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Messages - Gothick

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4816
Current Talk '06 I / Re: Least favorite DS writer
« on: February 07, 2006, 12:22:30 AM »
I have an interview with Violet Welles somewhere or other--I believe it was published in TWODS, but it may have been in "Inside the Old House."  It's true that she was a publicist, and she even worked on one of Grayson's plays (might have been "The Love Nest"?).  She was also a ghost-writer, and would handle some of Gordon Russell's workload when he got too frazzled to deal with it.  I believe he suggested that she talk to Dan Curtis about becoming a staff writer for DS, but I'm not sure when that happened.  Gordon Russell began writing for the show in, I think, the Summer of 1967, so it may be that she already wrote some scripts back then--they would have had his byline, however.  (On the topic of ghost writers, there's a fascinating article about playwright Robert Patrick's work out in LA in this capacity; it's a lucrative line for writers who want the freedom to pursue their own work.)

Welles officially stopped writing for DS in, I think, some point of the Parallel Time 1970 storyline, but she came back to do a lot of the scripts for the Parallel Time 1841 sequence.  Again, I think most, if not all, of these scripts had Gordon Russell's name on them.

G.

4817
Current Talk '06 I / Re: Least favorite DS writer
« on: February 06, 2006, 06:57:13 PM »
Um, most of the plot points on DS (especially the really extreme, crazy ones) were dictated by Dan Curtis or, later in the series (1970-71), by Lela Swift who became the Producer during the final phase.  The writers just had to choose HOW to write the story handed to them by DC.  In some cases there was more give and take with the writers and Curtis spending hours arguing over how to plot a given storyline.  In some cases they appear to have switched gears abruptly in mid stream (compare the respective runups to both 1795 and 1840 and how the stories actually played out).

So, it's really not fair to blame Welles for "killing off" Rachel.  Welles wrote some of the best scripts in DS history.  I'd say that she and Francis Swann were probably the best of all the writers.  My personal least favorite writer was Ron Sproat.  His scripts on DS were so paint by numbers.  I've seen his work for Strange Paradise as well, and it was equally lacklustre.

G.

4818
I would love to see a panel honoring Grayson Hall at the 40th anniversary Dark Shadows Festival!

I look forward to the author receiving a standing ovation for her hard work and dedication to this project! Let's hear it for RJ!

I agree that a selection of clips would be more appropriate than screening entire episodes.

It goes without saying that if there's anything I can do to assist, I rely upon you to say the word!

Best, Steve

4819
Calendar Events / Announcements '06 I / Re: Happy Birthday to Bette!
« on: February 06, 2006, 03:26:06 AM »
Belated birthday wishes to you, Bette!

I tried to send you an e-card, but I don't think it made it to you.

Best wishes,  Steve

4820
Darren, I'm sure that you're right; they're using a period advertising image for the cover design on that box. Although I can't recall having seen that specific image, the format matches others I have seen for the movie.

I just watched it last month and James Ward got much better billing than did Grayson in the film's actual title sequence.  He got bigger type and a separate screen with, I think, Cyril Delavanti? (but don't quote me on that)

I've never, ever seen any promotional designs for the film that featured Grayson's image.  In the trailer that was on the old laserdisc, the funny thing is that her name was never mentioned but three of her scenes were shown in excerpt.  I found myself asking "who's selling this movie, anyway??"

Best, Steve

4821
Thanks for pointing that out, Midnite!  Looks interesting.  Although I wince at that unflattering shot of Deborah Kerr chosen for the box art...

G.

4822
Calendar Events / Announcements '06 I / Re: A Belated Mozart Day to You
« on: February 02, 2006, 11:36:19 PM »
Mozart was also Count Petofi's favorite composer (and probably a personal friend, too).  There's a slightly hysterical scene during the Quentofi sequence of "Quentin" avidly listening to a Mozart recording....  I sometimes wonder whether this wasn't a tip of the hat to Mr. Norris' passion for the perky little Viennese and his compositions in the Christopher Isherwood novel "Mr. Norris Changes Trains."

