but afterward an additional 4 minutes were cut from the picture without Dan Curtis' consent, probably in order to guarantee a GP rating (1971's PG equivalent) as all of this material cut was violent or sexually suggestive in nature. During release some of the preview (97 mins) prints were accidentally circulated and still show up today, probably through private collectors as the 97 min prints are no longer held in MGM's archive. Dan Curtis' 129 min original version has been considered lost and presumed destroyed for decades, but film historian Darren Gross unearthed the sole existing material for this version in August 1999. Plans for restoration and release of this version are currently being formulated. See more »
Night of Dark Shadows was Dan Curtis' follow-up to the immensely popular movie from the hit soap opera Dark Shadows. This movie reinforces many known facts about sequels. Sequels always have much to overcome. They are invariably compared to the original. If the movie is a carbon copy of the first, it's criticized for being un-original. If it takes a different road, the public laments that it's not what they wanted. Dan Curtis deserves much never received praise for taking an entirely different road to Collinwood this time and risking the public's ire. At the time of it's release, Night of Dark Shadows received undeserved criticism for being slow and disjointed. The probable reason for this was that Dan Curtis was forced to edit Night down to a double-feature friendly running time, so much of it's plot and character explanations landed - guess where - on the cutting room floor. However, if one really watches this film closely, they will be richly rewarded with a delightfully moody and atmospheric haunted house/possession/witchcraft flick that will send chills where they should go during a horror flick. David Selby is stoic and forboding as Quentin and Charles Collins, and Kate Jackson is the embodiment of purity and goodness as Tracy. Grayson Hall plays Carlotta with sheer relish. She's the kind of housekeeper that motivates one to become a better housekeeper, so that we can one day fire her. Lara Parker will make you forget to inhale or exhale as Angelique. Her beauty is indescribable, as is her ability for evil. John Karlen returns as Quentin's best friend Alex, and Nancy Barrett is approachable yet truly seductive as Alex's wife Claire. They are simply a joy to watch together. Once again, the elegant Lyndhurst mansion is the perfect home for the Collins family, this time a haunted one. If you haven't seen Night of Dark Shadows yet, give it a try. If you have and weren't impressed the first time, give it another chance. It deserves that much - and you'll be glad you did.
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