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Messages - Gothick

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301
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / OT Knives Out (2019)
« on: November 14, 2019, 07:28:53 PM »
Something about this trailer made me think of DS, particularly some of the "dysfunctional family melodrama" storylines from 1966, 1897 and PT 1970:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi-1NchUqMA

Marvelous cast, too.

G.

302
Current Talk '21 I / Re: Innovation's '91 DS Comic, Book 2
« on: November 14, 2019, 02:50:04 PM »
And today on DARK SHADOWS, Nathan and Willie continued to amuse themselves coming up with new ideas for the close-ups for Nathan's new Colt Video release.

G.

303
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: Grayson Hall Interview 1970
« on: November 13, 2019, 07:02:11 PM »
This one dates to July 1961 and was published in a Delaware County local paper. During her season at the Hedgerow, Grayson performed the one-act monodrama (which means she was the only person onstage) "The Human Voice," by Jean Cocteau, originally written in 1928, about a woman having a hysterical meltdown breakup with her former lover over the telephone. I've always thought that this was what gave Sam the idea for the "Grayson solo" episode in 1967 which is mostly Julia going bananas at Collinwood while the ghost of Dave Woodard terrorizes her with phantom phonecalls.

G.

Headline: Actress avoids Village, moves instead to Country

A woman makes her home where she has to, be it in house or apartment, city, country, or suburb. An actress, according to legend, makes her homes (plural) in some of the least likely of the "has to" places. Hers are the hotels, trains, not-so-converted barns, cold water walkups in Greenwich Village, and, her audience half suspects, the trunks.

Grayson Hall -- a vivid, angular, graceful actress with energetic red hair and a deep fluid voice -- has avoided at least some of these dwellings: "I've always avoided living in the Village."

Christened Shirley Grayson (she dropped the given name after her marriage), she was brought up in Philadelphia without benefit of a trunk, although as a stagestruck teenager performing at the Neighborhood Playhouse, it may have been the only theatrical accoutrement she lacked. After her schoolgirls days there was a dormitory at Cornell University. Next, was the struggling-young-actress bit, a cold water flat in mid-town New York, but: "That episode ended when I was sent home to recuperate from malnutrition and pneumonia."

During a stay in 1955 in New Haven, Conn., where she was appearing in a play at the Yaie Drama School and being courted by a young writer named Sam Hall, she lived in a YWCA room. Later that year, after she and Sam were married, she alternated between numbness and heat prostration in a three room penthouse in New York. Of that she says succinctly: "It had charm, but no insulation." With the advent of Matthew, now almost 3, the Halls moved to the seven room Manhattan apartment they now occupy.

"... Divine. We went in at 10, looked at three rooms, and had signed the lease by 11."

Now Grayson is coping with life in the country in a decidedly sophisticated house here on Manchester Road. The Halls are in Delaware County while Grayson is a member of the repertory company now in mid-season at Hedgerow Theatre and while Sam, who by now has several television plays and a year's worth of TV soap opera to his credit, completes an adaptation of the Ford Madox Ford novel, "No More Parades," for production at Hedgerow late this summer.

The house is a mathematical affair with colored panels alternating in a geometric design with windows. "I'd never live anywhere but New York, but this is wonderful for the summer. No stock company (and Grayson has camped in those ramshackle accommodations too) ever had it so good."

The country isn't without problems for a bona fide city dweller. The septic tank which went on the blink when she had houseguests reduced Grayson to near-incoherence. The delicatessen isn't right around the corner when she miscalculates the milk supply. But there are compensations:

"The sunlight . . . the birds that sing in the mornings ... the yard that's right outside instead of four blocks away when Matthew wants to go out." There are compensations too in her work. After more than a year in the demanding lead in the off-Broadway play, "The Balcony," Grayson is glad to vary her roles by playing, among others, Eliot, Shaw, Chekhov, and Brecht heroines. "I'm growing as an actress," she explains, undismayed that her typically expansive gesture is interrupted by a sortie to help her visiting mother maneuver the car down the steep sloping driveway.