Cheers, Gothick

4823
Do Warners EVER include extras on their DVDs??  Seems as if whenever I see an old film out on their label, the release is bare-bones.  For DVD features you get things like "chapter menu" and "language: English."  Whoop-de-doo.

There is a short film, "In search of the Iguana," that was on the old laser disc release (which was the source of my own copy of the film--a friend was kind enough to tape it for me).  You'd think they'd at least include that.  If you look really carefully, you can see bits of Grayson in a couple of the crowd scenes...

G.

4824
Golly, what an OUTASITE list of songs!  thanks, Sandor!

Among my personal fave raves on that list are "There's a kind of Hush" by Herman/Hermits, California Nights by fab Lesley Gore (she performed it on a Catwoman episode of Batman that year!), "Jimmy Mack" by Martha & the Vandellas, and "I'll try anything" by The Divine Dusty!

Would love to hear "Sunday for Tea" by Peter & Gordon, & that Hollies song... I've been thinking of buying a Hollies CD, basically, forever!  I am very curious about Brenda & the Tabulations, too!

Thanks again!

G.

4825
Caption This! - Leviathans / Re: Episode #0940
« on: February 01, 2006, 12:06:32 AM »
BARNABAS (voiceover, thinking) I TRIED to warn her--
JULIA (voiceover, furious) That's the LAST time I accept a gift of hard candy from Mr. Quentin Collins, and you can bet your sweet bippy on THAT!

4826
Re Grayson's work as Julia on DS--

A friend of mine suggested some years ago (she had watched DS faithfully as a youngster and was watching it again on Sci Fi) that the style of Grayson's characterization as Julia was something Grayson may have taken from observing a friend (or possibly a once-upon-a-time mentor) who may have been a professional woman of some sort.  My friend thought Julia's odd way of speaking, occasional twitchiness, abrupt mannerisms. throat-clutching etc. could well have come from a real-life professional woman of, say, the 1950s, who was to some degree not quite at ease with her own sense of self.  The odd way of speaking is something I have observed myself in academics who seem to imagine an invisible podium propped up whereever they happen to be sitting or standing.

I mention this because so many of what people think of as Grayson's mannerisms or over-acting in the part of Julia seem to me a self-conscious effort on her part to create a character who was much more "straight-assed" than the actress was in real life (to severely understate things).  I think this is particularly obvious if you watch the shows where RT Julia is confronting one of her PT counterparts.

The one mannerism I've seen in several other Grayson performances is that thing she does with clutching onto the phone with both hands.

G.

4827
Current Talk '06 I / Re: Which actors will be attending the 06 fest
« on: January 25, 2006, 05:35:19 PM »
Claude, I attempted to post about the excitement engendered by the prospect of your cuddly presence at this year's Festival, but I'm afraid my fingers were shaking too much to type!

I'll try not to follow you around like Tate's Creation with Tim Shaw, big dark sad eyes mutely pleading, entreating, cajoling...

G.

4828
Polls Archive / Re: Would You Read/Buy a DS Comic Book Series
« on: January 25, 2006, 05:26:20 PM »
Julia's chin appears to have a Kirk Douglas dent in it, too.  Oy.

G.

4829
I'm really looking forward to seeing the show again.  When all the revelations were pouring forth regarding the WB suits' (mis)handling of the Dark Shadows pilot, I kept thinking it sounded literally like an episode of Grosse Pointe.

G.

4830
Polls Archive / Re: Would You Read/Buy a DS Comic Book Series
« on: January 25, 2006, 03:53:10 PM »
Petofi, thanks for those memories, and for that hilarious panel!  My God, that fellow was a dreadful artist!  Quentin looks as if he swiped one of Diana Ross' hairpieces from her Supreme days!

G.

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