Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally released from his centuries-long confinement at his family's estate in Maine. He targets his clueless descendants who live there now and pursues Maggie, the incarnation of his lost love.
Kathryn Leigh Scott
We're rare people, you and I. Not only have we lived before, but we are fortunate enough to remember.
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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 »
In 1975 I was a freelance writer in New York. During that year I was honored to interview stage and screen actress and one of the stars from Dark Shadows, Grayson Hall. It was during this interview that I learned why NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS was such a bad film.
The late Ms. Hall related a story which told of how MGM called her husband, "Dark Shadows writer" Sam Hall and told him that he would have to fly out to California and edit out nearly 30 min. from his latest film. After his sad task was done he returned home and shortly thereafter the film was released. It was not up to the standards the the series nor MGM's hit from just the year before "House of Dark Shadows" had. The idea was excellent. Dialog well written, stylishly photographed and wonderful performances from the cast. The problem was the fact that the feature made little sense. It plotted along for 90 min's filled with questions and vagueness.
However, the good news is that most of the edited footage has been found and is now in the process of being re-edited. Night of Dark Shadows, through the popularity of the series, is in a sense going to be re-born. Sam Hall's work shall now be seen as it was created. Perhaps then we will be able to appreciate this classic haunted house story, the way it should be, without studio butchering.
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