"In fact,"--she waves at her also-departing son--"as an actress, a wife, a mother, I have the best of all possible worlds.

"And you can say that right out, in print."

304
Current Talk '21 I / Re: Glimpse of the New DS Fandom
« on: November 12, 2019, 05:31:46 PM »
Yes, it is.

G.

305
I listened to some of it. Unfortunately Lara did not have a good phone connection and it was one of those situations where only half of some words made it on the air... and other words dropped completely. When I stopped it, she was complaining about the humor in the Burton/Depp film and how she thought it ruined the movie and its chance to become a long running series (she referenced Pirates of the Caribbean).

G.

306
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: Grayson Hall Interview 1970
« on: November 12, 2019, 12:38:55 AM »
Glad you all enjoyed them!

G.

307
Current Talk '21 I / Re: Innovation's '91 DS Comic, Book 2
« on: November 11, 2019, 06:00:26 AM »
Nathan still looks as if he's getting ready for his next Falcon Studios video shoot.

Maybe the artist and the writer had simply stopped speaking to one another?

G.

308
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: Grayson Hall Interview 1970
« on: November 10, 2019, 10:14:09 PM »
Another one, originally published in the November 5, 1963 issue of the Philadelphia Daily News.

TITLE: SHE SKIPPED GRATZ HIGH CLASS TO CATCH 'IGUANA' BUS

Shirley Grossman figured that if she cut her last class at Gratz High, she could be at the North Philly Station in time to catch the 2 o'clock train to New York. That way, she could get to Manhattan in time to race to an agent's office, breathlessly hopeful that he might be looking for young dramatic talent.

"There I was," she remembers now, "in skirt and sweater and saddle shoes, running around to all the agencies, never getting anywhere." Shirley Grossman is getting somewhere now. She plays a screechy, vindictive schoolteacher In "Night of the Iguana." It is her first movie. It won't be her last.

Along the way, her name has become Grayson Hall, and the shape of her dreams has altered. "My stage name was Shirley Grayson," she explains. "Then I married Sam Hall, a television writer. He always called me Grayson, instead of Shirley. Well, I then became Grayson Hall."

It sounds like a boys' dormitory, and not even in Hollywood will they call her pretty. She has interesting green eyes, flecked with hazel, and a lean, dedicated face.

Even as a class-cutting, saddle-shoe wearing teenager, she did not dream of being in the movies.

"I dreamed stage dreams," she says. "I went to Temple, and I worked with the Neighborhood Players. Those were great years. Then I went to New York.

"My family was furious. My mother always wanted me to be a teacher.  My father screamed and screamed. I thought I'd show them.

"I wound up in a cold-water flat on W. 34th Street, working part-time doing research at Borden's, for $50 a week. I worked hard, day and night, and I wound up with pneumonia.

"They took me to a hospital and treated me for pneumonia and malnutrition and wouldn't let me out until I had gained 10 pounds. After that, my father said, 'Okay, you want to be an actress, go ahead. But at least take some money so you won't starve to death.

"I got a job with Jose Quintero at the Circle in the Square. I thought this was easy. Then, nothing. I never got discouraged though. I always thought about what the next job would be, not about how long it was between jobs.

Recently, she played the madam In "The Balcony." It is a rigorous part, abstract and wildly intense. She played it for 18 months in an off-Broadway theatre and someone told John Huston about her.

He called her in for an interview. "Huston was so nice, so charming," she recalls. "I was so nervous it was pathetic. He sat there and said, Tell me about some of the things you've done.'

"I froze and couldn't think of a thing I'd done. He roared with laughter. He asked me about myself and I couldn't think of anything. All the time he sat there looking at me like I was a plate of chopped liver."

Huston liked what he saw, and she was signed for the "Iguana" teacher role.

"I had never been out of the country before," she said in the lobby of the Hotel Paraiso. "My husband says I've never been south of Atlantic City. So here I was in a strange country, in a foreign situation, making a movie. It's a whole new craft to me.

"I have a big face, and I'm used to moving it. Here, I have to remember to keep my eyebrows still."

She had trouble keeping her stomach still one afternoon, when Huston's lust for realism nearly sent a busload of talent over a cliff.

In the movie, Richard Burton is guiding a busload of school teachers through Mexico. Skip Ward, who once owned a swimming scholarship at SMU, plays the bus driver.

"We were careening down this mountain road," Burton says, "and Huston and the camera were on the bonnet (hood) of the bus.

"Skip could barely see out, and the brakes were wearing thin. Anyway, he spun off the road, and the front wheels were dangling over the side of this cliff.

"Skip said he wanted to back it up. I told him no, just leave It be. The scene calls for a lot of screaming by the women, and we got screaming. I had to help them off the rear of the bus one at a time. One of the lady school teachers fainted, and had to be excused for the rest of the afternoon.

"All Huston did was take a puff on that cigar, and say, 'All right, kids, that was fine.' I get the feeling he was frightened by an actor at one time."

"Yeah," someone suggested. "His father."

Despite the hazards of climate, food, insects and daredevil directors, Grayson Hall is glad she came. Making a first movie with Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr is like a rookie batting fifth behind Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. "I couldn't be In better company," she admits. "The cast couldn't be any more first-rate. Burton has great talent, and he may also be one of the sweetest guys who ever lived.

"Liz Taylor? Well, based on what I heard I was prepared to dislike her. But she and I could be friends. She's so generous. The Actor's Studio in New York needed funds. Someone asked her if she would send a check.

"She wanted to know how much. How can you tell someone how much? So she sent a check, and it was for $10,000. She says she's going to design a dress for me. How will that be for an exclusive?"

When the movie is over, she will have that dress for a souvenir, and some impressions of movie-making she won't be able to tell the graduating class at Gratz High. "There are times," she says, "when I can't believe I'm here. Can you imagine, working with John Huston. Why, he's a legend, a myth. I find myself thinking, how can I call him John?"

309
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Grayson Hall Interview 1970
« on: November 10, 2019, 06:46:26 PM »
This article was originally published in the Shreveport newspaper The Times on February 17, 1970. It was found in an online newspaper archive by a researcher who shared it with Grayson's fan club on social media. I prepared this transcription from the original scan.

G.

'Dark Shadows' Gypsy Finds the Look Messy

by Florence de Santis

Whenever Grayson Hall Is called on to play her gypsy character, Magda, on the ABC-TV serial, "Dark Shadows," she has great fun, but she finds the authentic gypsy look more messy than fashion.

"I think what designers have done lately with the gypsy idea is very pretty; but most women, including me, wouldn't want to wear the real thing for very long," said Grayson.

We were talking on the set of Dark Shadows, between the morning rehearsal and the afternoon taping. Workmen were setting up the different sets for the day's shooting all over the vast, barnlike interior.  Grayson Hall wasn't being Magda today, as Dark Shadows had jumped back to the present day, in which she plays Dr. Julia Hoffman. Dr. Hoffman looks like Grayson herself.

The actress has short auburn hair, is smaller than she looks on screen. She was wearing a distinctly non-gypsy costume of a grey, two-piece tunic dress with pleated skirt, the color carried through in her stockings and shoes. The only gypsy-like touch was in the rings she was wearing. There were five narrow ones from Buccellatti, worn on one finger as a collar ring.

"My husband Sam, who is one of the show's writers, gives me new rings all the time. I love stones, which Is probably the gypsy in me, but colored stones, not diamonds. They don't look well on me."

Grayson Hall's gypsy costume on Dark Shadows is no designer's idea of a gypsy, but a costumer's copy of the real thing. It has two elaborate full skirts, one floorlength, the other a little shorter. The longer skirt is flounced in green, while the top skirt is elaborately embroidered in wool. A velvet bodice with a stomacher point has a low neckline filled in with lots of lace ruffles. A velvet jacket in what Grayson calls "muddy purple" is decorated with gold braid, and she "lays on as much junk jewelry in chains, chatelaines, rings and bracelets as I can."

The messy look is carried through in the hair, which is made up of no less than three hair pieces, a wig, a fall, and a braid. They're all glossy black and look as if they're rarely combed.

"Yes, I like the fashion gypsy look. I have a three-layered summer gypsy skirt myself. But my real favorite in exotic styles is the Moroccan djellaba. I have a bunch of them, mostly bought in Mexico. It seems they imported some djellabas and copied them. In Mexico , they call them galabias."

Although Grayson Hall laughs at the idea that her gypsy character is a fashion image, and says she really doesn't pay all that much attention to clothes in her life.

"I know my own style and stick with it. I've just gotten a long dress, in green plaid, with a long green cape lined in red. Simple, but dramatic."

310
If you scroll down to bottom page here, you can see the first 2 pages of an overview review essay about the Dan Ross DS books here:

http://barebonesez.blogspot.com/2019/10/now-shipping-best-of-barebones.html

The complete article is included in a book just out, The Best of Bare Bones, which is an anthology of various piece published in a fanzine. I don't know whether one can order the book via the usual online retail sites or if it has to be obtained directly through the Bare Bones website.

G.

311
Testing. 1, 2, 3... / Re: ** Some Changes Coming **
« on: November 05, 2019, 03:02:45 AM »
All I can think of is the SUSPENSE I will endure wondering just what demand Nathan will make next of Willie in the comic book... and how much more clothing Nathan might shed!

I hope it all goes smoothly MB! Thank you for all that you do to make this space available and updated for us!!!

cheers, Gothick

312
Some of you might enjoy this podcast, in which a gentleman film buff and a chosen friend discuss and dissect various 1970s TV horror films (which some of us grew up watching obsessively). I'm pasting the link here for THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER with Jonathan Frid, who alas doesn't appear in the video trailer devised for the site:

https://www.mondayafternoonmovie.com/episodes/12-devils-daughter-tony-rodriguez

GARGOYLES with Grayson Hall, CROWHAVEN FARM, and numerous other films we've discussed here in passing are also featured.

G.

313
Thanks, Josette. I was able to open the link on the office computer. After I looked at it, I realized that my home browser must be far too antiquated to handle the requirements of viewing that site (but after all, it is an ad for a "Haunt of the Very Rich," to recall an interesting old early 70s TV movie).

Best, G.

314
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Source for another DS plot device?
« on: November 03, 2019, 03:52:27 PM »
Fans,

Here's a note about an August Derleth story from 1951... I wonder if it was one of the ones that the DS writers had on their note cards (Sam Hall mentioned in a couple of interviews that they all read a great many horror tales and had notes about them as sources for plots on the show).

August Derleth - A Knocking in the Wall: (Weird Tales, July 1951). No one could be inside the wall, yet the knocking came from there ... polite, diffident, but determined. Hobart Maclain, 50, corporate lawyer and world's least imaginative man, is forced to concede that the house he recently moved into is haunted. Maclain learns via automatic writing that the ghost is that of Mrs. Elizabeth Hopper, drugged and walled-up alive by want-away husband Kilvert in May 1933. The killer has since relocated to Canada. The persistent knocking gets on top of the lawyer but fortunately for him Julia Bennet, his faithful secretary, takes command of the situation. Miss Bennet unearths Mrs. Hopper's bones and frees her vengeful spirit to do what it must. (Note from the pen of fan author Kev Dimant on the Vault of Evil web forum.)

cheers, G.


315
This story has a couple of interior shots of the mansion:

http://www.collinsporthistoricalsociety.com/2019/11/collinwood-mansion-can-be-yours-for.html

The link in the newspaper story for the interior wouldn't open for me. I think my firewall thinks it's some kind of spam website.

G.

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